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Mexican Farmers Fight Drought with Solid Rain

You may not of heard of it before, but Solid Rain has been helping Mexican farmers fights severe droughts for over a decade. The miracle powder is actually a super absorbent polymer that can soak up water up to 500 times its original size and keep it in the ground for up to a year.

The story of Solid Rain began in 1970, when the United States Department of Agriculture developed a super absorbent product made from a type of starch known as “super slurper”. In the U.S., it has mainly been used in disposable diapers, to help keep baby bottoms dry, but a Mexican chemical engineer saw this magic powder as an opportunity to effectively fight the drought plaguing his country.

Sergio Rico Velasco developed and patented a different version of potassium polyacrylate that could be mixed with soil and slowly feed water to plants over a long period of time. His company, Solid Rain, has been quietly selling the product to Mexican farmers for over 10 years now.

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Chinese Farmers Can Grow Gourds into Virtually Any Shape

Looking at the detailed sculptures in the photos below, You’d be tempted to think they are made of wax, but believe it or not, they’re actually gourds! Enterprising Chinese farmers are able to grow these veggies into any shape they want. The most popular one is Chairman Mao, but there are many others as well – Buddha, Jesus, Santa Claus, babies, old men, monks, dragons, and pretty much anything else that attracts people’s attention.

You might think there’s some complex bioengineering or agricultural science going on behind these gourd-sculptures, but in reality, they’re just grown in simple plastic molds. It all started when a man named Xie Lyu Zhi visited the Thousand Year Temple in Sichuan Province. He claims that during the visit, a Buddhist monk told him about a dream he had about a gourd shaped like a deity.

gourd-sculptures

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