What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural microbes instead?
It's something to contemplate, because some big names in the pesticide business — like Bayer and Monsanto — are putting money behind attempts to turn soil microbes into tools that farmers can use to give their crops a boost.
It's a symptom of the soaring interest in the ways microbes affect all of life. In our bodies, they help fight off disease. In the soil, they help deliver nutrients to plants, and perhaps much more.
Nobody really likes to be graded. Especially when you don't get an A.
Some organic farmers are protesting a new grading system for produce and flowers that's coming into force at Whole Foods. They say it devalues the organic label and could become an "existential threat."
KVNF's gardening gurus discussed finishing up this year's garden and prepping for next year. Callers from Norwood & Nucla asked about the wisdom of adding potato foliage to the compost pile, and for garlic-growing advice.
Tip of the week: Don't burn fallen leaves! Doing that is like stealing nutrients from your soil, since the trees take up those nutrients to create the leaves in the first place. Better to just run the lawn mower over them & leave them to decompose, or, if you must rake, pile them up somewhere & wait for nature to turn them back into soil.
This is the final "short" version of 'As the Worm Turns,' as aired Monday, June 2nd, during Free Range Radio. Beginning Tuesday, June 10th, the feature expands to a full half-hour, live call-in format, airing every Tuesday at 6:30 pm. Be sure to tune in, and call 527-4866 or 1-866-KVNF-NOW with your gardening questions!
iSeeChange had the great pleasure of meeting two climate adaptation storytellers this summer, Kirsten Howard and Allie Goldstein. 1 car, 2 girls, and 3 months to travel across America and tell stories about the Great American Adaptation to climate change. After reading iSeeChange posts about frosts on the Almanac, they set out to talk to fruit farmers in the North Fork Valley. Here's what they found.