Easy Container Gardens for Growing Food or Testing Innovations

Today’s informed consumers are growing food at home to ensure that what they are consuming is both free of pesticides and rich in nutrients. These growers are quick to learn there are a lot of confusing so-called best practices for gardening, pest management, and soil amendments. No doubt, some of this confusion centers around over-anxious … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Fungal Rich Compost Supports Vigorous Plant Growth

Fungal superhighways operate underground to decompose minerals and nutrients from soil and deliver them to plants.  For this reason, fungi are powerful, yet too often overlooked additions to plant production.  Many industrial agricultural techniques damage these fungal communities, resulting in less than optimal crop yields, reduced crop nutrition, and increased need for agrochemicals.  As a result, … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Whole Foods Provide the Nutrition of a Microbiome

Whole foods contain active enzymes and complex, living microbiomes Health and wellness experts usually agree whole foods are the best source of nutrition.  Yet here in the US, we support an enormous dietary supplement industry, and many of those supplements offer only one or a few nutrients in a single pill?  For example, one product … Read more

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 … Read more

Sharing the Spirit of Victory

Marjorie Jane and David Ivan Clowe managed a Victory Garden during WWII Paula Clowe, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, has contributed this photograph of her grandfather, David Ivan Clowe, and her aunt, Marjorie Jane Clowe Adams during WWII. At the time of the photo, Marjorie was the only child remaining close to home. Her husband served in the … Read more

Repurposing Victory Gardens

During World Wars I and II, families on the home fronts in many countries were encouraged to plant victory gardens. Home food production was recognized as fundamental to national security, and victory gardens became a source of national pride and patriotism. Food grown at home provided critical relief from the death, famine, and destruction created … Read more