buffer zones & buffer strips – what they are and why we need them

Buffer zones and buffer strips are the areas between aquatic and terrestrial zones.  The best-known buffer strips are wetlands and riparian zones.  They can consist of natural or planted vegetation and serve as a place for water and matter storage.   The two types of limitations that impact buffer zones are internal limitations and external … Continue reading buffer zones & buffer strips – what they are and why we need them

question: what is the difference between plant resistance and plant tolerance?

Plant tolerance is the characteristic of a plant that allows a plant to avoid, tolerate or recover from attacks from insects, among other things, under conditions that would typically cause a greater amount of injury to other plants of the same species. These inheritable characteristics are what influence the ultimate degree of damage caused by … Continue reading question: what is the difference between plant resistance and plant tolerance?

an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM)

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a long-term pest prevention program that focuses on ecosystem-based strategies for the control of pest related issues. This is accomplished through a combination of techniques including biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and the use of resistant cultivars. The use of chemical pesticides is then restricted to applications only … Continue reading an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM)

the importance of annual grasses

The family Poaceae is considered the most economically important plant family due to the fact that they produce the world’s food staples including domesticated cereal crops such as maize (corn), wheat, rice, barley and millet.  Poaceae plants also provide forage, building materials (bamboo, thatch, straw) and fuel (ethanol).   Agricultural grasses grown for their edible … Continue reading the importance of annual grasses

crop wild relatives – what they are and why we need them

Nature has been doing her thing for billions of years (maybe longer, I'm not sure).  It is only since about 200,000 years ago that humans entered the picture and it is only since about 15,000 years that humans have figured out agricultural production.  It is safe to say that nature may have a few tricks up … Continue reading crop wild relatives – what they are and why we need them

the green revolution

There is no doubt about it - there are a lot of people in the world: more than 7 billion. The sheer number of humans is probably even too much for our brains to process. Still, we're all here and more people are coming joining the global population and every day. Feeding so many people … Continue reading the green revolution

the benefits of fire

We have all read about them…the insane, previously unseen and completely out of control fires that are ravaging parts of America’s west. The lack of water has taken its toll. Reservoirs are tapped. Rivers are running dry. Famous people are illegally hoarding water. Lakes are at all-time lows. Northern parts of states are at odds … Continue reading the benefits of fire

community gardens discussed and analyzed

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” - Abraham Lincoln Agriculture is defined as the science, art, and business of cultivating soil, producing crops and raising cattle. It is more commonly referred to as farming. Without it, society as we know … Continue reading community gardens discussed and analyzed

eutrophication, choking the life out of a body of water near you?

Eutrophication is a process caused by excess phosphates and nitrogen which creates algae blooms. Fast-growing algae die each year and sink to the bottom of the floor of a given body of water. Here it turns into an incredibly rich mud where bacterial decayers thrive. Due to their unnatural quantities and massive appetites, the oxygen … Continue reading eutrophication, choking the life out of a body of water near you?

question: what kind of services does nature produce?

Nature provides a myriad of services that humans are dependent upon for life. For example, wetlands purify water and streams, forests prevent and/or reduce floods by absorbing water, plants absorb CO2 which reduces harmful emissions and produce oxygen to breathe, worms transform waste into soil, pollinators provide us with food to eat, and natural sources … Continue reading question: what kind of services does nature produce?