Wouldn’t it be nice if your plants could email you when they’re thirsty? Thanks to a NASA spinoff, they can! »
Promises of rain to come withstanding, California is still smack in the middle of a long, punishing drought. So what does it look like when a top agricultural state undergoes years of drought? Not good, friends. »
Farming emus means breeding emus. And Irek Malecki of the University of Western Australia thinks that the results could be improved with a bit of artificial insemination. But it’s easier said than done, as detailed in this amusing video. »
Deep in the arctic, inside over 400 feet of rock, a huge cache of seeds is stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, in case of some global emergency. Today, the first of the seeds from that supply have arrived to replenish a collection sent away for safe keeping during Syria’s Civil War.
Last Tuesday, the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka, California was swarming with potheads. A pro-cannabis rally had been organized by State Assemblymember Jim Wood, who knows how to grab headlines: In July, Wood walked onto the State Capitol floor carrying a live marijuana plant and asked his colleagues to… »
Our plates are quite well-traveled these days, with foods from our backyards mingling with foods grown easily halfway around the world. Just how connected the food world has become is much clearer in these charts showing where every place in the world is getting (and sending) their food. »
This chart from the USDA shows just what’s been going on in the American landscape over the last six decades. Part of the takeaway is what has changed—the rise of cities and we’ve stopped grazing so much of the forestlands—but it’s also just as notable for what hasn’t changed.
Conner Griffith combined images from Google Earth, Wikipedia, the Rhode Island School of Design’s Picture and Materials collections, and his own photography to create “Ripple,” a concise, top-down overview of the shapes we use to organize the world. »
Contrary to what you may think (and what your food labels may suggest) corn is not the most grown crop in America. The most grown crop is something no one is eating, no one is asking for, and no one is quite sure what to do with. It’s your lawn. »
In the clandestine world of spies and double agents, there are some constants: mysterious strangers, drop-off points, stolen secrets. But it’s not missile plans these spies are seeking. »
Nine years ago, an E. coli outbreak led to an expensive, labor-intensive change to the way a lot of our farms operated. But things didn’t get better—in fact, they got worse.
The world is dry and getting drier. So when should we expect relief to finally land? Possibly not at all, according to this chart. »
Something strange has been going on in farm country in the last sixty years: Farmers are using less labor and less land, but they’re growing more—a lot more. Here’s how they did it. »
Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered evidence of early cereal cultivation at a 23,000-year-old site in Galilee, effectively doubling the timespan humans are believed to have practiced farming. »
Sound advice, CDC! But, uh, just why did you guys feel the need to issue this warning in the first place? »
People may wax rhapsodic about the virtues of the small-scale farm, but that is not the direction farming is heading in: Farms are getting fewer in number and larger in size across the board, and that’s only going to continue—and there’s one reason why.