Tag Archives: arid landscapes

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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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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Remembering the Past With Yerba de Alonso Garcia

 Did Native Americans Name Good Plants after Good People? My friend Andrea once told me that early Americans, like the Navajo and the Apache, named plants with beneficial properties after people they liked. It was sort of a way to compliment the good people in their lives.  She added that snakes, flies, and mosquitoes might be named after people they disliked. ...

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