AGRICULTURE

Local Food Requires Local Farmers

Today’s post features text of a speech delivered by Sabrina Lucero at the 2017 New Mexico State FFA Convention, where Sabrina took second place in prepared public speaking.  Her witty explanation of the need for local farmers highlights why recent food and health care trends are creating unprecedented windows of opportunity for careers in agriculture. To learn more about the ...

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What Exactly is a Biological Soil Crust?

Soil Crusts are Tiny Communities that Can Help You Build Healthy Soil Did you ever walk out in the desert following a rainstorm?  If so, you may have noticed a thin black or green layer  on the surface of the soil.   Of course. you may have noticed a sprinkling of dry, black powder on the soil surface on a sunny day too, ...

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What’s this Page All About?

Hello, and welcome, to Endofite.com! The first questions you might have when you enter this site include, “What is this place?  Is it pronounced “end-o-fight?” or “end-o- fit?”   Is this a business?  Or a blog?  Who’s writing all this stuff?  What is food security?  What do you mean by “Integrated Health?”   What will I gain from reading this ...

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On Solar Powered Nitrogen Factories

Recently, I was invited into a discussion on the potential for “solar powered nitrogen factories”. The dialog dealt with using legumes and grasses as cover crops to increase soil fertility. This is of course, a great strategy which farmers are adopting at large scales. As the cover crops grow, they release sugars that feed soil microbes, nitrogen rich amino acids, ...

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Water Retention in a Wood Chip Garden

Few characters I dealt with in my years as as a researcher were as colorful as Chuck Redman.  Chuck was a retired solar energy technician who had dedicated many lab hours during his career to exploring the movement of adsorbed water.   After retirement, Chuck had become fascinated with the hypothesis that significant amounts of water in trees could move ...

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Will a Lawsuit Against Monsanto Force Tighter Food Safety Regulations?

Mirazie vs. Monsanto The recent filing of a class action lawsuit against Monsanto by Elvis, Edison And Romi Mirazie in the state of California represents the beginning of the windfall microbiologists have anticipated for decades as more individuals recognize the vital role microbes play in human health.  Crowdfunding is being used to support the Mirazie’s effort.  At issue is the ...

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Growing Organic Blackberries in the Desert Requires an Emphasis on Soil Microbiology

Who says you can’t grow blackberries in the desert?  South of the Organ Mountains, near Vado, New Mexico, soils are characterized by heavy calcium carbonate (aka caliche) deposits on or near the surface.  This caliche becomes sticky when wet, binding together to form an impervious, concrete-like layer that water cannot easily drain through. The natural soil pH is between 8 ...

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Guest Post: Papers, Possessions, and Precision Agriculture in a Cloudy Environment

  Introducing  Cliff Love, of Profitable Growth Services as today’s guest writer.   Cliff’s background in private agricultural services in the Northeastern US contrasts with my own perspectives, gleaned from public agricultural and environmental research in the Southwest.  Yet our contrasting experiences have led us to a shared awareness that our sustainability is being threatened, not so much by technology itself, ...

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Best Ways to Enjoy the Nutrition of a Microbiome

Whole foods contain active enzymes and complex, living microbiomes Most health and wellness experts agree whole foods are the best source of nutrition.  Yet here in the US, we support an enormous dietary supplement industry.  Why?  Why do consumers buy supplements that provide one or a few nutrients at a time, instead of buying whole foods that provide everything they ...

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Chemical Dependency Starts in the Soil

Chemical dependence begins in the soil where our food is grown. Chemical Dependency Is About So Much More Than Recreational Drugs Growing up on the edge of Generation X, I learned early on about the most universally recognized forms of chemical dependency.  In our community, we were exposed to a number of people who drank too much, smoked too much, or ...

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