Archive | January, 2015


Lighting for Seedlings

Purdue University researchers’ success in using red and blue LEDs as the only source of light to grow ornamental plant seedlings indoors has led to a new phase of determining whether they can reduce production time with more colors. The research is important because most seedlings are grown in greenhouses in the late winter and […]

Vermont Valley Community Farm Eco-Farmer

Meet an Eco-Farmer: Vermont Valley Community Farm

Have you always been an eco-farmer, or did you make a change? David was born and raised on a diversified Wisconsin family farm. We conventionally farmed for three years on a farm before this one. At Vermont Valley we’ve always farmed organically. What was the biggest hurdle you have overcome? I don’t know that there’s […]


Pickling on the Farm — Adding Value to Vegetables with Lacto-Fermentation

by Kirsten K. Shockey “There’s a propane leak.” “What?” I said looking up from the 80-quart bowl that had swallowed me up to my elbows. My mother’s husband stood in the doorway of our fermentation kitchen. His eyes were scanning the room. I pulled my hands out of shredded cabbage and salt. “We don’t have […]


Maple Syrup Production Predictors

For decades, maple syrup producers have eyed the weather to help understand spring sugar yields. But new research in the journal Forest Ecology and Management reveals a more valuable metric for understanding — and even predicting — syrup production: how many seed helicopters rained down from the trees the year before? “Weather affects how much […]


Natural Gene Selection for Orange Corn

Purdue researchers have identified a set of genes that can be used to naturally boost the provitamin A content of corn kernels, a finding that could help combat vitamin A deficiency in developing countries and macular degeneration in the elderly. Professor of agronomy Torbert Rocheford and fellow researchers found gene variations that can be selected […]


Diet Affects Pesticide Resistance in Honeybees

Feeding honeybees a natural diet of pollen makes them significantly more resistant to pesticides than feeding them an artificial diet, according to a team of researchers, who also found that pesticide exposure causes changes in expression of genes that are sensitive to diet and nutrition. “Honeybees are exposed to hundreds of pesticides, while they are […]