With global challenges such as diminishing environmental quality and public health, combined with accelerating climate change, we need more than ever to know how to confront many problems at once. Since plants inhale carbon dioxide and soils store carbon, there are numerous reasons to expect agriculture to play a significant role for improving the human prospect. Indeed, scientific research documents that we have tools to achieve ecological and climatic sustainability, but here’s the catch—we have to use them. Read More
February 26th, 2015
December 12th, 2013
So now the Monsanto Company thinks its bad reputation with the public is primarily an air time problem. As the agribusiness giant’s Chief Technology Officer (and recent World Food Prize winner) Robert Fraley told Politico recently, Monsanto has been “absolutely riveted and focused on giving technology and tools to farmers to improve their productivity and yield and we haven’t spent nearly the time we have needed to on talking to consumers and talking to social media.”
Seriously?? Read More
July 25th, 2013
Farmers planting crops that can’t be sold? That doesn’t sound like a sensible proposition, does it? After all, seed cost money and so does the equipment to get them in the ground. Why grow ’em if you can’t sell ’em? Read More
Toxic Algae and No-Till—The Environmental Darling of Industrial Agriculture and Genetic Engineering Looks Less Attractive
May 2nd, 2013
Read attempts to defend the sustainability of industrial agriculture and genetic engineering, and you will soon encounter no-till, or more generally, conservation tillage. Now it appears that no-till may be contributing to some serious environmental problems. Read More
October 30th, 2012
Recently, we have seen a flurry of stories about studies done on Iowa State University’s Marsden Farm demonstrating the power of crop rotation as an engine of modern sustainable agriculture. The study documented high yields and handsome profits on farming plots employing long crop rotations: three-or four-year rather than the usual two-year corn-soy rotations. In addition to high yields and high profits, the long rotations controlled weeds with only sparing use of herbicides and maintained productivity without excessive use of chemical fertilizers. Read More
October 14th, 2011
I’m a small-time urban gardener. I have bigger dreams, but I make do with a collection of containers on my postage stamp of a patio, and a border of perennials, shrubs, and small trees. This month, I’m harvesting the last Sungold tomatoes and a late flush of jalapeño peppers…and wishing I’d gotten my act together to start some fall greens to take their place.
I’m also beginning to think about tucking in the perennial beds with a protective, weed-suppressing, winter blanket of compost and mulch.
And more and more, I’m realizing that I’m part of a huge gardening movement. Read More