The American public has long debated whether the tomato is a vegetable or a fruit. This results in an uneasy truce: botanically, it’s considered a fruit, but practically, it’s lumped in with […]
What is some current research in growing strawberries?
Peak strawberry season depends on what region of the U.S. you live in. In Louisiana, strawberry harvest begins in April. In the upper Midwest it’s July. But no matter where you live, […]
Protecting seeds: The what, why, and how of seed treatments
For millennia, people have understood the need to protect seeds. They are precious packets of life that bring us food. As early as 2000 BC, there are records of people soaking seeds […]
How can you prevent weed seeds from germinating in your garden?
Cover crops differ from ‘regular’ crops in that they are grown solely so the soil is covered, rather than for harvestable things. Cover crops are used by lots of folks – grain […]
How do radishes work as a cover crop?
Farmers love tools. The prospect of a fully stocked tool shed ranges from badge of honor to true obsession. Plants, too, can be used as tools. Integrating cover crops into a […]
What are riparian buffer strips?
The word “riparian” refers to the place where streams meet land. This important intersection controls a lot of processes – especially with regard to water quality. Human use of land near streams […]
Crops and livestock on the same farms, the same fields – why?
Integrated agricultural systems often have both crops and livestock on the same farm. And, yes, integrated crop-livestock systems can have many benefits! Years ago, it was tradition for farmers to grow a […]
What are denitrifying woodchip bioreactors, and how do they help the environment?
Woodchip bioreactors are sophisticated, engineered water treatment systems. Yet, they are simple woodchip-filled trenches, too. If that sounds complicated, it’s really not. These bioreactors clean water with no negative crop production impact. […]
What are the general uses of pesticides?
For centuries, farmers – and their crops – were defenseless against diseases. Insect pests can ruin a crop in days. So can diseases like “rust” and “molds”. Weeds can outcompete crops and […]
How do fertilizers help with food security?
Did you ever wonder where plants get their nutrients? It’s from the soil that they are grown in! Tiny seeds planted by farmers and gardeners grow into plants that can produce grain […]