Considering Nopales for Arid Land Specialty Crops

Nopales, or Prickly Pear cactus, include numerous species of the genus Opuntia which thrive in poor soils and arid lands. These cacti can be grown and harvested for their tunas, or fruit, and for their pads.  They thrive in deeper, well drained soils, and can tolerate pH levels as high as 7.8.   California researchers have investigated the use of Nopales as ...

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Can Global Warming Reduce Nutrition?

According to a recent report in Science Advances (summarized in the Vox) increased atmospheric CO2, a key feature in global warming, can result in reduced crop nutrition.  They demonstrated this effect using rice, a staple crop that feeds much of the world.  This would seem threatening, since poor crop nutrition impacts food webs all the way from the soil to the plate.  Human ...

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Opportunities for Extension in the Private Sector

Are You Aspiring Towards A Career in Extension? If your heart is set on working in the public sector, this article is not for you.  Please move on.  However, if you are finding public options too limited, you may want to explore opportunities that allow more time for your family, provide a more flexible work schedule, or allow you more ...

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Why Is Living Soil a Disruptive Innovation?

We know soil is alive.  Why do we treat it like dirt? The first lesson in the first soils class I ever took covered what soil is made of.  We learned soil contains minerals, air, water, organic matter, and “critters”.  Yes.  That’s right.  Critters.  All those little squirmy, wiggly things that live underground.  Bacteria.  Fungi.  Worms.  Insects. Those living things ...

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The Amazing Power of Peppermint Oil

photo of Shelly Michael

Written by: Shelley Michael CHHC Shelley is a certified wellness counselor and advocate for using toxic free, organic healthy home and personal care products and natural remedies that support healthy people and a healthy planet. You can read Shelley’s blog at: www.LifeStyleEntrepreneurist.com   It is no secret we love peppermint. We like our gum to be minty fresh. We add ...

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Whitewashing Pesticide Hazards

Investigative Journalist Carey Gillam Explains Why Toxic Pesticides Permeate Food Systems Food safety regulations and labeling are promoted as a way to reassure the public that the food we purchase is safe.  But it it? In her new book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science, Investigative Journalist Carey Gillam peels back layers of ...

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Are Sugar and Carb Addictions Real?

Don’t Take Carbohydrate Addictions Lightly I was caught off guard last week in an interview with Andree Clearwater, of Gill, Massachusetts, when she mentioned her addiction to sugar.  Andree is thin, healthy, and meticulous about what she eats.  Yet here she was describing an addiction that once dominated her, and still tempts her from time to time.  As I listened, ...

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Soil Solution Summit in Longmont

Soil Solution Summit To Feature Integrated Solutions for Soil, Health, and Nutrition In February, we will be returning to Longmont, Colorado to participate in the Soil Solution Summit.   This effort will highlight soil microbes and minerals that are critical for healthy crop and soil microbiomes, strategies we are using to build secure food networks that provide access to safe, healthy, ...

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Permaculture and Healthy Eating

Suzanne Ricketts of Plano Texas has always embraced healthy eating.  Like so many of us, her understanding of what healthy eating represents has changed over the years.  A pioneer in our Cultivating Victory movement, Suzanne recently joined us to discuss how interests in nutrition led her to permaculture.   Today, she produces healthy produce year round in her back yard garden. ...

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