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Copyright 2012 by Greg and Pat Williams
VOLUME 29, NUMBER 11 Various Pharmaceuticals Can Be Taken Up by Crop Plants surveys based on combinations of distribution features ofpharmaceuticals and edible parts of various crops . are In an article published in 2011, a group of investigators in needed to evaluate the human health risk of the pharma- Japan presented evidence showing "that various pharmaceuti- ceutical chemicals intake through the food supply.
cal chemicals remain in . many recycled manure[s] producedfrom biosolids and livestock wastes in the marketplace." In a In other words, there is a potential problem that has been more recent paper (referenced below), the same investigators uncovered here, but additional research is needed to determine report that several pharnaceutical chemicals selected for "high the magnitude of that problem. And effective methods for keep- usage and frequent detection in . recycled manure or reclaimed ing pharmaceutical chemicals from getting into farm and gar- wastewater" accumulate in the leaves and stems of at least some den soil have not yet been seriously contemplated. We've said crop plants (peas and cucumbers were used in the laboratory it before and will repeat it here: it seems prudent, in the ab- study conducted by the investigators) exposed to the chemicals sence of evidence that pharmaceutical contamination is innoc- in artificially contaminated irrigation water.
uous, to investigate the source of manure or compost you add The pharmaceutical chemicals included in the study were to your soil (where it did originate and how was it handled?).
trimethoprim, sulfamonomethoxine, sulfamethoxazole, sulfa- Reference: Rumi Tanoue, Uri Sato, Miki Motoyama, Shuhei dimethoxine, crotamiton, gliclazide, carbamazepine, losartan, Nakagawa, Ryota Shinohara, and Kei Nomiyama, "Plant Uptake cyclophosphamide, acetaminophen, ketoprofen, diclofenac, and of Pharmaceutical Chemicals Detected in Recycled Organic indomethacin. Most of the chemicals accumulated in measur- Manure and Reclaimed Wastewater," Journal of Agricultural able concentrations in both aboveground and underground tis- and Food Chemistry 60(41), October 17, 2012, 10203-10211.
sues of pea plants with exposure to the chemicals for a short (American Chemical Society, 1155 16th St., N.W., Washington, period (72 hours). Only losartan, diclofenac, and indometha- cin were not detected in aboveground tissues following short-term exposure to the chemicals. Likewise, most of the chemi- American Academy of Pediatrics Paper on Organic Foods cals were found in measurable concentrations in the sap of cu-cumber plants exposed to the chemicals for 24 hours.
The recent paper by Dr. Joel Forman and Dr. Janet Silverstein In their discussion of the "environmental relevance" of their in Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of findings, the investigators state: Pediatrics), titled "Organic Foods: Health and EnvironmentalAdvantages," is well worth reading for its far-ranging discus- In actual agricultural lands, once pharmaceutical chemi- sion of several issues related to organic food production. It in- cals enter soils, they are subjected to transport and biodeg- cludes sections on the definition and regulation of organic foods, radation. However, carbamazepine has the potential to re- nutritional investigations of organic and conventional foods, main in the agricultural land soils for extended period[s] pesticide contamination of organic and conventional foods, en- of time. [some] pharmaceutical chemicals . may have vironmental impacts of organic and conventional food produc- relatively high bioavailability because of their weak soil tion methods, and pricing differentials between organically and adsorption characteristics. Consequently, there is the po- conventionally grown foods. (Rather strangely, the paper has tential accumulaton of these compounds in edible plants much to say about hormone supplementation for farm animals at environmentally relevant concentrations, and investiga- yet neglects the issue of genetically modified food.) tion of agricultural fields is needed.
Below we excerpt from the Abstract of the paper; the com- Pharmaceutical chemicals in the pea seeds and cucum- plete paper is available free as a PDF file at http://pediatrics.
ber fruits consumed by human beings were not deter- mined in this study. On the basis of our data, it is therefore 2579. Nearly 70(!) references are included.
difficult to evaluate the potential risks of human exposureto residual chemicals in food crops. However, our plant In terms of health advantages, organic diets have been con- uptake study revealed that many pharmaceutical chemi- vincingly demonstrated to expose consumers to fewer pes- cals have the potential to be taken up by shoots of edible ticides associated with human disease. Organic farming plants. In addition, it was revealed that [some] pharma- has been demonstrated to have less environmental impact ceuticals . could be easily transported to plant shoots. In than conventional approaches. However, current evidence contrast, . [others] tend to accumulate in roots. screening does not support any meaningful nutritional benefits or Material published in HORTIDEAS is based on factual information believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. All actions takenwhich are based on this material are solely the responsibilities of readers/users. Any corrections are welcomed.
HORTIDEAS (ISSN 0742-8219) is published monthly in the United States of America by Gregory and Patricia Y. Williams.
HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) deficits from eating organic compared with conventional- for the Northeast, a copiously illustrated 148-page book that is ly grown foods, and there are no well-powered human described on its back cover as follows: studies that directly demonstrate health benefits or diseaseprotection as a result of consuming an organic diet. Studies This guide covers some factors to consider when planting also have not demonstrated any detrimental or disease pro- and implementing critical area seedings and conservation moting effects from an organic diet.
plantings. The use of native species, diversity, and the con-cern for the spread of invasive species is emphasized. It We find it quite interesting that the mainstream news reports points out the importance of soils and building and main- on this study have emphasized the conclusion of the paper's taining soil quality as an integral part of all conservation authors that no "meaningful nutritional benefits" of organic plantings. It addresses the need for other measures to con- food compared to conventional food have been shown, while trol erosion where needed to withstand high velocities of giving little attention to the authors' conclusions that organic water and to divert water to facilitate successful seedings.
food production has less adverse environmental impact than It stresses mulching as an integral part of most critical area conventional food production and that the pesticide-residue seedings and plantings. The guide is divided into sections burden of organically produced food is lower than that of con- based on the steps in conducting conservation plantings, ventionally produced food. Alas, the underemphasis on envi- starting with planning, [and then covering] selecting plant ronmental impact probably accurately reflects a considerably materials, purchasing plant materials, . [and] installing greater concern among individuals with their own health than the planting .
with the health of the environment in general. And we can onlyspeculate that the underemphasis on pesticide residue differ- Some of the other publications offered by the Big Flats PMC ences between organic and conventional food might reflect con- include the following: Pollinator Friendly Plants for the North- cerns about offending advertisers with vested interests in con- east U.S. (60 pages), Native Wildflower Seeding Rate Calculator tinued large-scale pesticide usage.
for Conservation Plantings, Cover Crop Resources: A LiteratureReview, Wildflower Plant Characteristics for Pollinator Bene- 2013 UMass Extension Garden Calendar ficial Plant[ing] in the Northeastern United States, A Compre-hensive Guide of Cover Crop Species Used in the Northeast From a news release provided by the University of Massachu- United States (45 pages), Vegetating with Native Grasses in North- setts Extension Service: eastern North America (135 pages), Ease of Establishment andPersistence of Native Wildflowers after Four Years, Field Studies . Our 2013 calendar continues UMass Extension's tra- for Establishing Native Wildflowers to Increase Pollinator Habi- dition of providing gardeners with useful information. This tat, and Germination Requirements of Native Wildflowers. An year's calendar includes tips for creating colorful container equally broad range of topics is covered by the publications of- gardens, featuring helpful "recipes" of plant combination fered by several of the other Plant Materials Centers.
ideas for sun and shade. For pictures and details, go to "Prepare Drought-Stressed Trees for Winter" A brief description accompanies each month's featured plant. As always, each month features: From a North Dakota State University news release dated Sep- - an inspiring garden image tember 20, 2012, edited by Rich Mattern: - daily gardening tips for Northeast gardening conditions- daily sunrise and sunset times This past year has been one of the driest on record. The - phases of the moon effect of drought on crops and livestock is extensive and - plenty of room for notes has been well-publicized, but drought conditions also im- - low-gloss paper for easy writing.
To order, send $12.00, payable to UMass, to Garden Cal- What can you do now to help assure their survival now endar, c/o Mailrite, 78 River Rd. S., Putney, VT 05346.
and through the coming winter? Shipping is $2.50 for the first calendar and $2.00 for each "The simplest answer, of course, is to water trees now additional calendar. Bulk orders are available; for an order and keep them well-hydrated right until the soil freezes," form, go to the web site given above.
says Joe Zeleznik, North Dakota State University Extension For more information, contact the UMass Extension Land- Service forestry specialist. "Tree roots continue growing as scape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry Program at 413-545- long as the soil temperature is above 40 degrees. Therefore, getting water to the trees now is critical for helping themcope with the bitter cold weather temperatures to come.
Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Web Pages Focus on those trees that are most susceptible to winter in-jury, which are conifers and newly transplanted trees." The U.S. Department of Agriculture's NRCS web pages de- The roots are deeper than those of lawns and are more voted to plants offer lots of information for anyone interested in widespread than many homeowners realize. The watering plants that are particularly useful for soil and water conservation should be slow, deep, and extensive (edge of the drip lines (and, in many cases, also provide wildlife food and habitat) at of the trees and beyond). Check to be sure the water has scales ranging from the backyard to the large farm. The entry penetrated to a depth of at least six to nine inches.
One rule of thumb is to use 10 gallons of water for each plantsanimals/plants/, where you will find links to pages inch of tree diameter (caliper), according to NDSU Exten- devoted to regional Plant Materials Centers (27 in all, around sion Service horticulturists Ron Smith and Tom Kalb. They the country) and to the PLANTS Database, which provides advise watering once per week using nonsaline water and standardized data on plants of the U.S., including names, range continuing to water as long as dry weather persists. Using information, images, identification keys, and more.
water with a high salt content can stress the trees even fur- Each Plant Materials Center offers its publications as freely ther and cause more harm than good.
downloadable PDF files. These include some substantial docu- Adding mulch around trees also can help keep moisture ments! For example, the Big Flats PMC located at Corning, New in the soil and protect the trees from the drastic tempera- York, offers A Guide to Conservation Plantings on Critical Areas ture swings that especially come in February and March.
HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) U.S.D.A. Research on Horticultural Crops ‘Tangerine Dream' was passed along to Burpee Seed Com- pany through the team's cooperative research and devel- The following is excerpted from "Fruits and Veggies for Now opment agreement (CRADA) partner, Pan American Seed and in the Future," by Sharon Durham, originally published in Company. "It is a fun-looking plant that grows prostrate, the October 2012 issue of Agricultural Research, from the U.S.
with green foliage and attractive, upright-oriented, orange Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
fruit," says Stommel.
"We are also working on miniature bell peppers for dual Potatoes–a kitchen staple culinary and ornamental use. Plants have black or greenfoliage and cherry-tomato-size bell peppers, which we be- In Beltsville, Maryland, plant geneticist Kathy Haynes is lieve will be very popular for the home garden and com- breeding potatoes with higher levels of carotenoid. Haynes, mercial specialty markets," he says.
who is with the Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegeta-bles Laboratory (GIFVL), in cooperation with Beverly Clevi- Bountiful berries dence, who is with the Food Components and Health Labo-ratory, is developing yellow potatoes with higher carot- Also at GIFVL, geneticist Kim Lewers is striving to im- enoid levels for fresh consumption. she . double[d] and prove strawberries and is conducting field trials in several triple[d] carotenoid levels normally found in ‘Yukon Gold' states under materials-transfer agreements with collabora- potatoes, a yellow-fleshed variety familiar to consumers.
tors. While Lewers's focus is on yield, fruit quality, and dis- Several carotenoids are involved . Of these, lutein and ease resistance, she is testing some of those strawberry cul- zeaxanthin are of keen interest for eye health; they appear tivars in a new production system designed to extend the to protect against age-related macular degeneration and, growing season in the northern and eastern United States.
perhaps, cataract formation.
Strawberry is the highest value-per-acre crop that can be "Zeaxanthin is the one I am most interested in at this grown in this country, but most strawberries are grown in point because there are fewer sources of it in the diet than California and Florida. Lewers would like to expand the lutein. Both lutein and zeaxanthin are very high in dark- crop's range to more locations.
green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale–vegetables "I am trying to make strawberries available locally all that people don't tend to eat a lot of," says Haynes. "My along the East Coast, as much of the year as possible, with thinking is that if we can elevate their levels in potatoes, as little pesticide residue as possible, and we are develop- which people do eat a lot of, then we could make a signifi- ing a production system that supports that," says Lewers.
cant impact on the human diet.
"Common strawberry diseases that can affect yield and "We have a new potato named ‘Peter Wilcox', which is quality are mainly Botrytis and anthracnose. In our research
a purple-skin, yellow-flesh potato introduced in 2007, says fields, we use no fumigants and no fungicides, and our Haynes. "It is being grown a lot for use in roadside-market program is known for disease resistance. The soils in our niches. The overall carotenoid levels in that potato are Beltsville fields have a natural population of microbes after about 15 percent higher than they are in ‘Yukon Gold' po- a decades-long period with no fumigants and fungicides.
Because we don't use anything to protect our strawberries, More recently, Haynes and her colleagues have, with help we know that if they still survive and do well it's because from wild potatoes, produced a potato that has even high- they are resistant or tolerant." er carotenoid levels. The potatoes most people can pur- In an effort to extend strawberry production beyond the chase in the grocery store are tetraploids, meaning they have normal local strawberry season of mid-May to mid-June, four sets of chromosomes. Most wild potatoes are diploids, Lewers, along with ARS colleagues John Enns, a horticul- possessing two sets of chromosomes, and are often small turist, and George Meyers, with Research Support Services, and lumpy, unlike the potatoes consumers purchase.
created a production system that uses low tunnels to cover "What we found in the diploids is that those with intense the rows of strawberry plants.
yellow flesh have about 13 times more carotenoids than These tunnels provide a long row of shade and rain pro- ‘Yukon Gold'. So we thought we would be able to cross tection. Rain is bad for strawberries because the two most them with tetraploid potatoes to produce potatoes that have important diseases, Botrytis and anthracnose, thrive in the
13 times the carotenoid levels and look like grocery store rain. Botrytis occurs in cool, wet conditions, and anthrac-
potatoes. But it didn't happen that way," explains Haynes.
nose occurs in hot, wet conditions.
"We ended up with tetraploids that have only two to three "This tunnel system has evolved, We have various sen- times the carotenoids present in ‘Yukon Gold' potatoes– sors that measure environmental factors inside and out- not what we were hoping for. Still, the carotenoid levels side the tunnels, such as temperature and relative humid- are higher than in current varieties on the market." .
ity," explains Lewers. "High tunnels have been used byothers, but they were problematic because the humidity is A Pack of Peppers higher in the tunnel, which causes more Botrytis and more
powdery mildew, another strawberry disease. But in low
At GIFVL, geneticist and research leader John Stommel tunnels, the humidity is the same as outside the tunnel is developing peppers to have a dual purpose–culinary when the sides of the tunnel are up–a good thing because and ornamental–for use in a high-value niche market.
that doesn't facilitate disease under the tunnel.
Stommel and his colleague Robert Griesbach, now with "The Maryland peak strawberry season is usually mid- the ARS Office of Technology Transfer, are not strangers to May to mid-June, but our strawberries start earlier and con- the arena of developing novel peppers, having produced tinue through the summer and fall. So we have a whole ‘Tangerine Dream', ‘Black Pearl', and ‘Lil' Pumpkin', among new season. Monthly yields in the low tunnels can be as high as those from the same cultivars when they are grown "One of our first releases, ‘Tangerine Dream', which pre- in California, where they were developed.
ceded the All America Selections award winner ‘Black All of the strawberry plant material developed in Lew- Pearl', is a dual-purpose culinary ornamental," says Stom- ers's research program has been and still is freely available.
mel, "‘Tangerine Dream' is orange, banana-shaped, and The plants are not patented, so they are available without about three inches long." special license to any nursery that wants to grow them.
HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) "These are truly a gift to the taxpayer and the industry.
Below are excerpts from a University of Illinois Extension Also, our material is known for having better flavor. Grow- news release dated September 21, 2012.
ers call it the "eastern" flavor, and some California breed-ers now request our material and expertise about selecting Fallen apples from homeowners' fruit trees might con- cultivars that would impart different desirable traits," says tain patulin, a toxic chemical produced by fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillin. Consequently, the fruit should
not be eaten or used in baking.
Apples, Both Good and Bad "While pasteurization, which heats the product to 180°, will destroy live microorganisms, it has no effect on heat- Below are excerpts from an Ohio State University news release stable patulin toxins. Consequently, damaged apples should dated October 2, 2012, written by Martha Filipic.
not be used by homeowners, even for canning, jelly mak-ing, or in pies," said nutrition and wellness educator Dru- Eating an apple a day might in fact help keep the cardi- silla Banks.
ologist away, new research suggests.
Banks said the fungi gain easy entry into the fruits that In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, consumption have been bruised or damaged by insects.
of one apple a day for four weeks lowered by 40 percent The Food and Drug Administration has set a maximum blood levels of a substance linked to hardening of the ar- tolerance level of 0.5 parts per billion (ppb0 patulin con- tent, according to U of I Extension local foods systems and Taking capsules containing polyphenols, a type of anti- small farms educator James Theuri. [According to Theuri,] oxidant found in apples, had a similar, but not as large, "This is why consumers who have apple trees should ab- solutely not use apple drops, or bruised, damaged fruits.
The study, funded by an apple industry group, found It's better to be safe than to be sorry," that apples lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL–low- U of I Extension Specialist Masbah Kushad stressed that density lipoprotein, the "bad" cholesterol. When LDL cho- this is a message that is important for homeowners who lesterol interacts with free radical to become oxidized, the have apple trees. "Reputable commercial growers are aware cholesterol is more likely to promote inflammation and of the patulin risk and do not sell dropped or rotten apples can cause tissue damage.
or use them in cider production." "When LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that Theuri warned that patulin is a toxin for which con- begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries," said sumers have almost no tolerance. "Patulin toxins are high- lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro, professor of human nu- est in moldy apples; the more mold growth, the more patu- trition at Ohio State University and a researcher at the uni- lin toxin. Fruit quality must be a top priority when select- versity's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Cen- ing fruit for sale or processing," he said.
ter. "We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxi-dized with just one apple a day for four weeks." A Repellent for Pesty Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles The difference was similar to that found between people with normal coronary arteries versus those with coronary The multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) was
artery disease, he said.
imported into North America to help control crop pests such as The study is published online in the Journal of Func- aphids, but it has developed into a nuisance that aggregates in tional Foods .
the winter inside buildings, including houses. And it has also DiSilvestro described daily apple consumption as sig- become a pest in vineyards, infesting grapes and producing nificantly more effective at lowering oxidized LDL than chemicals that can taint wine and grape juice–even just a few other oxidants he has studied, including the spice-based beetles can result in unacceptable products. Available insecti- compound curcumin, green tea, and tomato extract.
cides are often inadequate for completely eliminating the bee- "Not all oxidants are created equal when it comes to this tles from grapes at harvest time, so the search is on for better particular effect," he said.
ways to prevent infestations. Some chemicals have been iden- DiSilvestro first became interested in studying the health tified that repel the beetles (including terpenoids from catnip effects of eating an apple a day after reading a Turkish study oil and grapefruit seeds, camphor, menthol, and DEET); of these, that found such a regimen increased the amount of a spe- only DEET is effective over long periods of time, and there are cific antioxidant enzyme in the body.
ongoing controversies about the potential effects of DEET on In the end, his team didn't find the same effect on the human health. A fast-acting repellent that could be applied just enzyme, but was surprised at the considerable difference before harvest and keep beetles away from the grapes during the apples had on oxidized LDL.
harvest might be ideal.
For the study, the researchers recruited nonsmoking Researchers in Canada have been testing potassium metabi- healthy adults between the ages of 40 and 60 who had a sulfite as a repellent for H. axyridis. This chemical is already
history of eating apples less than twice a month and who commonly added to some food products (including wine), so it didn't take supplements containing polyphenols or other would probably not be controversial if applied in vineyards. In laboratory trials, the researchers have demonstrated that potas- In all, 16 participants ate a large ‘Red Delicious' or ‘Gold- sium metabisulfite repels H. axyridis. And in field trials, the
en Delicious' apple purchased at a Columbus-area grocery numbers of beetles on grape vines that were sprayed with po- store for four weeks; 17 took capsules containing 194 milli- tassium metabisulfite were significantly lower (by up to 50-60 grams of polyphenols a day for four weeks; and 18 took a percent) one day after spraying than the numbers of beetles on placebo containing no polyphenols. The researchers found unsprayed vines. Also, applying potassium metabisulfite to no effect on oxidized LDLs in those taking the placebo.
grapes one day prior to harvest did not result in abnormalities "We think the placebos account for a lot of the effect in the wine made from the grapes.
from apples, but we did try to isolate just the polyphenols, The question that now needs to be answered is whether ap- using about what you'd get from an apple a day," DiSil- plying potassium metabisulfite just before harvest can reduce vestro said. "We found the polyphenol extract did register the numbers of H. axyridis on grape vines sufficiently to avoid
a measurable effect, but not as strong as the straight apple.
detectable tainting of the resulting wine or juice. It is knownthat more than 1,000 beetles per ton of grapes is typically ac- HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) ceptable. In addition, it would be interesting to homeowners First, because the bug overwinters beneath the bark of stand- bothered by aggregating beetles to find out whether potassium ing dead trees rather than fallen trees, you can cut nearby dead metabisulfite has any potential as a fumigant to force evacua- trees to (perhaps) reduce your local BMSB population in the tion of the beetles from inside buildings. We hope to report more about these possibilities in the near future.
Second, Gill has seen considerable parasitism of BMSB egg Reference: Erik J. Glemser, Lisa Dowling, Debra Inglis, Gary J.
masses by native wasps. Possibly with time the beneficials will Pickering, Wendy McFadden-Smith, Mark K. Sears, and Rebec- help bring BMSB populations down.
ca H. Hallett (School of Environmental Sciences, University of Also, BMSB apparently does not find many flower species Guelph, 50 Stone Rd. E., Guelph, Ontario, CANADA N1G 2W1), that are commonly used as cut flowers very attractive as food.
"A Novel Method for Controlling Multicolored Asian Lady But amaranth is highly attractive to BMSB (without showing Beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Vineyards," Environmental much visible damage) and might be suitable as a trap plant to Entomology 41(5), October 2012, 1169-1176. (Entomological So- draw the beetles away from other crops. Noteworthy BMSB ciety of America, 10001 Derekwood Ln., Suite 100, Lanham, hosts (which can sustain appreciable damage) are sunflowers and dahlias.
Gill has been testing a woven material to exclude BMSB Urban Vegetation Density and Childhood Asthma Incidence from high tunnels containing high-value host plants. Perhapsfabric row covers might successfully prevent damage to BMSB- Childhood asthma incidence rates are increasing in devel- susceptible field-grown plants. If you have experience with oped countries, and the reasons aren't clear. One factor might non-chemical techniques that can reduce BMSB damage, let us be urban vegetation, which could be beneficial by reducing air know so we can share them.
pollution. However, an extensive recent study of metropolitan Reference: Stanton Gill, "Still Raising a Stink Over the BMSB," areas in Texas has failed to find statistically significant correla- The Cut Flower Quarterly 24(4), Fall 2012, 12. (Association of tions between the density of urban vegetation and local rates of Cut Flower Specialty Cut Flower Growers, M.P.O. Box 268, incidence of childhood asthma. Perhaps other influences on Oberlin, OH 44074.) childhood asthma rates are more important than air pollutionin the metropolitan areas in the study. It is also possible that "Microgreens Are Mighty" childhood asthma rates in those areas have been increased bythe seasonal presence of pollen released by plants into the air.
The following is excerpted from a news release provided by At any rate, based on the study's results, planting more urban the University of Maryland, titled "UMD Researchers Show trees cannot be expected to reduce local rates of childhood Microgreens Are Mighty" and written by Sara Gavin.
Reference: Monica Ann Pilat, Amy McFarland, Amy Snel- Researchers with the University of Maryland College of grove, Kevin Collins, Tina Marie Waliczek (Dept. of Agricul- Agriculture and Natural Resources and the U.S. Department ture, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666), and Jayne of Agriculture recently completed a study to determine the Zajicek, "The Effect of Tree Cover and Vegetation on Incidence level of nutrients in microgreens compared to their mature of Childhood Asthma in Metropolitan Statistical Areas of Texas," HortTechnology 22(5), October 2012, 631-637. (American Soci- What are microgreens exactly? They are tiny, immature ety for Horticultural Science, 1018 Duke St., Alexandria, VA versions of vegetables, herbs, and other plants harvested anywhere from a week to two weeks after germination thattend to be about one to two inches long with the stem and An Exception to the "No Tree Wound Dressings" Rule leaves still attached.
Assistant professor Qin Wang and graduate student Zhen- For years, we've been reporting that tree wound dressings are lei Xiao with the College's Department of Nutrition and unnecessary following pruning or damage. A recent article by Food Science participated in the study, which looked at the technical resource manager of the International Society of nutrients like Vitamins C, E, and K, and beta carotene . in Arboriculture mostly confirms this advice–but Wes Kocher 25 different types of microgreens, including cilantro, cel- notes that wound dressings have been shown to be effective, at ery, red cabbage, green basil, and arugula.
least in some cases, against oak wilt due to the fungus Cerato-
Their research ultimately discovered that the microgreens cystis fagacearum. Additional preventive measures when prun-
contained four to 40 times more nutrients than their mature ing oak trees include avoiding periods of increased activity of sap beetles (typically from February through June) and disin- It has long been speculated that microgreens packed a fecting pruning equipment with a 10 percent solution of bleach potent punch of antioxidants, but until now, no research before moving to the next tree. Also, be sure that you don't existed to support the theory.
leave the pruned materials, allowing the oak wilt fungus to in- Because microgreens are so delicate, they are not recom- cubate under the pruned trees.
mended for cooking and should be eaten raw with minor Reference: Wes Kocher, "Tree Wound Dressings," Arborist washing . As a result, they only have a shelf life of two News 21(5), October 2012, 72-73. (International Society of Ar- days and are difficult for the average consumer to come by.
boriculture, P.O. Box 3129, Chanpaign, IL 61826.) Wang, Xiao, and U.S.D.A. researchers also looked at pos- sible ways to increase production and lower the cost of (A Little) Good News about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug microgreens by examining the effects of different tempera-tures, packing techniques, and washing conditions. The The brown marmonated stink bug (BMSB) is definitely a team is currently testing how the tiny greens respond to stinker (see, for instance, HortIdeas, November-December 2010, various light exposures.
page 125) that continues to cause problems for various crops as . While Wang taste-tested all of the microgreens in the it spreads through the eastern U.S.–not to mention its pen- study and found them to be quite flavorful, particularly the chant for invading buildings! So far, the news about BMSB has young purple radish, she advises consumers to use moder- been almost all bad, but recently University of Maryland Ex- ation. "I would say adding it to your sandwich, soup, or tension Specialist Stanton Gill reported a few good (or at least salad, it will definitely taste better than if you eat it alone," not completely bad) observations regarding the BMSB.
Xiao said, "They are really good food enhancers." .
HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) 4-H Program Improves Ag/Hort-Related Science Literacy though not considered to be alternatives to school, nonfor-mal education programs can expand school curriculum of- The following is excerpted from "4-H Boosts Youth Scientific ferings and complement classroom teaching.
Literacy with ANR Water Education Curriculum," by Martin H.
Smith, Katherine E. Heck. and Steven M. Worker, California Ag- ANR's Strategic Vision 2025 riculture 66(4), October-December 2012, 158-163. It is 2012The Regents of the University of California. We are pleased to University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources see that the 4-H organization is committed to science education (ANR) connects the research base of the university to local that complements formal schooling–future growers (and con- communities throughout the state. Its Strategic Vision 2025 sumers) will need to have considerable acquaintance with sci- charts a course of action for the role ANR will play in "im- entific methodologies in order to adequately evaluate and choose proving California's future by providing leadership and in- among their options with regard to food production and con- novation through research, education, and service" over sumption. In particular, we believe that a better public under- the next 15 to 20 years.
standing of science is needed to pave the way for truly sustain- Scientific literacy is a key issue targeted for applied re- able horticulture and agriculture.
search, education, and extension efforts. the universityhas committed to improving scientific literacy among Cali- Twenty-first-century society is highly dependent on sci- fornians. The Initiative's plan describes the need to devel- ence and requires a scientifically literate population. Indi- op and implement science programs that use active-learn- viduals who lack fundamental science knowledge and skills ing strategies, involve schools and community-based edu- risk being unqualified for many careers and unable to par- cation programs, and increase civic engagement among tar- ticipate fully in society. In particular, citizens need to un- get audiences, particularly youth.
derstand scientific concepts and theories in order to address Water supply and quality for agricultural, urban, and important issues such as public health, water quality, agri- environmental systems are additional focal concerns out- culture, transportation, communication, and energy con- lined in ANR's Strategic Vision 2025. Specifically, the Ini- tiative to Improve Water Quality, Quantity, and Security Research has revealed, however, that scientific literacy suggests that the following issues need attention: water in the U.S. is low. Miller ["Civic Scientific Literacy in Europe availability due to competition among different sectors of and the United States," World Association for Public the population, short- and long-term climate changes that will affect water supplies, the degradation of water quality, JMiller.pdf] found that only 28% of U.S. adults have a and legal and regulatory decisions that will affect water level of scientific understanding necessary to function as availability, use, and quality.
citizens in modern society, and scientific literacy amongyoung people is also undesirably low. Nationally, assess- 4-H Youth Development ments have shown stagnant or declining science scoresamong school-age youth. The 2005 and 2006 National As- The National 4-H Youth Development Program has pro- sessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results for 4th, vided nonformal educational opportunities to youth ages 8th, and 12th graders showed poor science achievement at 5 through 19 since its establishment by Congress in 1914, all three grade levels. These trends are not distributed and it is one of the largest community-based youth organi- equally across the population; science achievement tends zations in the world. Using strategies that engage youth in to be higher among male than female students, white and hands-on, learner-centered projects and programs, 4-H staff Asian American than black and Latino youth, and those and adult volunteers serve as nonformal educators and de- from high-income than from low-income households.
liver 4-H projects and activities that address the interestsof young people and help the needs of their communities.
Learning in nonformal programs California 4-H is the youth education program of UC ANR.
The 4-H program offers a wide variety of educational op- Achieving higher science literacy among the school-age portunities that reflect its diverse membership. Normally, population will require a variety of complementary strate- more than 50% of all 4-H members participate in science gies, including nonformal science programs that occur out- projects and activities, ranging from geology and minerals side of school. On average, U.S. citizens spend less than to soil conservation, from forestry to wildlife and fisheries, 5% of their lives in classrooms, and a growing body of evi- from computer science to animal and veterinary science.
dence demonstrates that most science is learned outside of In California, over 130,000 4-H youth were enrolled in sci- school. Science learning outside of school might actually ence, engineering, or technology programming during the be more effective than learning in classroom settings. Non- 2009-2010 school year .
formal learning environments generate excitement around Outcome data from evaluation show that 4-H plays a science that encourages learners to explore and interact vital role in helping U.S. youth contribute to their commu- with the subjects and to think of themselves as able to use nities. 4-H youth are almost twice as likely as other youth science in everyday life.
to make community contributions; additionally, they have Adult staff members or volunteer educators usually lead higher measures of civic duty, civic voice, and participa- nonformal education programs with youth. These oppor- tion in volunteer activities. Likewise, youth who partici- tunities can occur in a variety of venues, including after- pate in 4-H are more likely than other people to have a posi- school and school-enrichment programs, clubs, camps, or tive attitude toward science.
museums. Nonformal education programs emphasize learn- Youth who have more exposure to 4-H science, engineer- er-centered strategies that engage participants to develop ing, and technology programs are more likely to agree that their knowledge and reflect on how science takes place in science is their favorite subject . youth engaged in 4-H the real world. Learner-centered strategies engage youth science programs take higher-level science coursework in in an active manner through hands-on activities that in- high school compared with young people outside of 4-H.
volve problem solving, critical thinking, and active reflec- Furthermore, youth in the California 4-H program are more tion. This is in contrast to more traditional classroom- likely to report that programs they participate in after school based approaches such as lectures and demonstrations. Al- and in the summer increase their interest in taking more HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) science courses as they get older, as well as their interest in teens to have a successful experience teaching younger pursuing science as a career.
youth are provided. Teens have been shown to be extreme-ly effective teaching science to younger youth; they relate California 4-H SET Initiative well to younger audiences, are optimistic in their roles ascross-age teachers, and engage in science content and proc- In 2007, National 4-H Headquarters developed the 4-H esses with children in an active manner.
Science Mission Mandate. Grounded in research that indi-cates the importance of community-based programs in im- Testing the curriculum proving youth scientific literacy, this mandate establishedprogrammatic priorities to help guide state 4-H programs' A school enrichment program was used to pilot test efforts to develop and implement new, research-based cur- There's No New Water! and collect preliminary outcome ricula, as well as develop staff and volunteers, partner- ships, evaluation, and funding sources.
Modules one through four of the curriculum [including In 2008, California 4-H launched its 4-H Science, Engi- The Natural Water Cycle, Human Interventions in the Water neering, and Technology (SET) Initiative as a direct response Cycle, Water as an Available Resource: The Urban/Rural to the National 4-H Science Mission Mandate. The SET Interface, and Mapping Natural Watersheds] were imple- Initiative has youth scientific literacy as its overarching mented once per week for one hour over an eight-week goal and aims to improve existing 4-H SET programming period with students in two ninth-grade earth science and develop new programming that aligns with the inita- classes in a north-central California urban high school.
tives outlined in ANR's Strategic Vision 2025. One major The curriculum was offered in lieu of the students's regu- focus of action is the development and implementation of lar class instruction. Modules five and six [Service Learn- effective SET-based curriculum materials that align with ing Projects in Your Watershed and Teens Teaching Young- UC ANR priorities and support county-based 4-H SET pro- er Youth] were not offered due to time constraints.
A retrospective pretest survey was used to examine changes in content knowledge. Participants self-reported There's No New Water! how much knowledge they believed they had gained incontent areas related to water resources. In response to the Strategic Vision 2025, ANR academic A second survey was used to investigate youths' per- staff developed the youth science curriculum There's No ceived gains in various life skills from participating in the New Water! [M. Smith, S. Worker, and M. Kelly, et al., Na- tional 4-H Council, Chevy Chase, Maryland, 2010]. This Six UC Davis undergraduate students were recruited as peer-reviewed curriculum . focuses on increasing scien- volunteer educators to implement There's No New Water! tific literacy by engaging middle and high school youth in with participating youth in the pilot program. They were hands-on, inquiry-based science activities that include op- trained over a 10-week period in effective science-teach- portunies for real-world applications of knowledge and ing strategies and all of the curriculum activities.
skills through service learning. The sequenced activitiesbuild learners' knowledge and skills by emphasizing inter- related concepts, support state and national science stan-dards, and are applicable for use in schools and community- Participants were asked eight retrospective questions on based education programs.
content knowledge . to ascertain their perceived level of There's No New Water! was developed using the back- knowledge gain. On a scale of 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent), re- ward design method, which involves identifying learning sponses to all eight questions revealed a statistically sig- objectives and indicators before designing activities. Once nificant (P < 0.01) increase in self-perceived knowledge the objectives and indicators were outlined, the curricu- gain using a paired t-test of the means .
lum design team, consisting of ANR academic staff and uni- The 20 questions on the second survey related to life versity undergraduates, formed subgroups focused on spe- skills, including wise use of resources, social skills, com- cific content areas. Each subgroup then engaged in an itera- munication, and responsible citizenship . Participants rated tive process that involved reviewing relevant literature, their levels of knowledge gain using a scale from 1 (not at drafting and pilot testing activities, and collecting forma- all) to 4 (a lot). The means for their responses ranged from tive data (qualitative information on content and processes 2.3 (a little) to 3.1 (some), with the greatest perceived gains used) for revisions.
reported around citizenship and helping.
. The major themes of There's No New Water! are pri- ority issues in California and nationally: water distribution Success and future of the program and availability, conservation, and quality. Topics includethe natural water cycle, watersheds, human interventions The preliminary learner outcomes from the pilot test sup- in the water cycle, the urban/rural interface, and topo- port previous researchers' assertions on the importance of graphic mapping of watersheds in different geographic lo- nonformal science education programming and how such programs can expand school curriculum offerings and com- A unique feature of There's No New Water! is the oppor- plement classroom teaching. The outcomes are also con- tunity for youth to engage in their community through serv- gruent with the goals of the California 4-H SET Initiative, ice learning. guidelines help youth identify water-related the National 4-H Science Mission Mandate, and ANR's Stra- issues in their communities and develop projects to ad- tegic Vision 2025 to strengthen curriculum materials and dress them. This application of learning is particularly ger- programming for youth in science. They also address the mane to improving scientific literacy and also workforce ANR Strategic Vision 2025 directives on improving citi- preparedness; engaging youth in inquiry relevant to their zens' understanding of water issues, why and how to care communities has been shown to increase their interest in for the environment, and ways to conserve natural re- science. [There are also] age-appropriate activities on water resources designed for implementation by teens with The preliminary results presented build a case for an in- elementary school youth. Research-based strategies that help depth evaluation of There's No New Water! in multiple HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) nonformal contexts, including 4-H clubs, after-school pro- stump for two to three weeks. The seedlings, grafted, and grams, and camps, using multiple measures to improve stump-sprout plants were transplanted into five-gallon bags the validity and reliability of the findings. The curriculum approximately five weeks following planting the seeds. Cul- is currently being implemented through county-based 4-H tural practices consisted of standard recommendations for programs in California, as well as in 4-H programs in num- growing greenhouse tomatoes for fresh market production erous other states. It is available for purchase through the in Louisiana.
National 4-H Program's Curriculum Resource Library (web Fruit was harvested twice per week for 19 weeks. Mar- ketable yield was determined by weighing fruit gradedmedium or large during the first three weeks and during A Way to Reduce the Net Cost of Grafted Tomato Plants the remaining 16 weeks of harvest to reflect the effects ofthe early growth interruption of grafted and stump-sprout The following is excerpted from "A Novel Approach for Cost- plants on yield.
Effective Production of Grafted Tomatoes," by Hanna Y. Hanna Results indicated that during the first three weeks of har- (Professor, Louisiana State University, Red River Research Sta- vest, seedling plants produced greater yields than grafted tion, Bossier City), Louisiana Agriculture 55(3), Summer 2012, or stump-sprout plants, and the differences were cultivar- 18-19 (published by the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Sta- related. ‘Quest' was the only variety that produced similar tion, P.O. Box 25100, Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5100).
yields as a seedling during the first three weeks of harvest.
Tomato plants propagated by all three methods produced Grafting tomato plants is an old cultural technique prac- similar yields and fruit weight in the remaining 16 weeks ticed since the early 1900s in Japan, South Korea, and other of harvest. The apparent reason for yield advantages of the Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The use of grafted seedling plants during the first three weeks of harvest was plants was not common in North America until late in the their uninterrupted growth during the seedling stage. Propa- last century except in home gardens and by small organic gation method had no specific influence on fruit quality tomato growers in the southeastern U.S. Surveys conduct- ed in 2006 showed the number of grafted seedlings in North The study indicates that producing productive plants from America was more than 40 million, indicating a change of the stump sprouts is feasible and can be used to reduce this trend. Tomato growers want to grow grafted plants to losses associated with discarding the bottoms of plants used control soil-borne diseases, increase yield, improve plant in grafting. Plants grown from the stump sprouts and the adaptation to less-than-optimal environmental conditions, seeds both produced similar yields after the first three and extend the harvest season.
weeks of harvest. The most apparent reason for reduced Grafted tomatoes consist of two plants fused together.
early-season yield of the stump-sprout plants was their late The bottom plant is the rootstock, which in most cases is a growth. A simple remedy for that is to allow the stump- hybrid tomato variety that has diverse genetic makeup that sprout plants to grow for five weeks after initiation before makes it resistant to soil-borne diseases and nematodes.
transplanting in the grow bags or selling commercially.
The top part of the grafted plant is called the scion, and in This technique is normally followed in producing trans- most cases it is a hybrid variety with desirable productive plants from seeds.
The botanical components for producing plants from the Home gardeners who have limited space and grow to- stump sprouts are similar to those for producing plants matoes in the same spot every year can benefit greatly from from seeds. The stumps are left with the root system and growing grafted plants to control soil-borne diseases . Pro- the cotyledon leaves, both essential components for pro- ducing grafted plants is costly, however, because of inten- ducing plants from seeds. This technique should eliminate sive labor input for propagation, optimizing the environ- wasting a valuable part of a good hybrid tomato variety mental conditions for healing the grafts, longer periods need- and allow for the repeated use of the seedling containers ed for producing the transplants, and the additional costs filled with valuable potting mixtures. The grafting process of the rootstocks.
should be timed to allow both the grafted and stump-sprout The practice of grafting tomato plants leads to discard- plants to grow for at least five weeks before planting in the ing the stumps of the scion cultivar after removing the tops grow bags or selling commercially.
for grafting. In most cases, the stumps are the remains ofcostly hybrid cultivars that were planted in multi-cell trays Purchased Firewood Can Spread Tree Pests filled with commercial potting mixtures. The stumps havewell-developed root systems that supported the scion plants Researchers affiliated with Colorado State University and for approximately three weeks before cutting the tops for Northern Arizona University bought more than 400 bundles of grafting. If productive plants can be generated on the stumps, firewood at stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyo- they can be used at the same farm or sold to other growers ming between 2007 and 2009, then monitored emergence of as nongrafted hybrids for returns that can defray part of the live insects from the bundles. Over a period of a year and a half, grafting costs.
insects emerged from 47 percent of the bundles (ranging from A greenhouse study was conducted . to determine the one to 520 insects per bundle, with about 11 insects per bundle feasibility of producing productive plants from the stumps.
on average). Typically, the greatest numbers of insects emerged Seeds of the hybrid tomato varieties ‘Geronimo', ‘Quest', from pine, fir, and mixed-conifer bundles. Most of the emer- and ‘Starbuck' (scions) and the hybrid tomato variety ‘Maxi- gent insects were beetles (mainly bark and ambrosia beetles); fort' (rootstock) were planted to produce seedlings for the wood borers also emerged in lesser numbers. Bundles contain- grafting process. The tops of the three [scion] varieties and ing wood showing previous or current symptoms of insect dam- the rootstock were cut at three weeks of age above and age was most likely to harbor live insects.
under the cotyledon leaves. Both plant parts were held to- The researchers conclude that "the risk of moving live native gether using a silicon clip. The bottoms (stumps) of the or nonindigenous insects in untreated firewood is high because three [scion] varieties were kept under the same growing insects emerged up to 558 days from purchase date." They conditions of the remaining seedlings to generate sprouts note that purchased firewood also might be implicated in the from the buds existing in the angle between the cotyledon spread of fungal diseases of trees. And so they recommend that leaves and the stump. One sprout was allowed to grow per "firewood intended for sale should be treated to eliminate live HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) insects and pathogens in a manner that is uniformly accepted percent of human food, worldwide. These crops are implicated across North America. Firewood movement across state lines in high average global rates of soil erosion because their soils is a national issue that should be regulated at the state or feder- are typically tilled frequently, although reduced tillage methods al level . in our four-state survey, depending on the state, 29- have been developed for some of the crops. Both conventional 87 percent of firewood came from out-of-state sources." Most of and reduced tillage methods need considerable energy inputs.
the firewood in the survey actually had evidence of insect Water pollution is also problematic with annual crops.
activity (frass, tunneling, or exit holes), and 76 percent had Next, the authors discuss "putative perennial grain benefits," bark present, which can aid insect survival. On the positive which include the following: enhanced soil and water conser- side, no new exotic tree pest insects turned up in the survey.
vation; reduced runoff and resultant water pollution; energy But some walnut firewood bundles bought in Colorado were savings due to less-frequent tillage (estimated variously as being found to harbor the fungus associated with thousand cankers needed every three to five years or maybe even only once in disease. Not addressed by the survey is the likelihood that any many years); improved soil health contributing to improved re- insect pests in transported firewood will become established at sistance of crops to pests and pathogens; more efficient utiliza- a new locale.
tion of precipitation and/or irrigation; boosted sequestration What can be done to reduce the potential threat? The research- (in root systems) of carbon; and enhanced wildlife habitat.
ers suggest that debarking and drying of freshly cut firewood Then there is an assessment of breeding work on perennial could help, but the effective drying time would depend on the grains. Currently, there are no commercially available cultivars.
particular insect pests in the wood. One year of drying would Because perennial-trait genes are typically found on more than allow emergence of many pest insects prior to sale and trans- one chromosome, genetic engineering has not been used, and port; two years would allow emergence of additional pest in- breeding to date has relied on conventional methods (either im- sects prior to sale.
proving wild perennials or crossing annual grain crops with Reference: W.R. Jacobi (Dept. of Bioagricultural Sciences and wild perennials). Researchers are currently working on peren- Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO nial versions of sorghum, sunflower, wheat, Lesquerella oilseed,
80523-1177), J.G. Hardin, B.A. Goodrich, and C.M. Cleaver, "Re- Lepidum oilseed, and rye. Typically, perennial wheat yields have
tail Firewood Can Transport Live Tree Pests," Journal of Eco- not been higher than 60-75 percent of annual wheat yields, nomic Entomology 105(5), October 2012, 1645-1658. (Entomologi- with diminished yields after the first harvest; also, low gluten cal Society of America, 10001 Derekwood Ln., Suite 100, Lan- levels makes conventional bread baking with perennial wheat ham, MD 20706-4876.) impossible. Perennial rice cultivars have also so far exhibitedrather low yields.
A Balanced Appraisal of the Potential of Perennial Grains Next is a discussion of "challenges to perennial grains." Be- cause perennials generally must allocate more energy to vege- Seriously considering the development of perennial, as op- tative structures than do annuals, the yields of the former can posed to long-ubiquitous annual, grains was initiated by Wes be lower than those of the latter, but this might be offset by the Jackson at The Land Institute in Kansas over three decades ago.
typically longer annual growing periods of perennials com- For several years, Wes and his students were almost alone in pared to annuals. Additional major concerns are development championing perennial grains as having the potential for con- time, pest/disease/weed problems, and farmer profitability, tributing to considerably more sustainable cropping systems described by Pimentel et al. as follows: than are possible using annual grains. The basic idea was to usethe natural prairie as a model for agronomic practices–an idea . current estimates of the successful breeding of peren- that was apparently just too radical for the agricultural estab- nial grain crops are at least 25-50 years away, although an lishment to consider, at least for a considerable time. But now upland perennial rice could be ready for cultivation in 5- some university laboratories are engaged in research on peren- 10 years. consistent institutional support and long-term nial grains, and it is becoming increasingly common to see pre- commitment are critical .
dictions in the mainstream media that perennial grains will Temperate perennial grain crops may face disease and eventually displace annual grains and reduce the environmen- insect pest management problems similar to tropical peren- tal impacts of agriculture.
nial crops, largely because pathogens will have access to At first glance, it would appear that Wes Jackson is being living tissue year-round. In particular, leaf and stem rusts vindicated, and that the road ahead will not be a steep one for and viruses . could present significant barriers .
the widespread adoption of perennial grains. But a closer look Because a perennial crop may be slow to establish and reveals that the highly positive publicity largely reflects infor- then remains in the ground for multiple seasons over multi- mation disseminated by those (including Jackson) who are di- ple years, they are more susceptible than traditional annu- rectly involved in research and development of perennial grains als to weed invasion, particularly during the establish- and therefore have vested interests in publicizing the best fea- ment period .
tures of perennial grains and minimizing the worst features.
One of the fundamental concerns over widespread adop- What is needed in order to obtain a credible picture is a bal- tion of perennial grain cultivation is that they may not be anced assessment by well-informed individuals who do not economically viable for farmers, or viable only in specific have such vested interests. Such an assessment has recently contexts, such as mixed crop-forage operations. Yet others appeared: David Pimentel, a respected commentator on agricul- contend that the reduced inputs needed for perennial tural ecology, and several colleagues have published a paper in grains may make them more profitable for farmers.
the peer-reviewed journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environ-ment on the advantages and disadvantages of perennial grains Reference: David Pimental (College of Agriculture and Life compared to those of annual grains. Below we summarize the Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853), David Cerasale, major points of this paper; if you are at all intrigued by this Rose C. Stanley, Rachel Perlman, Elise M. Newman, Lincoln C.
topic, which we think could be of the utmost importance for Brent, Amanda Mullan, and Debbie Tai-I Chang, "Annual vs.
future food production, you should read the entire paper (and Perennial Grain Production," Agriculture, Ecosystems and En- even some of the dozens of references it includes!).
vironment 161, October 15, 2012, 1-9. (Elsevier Science Publish- Pimentel et al. begin by establishing the current significance ers B.V., Journals Dept., P.O. Box 211, 1000 AE, Amsterdam, THE of annual grains (including cereals, oilseeds, and legumes): they require 60-80 percent of total cropland and yield around 80 HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) Online Databases on U.S.D.A.-Sponsored Organic Research Holistic Integration of Organic Strategies and High Tunnels for Midwest/Great Lakes Fruit Production A Cornell University news release ("Research Team Tackles Addressing Critical Pest Management Challenges in Organic Top Pests That Scourge Organic Crops," by Stacey Shackford, October 23, 2012) recently alerted us to two amazing on-line Creating an Organic Plant Breeding Center resources for organic growers that we had previously missed.
Mental Models and Participatory Research to Redesign Ex- Here's the clue in the release that enabled our discovery: tension Programming for Organic Weed Management Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Cooperative A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agricul- Improving Weed and Insect Management in Organic Reduced- ture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Tillage Cropping Systems Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative will fund a Alternative Post-Harvest Washing Solutions to Enhance the four-year project that will . [fund] an interdisciplinary Microbial Safety and Quality of Organic Fresh Produce team of eight Cornell breeders, plant pathologists, ento- Developing Adapted Varieties and Optimal Management Prac- mologists, economists, and extension specialists ." tices for Quinoa in Diverse Environments Development and Participatory Implementation of Integrated We figured that the NIFA had funded other organic research Organic Pest Management Strategies for Crucifer Vegetable Pro- as well, and at the Institute's web site, we found a news release duction in the South titled "U.S.D.A. Awards 14 Grants Supporting Research and Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture with Added Grow- Marketing of Organic Agriculture" and dated October 22, 2012.
er and Consumer Value Here is an excerpt from that release: Co-Creating Research and Extension Objectives for Organic Management of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug The grants disbursed today include more than $14 mil- Development of Non-Antibiotic Programs for Fire Blight Con- lion in 2012 grants through the Organic Research and Ex- trol in Organic Apple and Pear tension Initiative (OREI). This program focuses on helping Finding the Right Mix: Multifunctional Cover Crop Cocktails producers and processors who have already adopted organ- for Organic Systems ic standards to grow and market high quality organic ag- Overcoming the Market Barriers to Organic Production in ricultural products. OREI's priority concerns include bio- West Virginia logical, physical, and social sciences–with an emphasis Host Plant Choice of Colorado Potato Beetle and Variation in on research and outreach that assist farmers and ranchers Defoliation and Yield Losses among Organically Grown Com- with whole farm planning. For more OREI information, visit mercial Potato Varieties Using Winter Cover Crops to Enhance the Organic Vegetable Industry in the Mid-Atlantic Region In addition, the grants disbursed today include more than Organic Blackberry Production Systems for Improved Yield, $3 million through the Organic Transitions Program (ORG).
Fruit Quality, and Food Safety in Fresh and Processed Markets In 2012, ORG focused on environmental services provided Vermicompost-Based Media to Enhance Organic Vegetable by organic farming systems that support soil conservation Seedling Vigor, Yield, Crop Quality, and Grower Profitability and contribute to climate change mitigation. Practices and Sustainable Systems for Cucurbit Crops on Organic Farms systems to be addressed include those associated with or- Enhancing Productivity and Soilborne Disease Control in In- ganic crops, organic animal production (including dairy), tensive Organic Vegetable Production with Mixed-Species Green and organic systems integrating plant and animal produc- tion. More information on the program can be found online Organic Stone Fruit Producton: Optimizing Water Use, Fer- tility, Pest Management, Fruit Quality, and Economics The OREI and ORG grants are disbursed as authorized Using New Alternatives to Enhance Adoption of Organic Ap- under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, ple Production through Integrated Research and Extension also known as the Farm Bill.
No-Till Organic Vegetable Production in Western Washing- Fiscal year 2012 OREI awards include . [several mil- ton: A Planning Proposal lion dollars in grants to researchers at eight universities].
Plant Breeding and Agronomic Research for Organic Hop Pro- This year, NIFA also awarded $4.3 million in continua- duction Systems tion awards to previous OREI awardeees. These awards Management Practices for Organic Orchard Nutrition allow past grantees to build on prior research accomplish- Integrating Weed Management and Fertility in Organic High- bush Blueberry Production Systems to Optimize Plant Growth, This year, NIFA also awarded $330,000 in continuation Yield, and Grower Return awards to previous ORG awardees.
Effects of Organic Fertility Management on Crop Health and Phytochemical Content of Vegetables under Open Field and The two web pages given above have links to "Abstracts of High Tunnel Production Funded Projects" (both previous and current). Actually, those Crop Diversification Complexity and Pest [and] Beneficial Or- links provide access to much more than abstracts! They access ganism Communities in Humid Tropical and Subtropical Cli- the U.S.D.A.'s Current Information System (CRIS) database, re- matic Regimes trieving titles, dates, principal investigators, and institutions Integration of Organic Production Systems for Summer Pro- for all projects that have received grants in the OREI and ORG duction of Tomato and Pepper in Alabama programs, plus links to "View" more information about each Use of Resident Biological Resources for the Management of project. Currently, CRIS lists 105 OREI projects and 52 ORG Replant Disease in Organic Tree Production Systems projects. Below we list some of the projects with high relevancefor organic horticultural production.
ORG projects:Agricultural Greenhouse Warming Potential and Soil Carbon Sequestration in Organic and Long Term Rotational Systems Improving the Safety and Post-Harvest Quality of Field Grown Optimizing Cover Crop Selection and Management to Enhance Leafy Greens: Assesment of Good Agricultural/Production Prac- Agronomic and Environmental Services in Organic Cropping tices along the Farm to Fork Continuum HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) Evaluating the Potential of Winter Cover Crops for Carbon University of Illinois professor of agricultural law A.
Sequestration in Degraded Soils Transitioning to Organic Pro- Bryan Endres and his wife are both lawyers, so, between the two of them, they've read a lot of legal documents, but Effect of Cover Crops, Soil Amendments, and Reduced Tillage when they became members of their local Community Sup- on Carbon Sequestration and Soil Health in a Long-Term Or- ported Agriculture (CSA) [farm], even they struggled to ganic Vegetable System understand the agreement they were asked to sign. Endres's Water Quality Evaluation of Long-Term Organic and Conven- experience as a consumer led him to develop simple con- tional Vegetable Production under Conservation and Conven- tracts that can clarify expectations, avoid misunderstand- tional Tillage ings, and protect farmers and their customers.
Integrated Organic Production of Summer Vegetable Crops CSAs create a partnership between local farmers and under Small Farm Environment in Southeastern U.S. consumers who become members or subscribers in sup- A Systems Approach to Optimize Organic Crop Production: port of the farms by purchasing "shares" in the farms. De- Enhancing Soil Functionality and Plant Health to Suppress pending on the agreement, the share might be a box of veg- Plant Diseases and Pests etables, eggs, flower, or other produce delivered to the Grafting to Improve Organic Vegetable Production in Field consumer each week.
and High Tunnel Systems "Some CSAs are highly organized, very professional," Flea Beetle Control Treatment Demonstration in Western Wash- Endres said, "In my own CSA, the member agreement we ington State signed had elements of legality, but it was very unclear.
Out-of-Season Small Fruit Production for Improved Profit- Even simple things like how much money we needed to ability of Organic Farming send in and when to send it weren't clear in the member- Ecological Soil Community Management for Enhanced Nutri- ship agreement. It got me thinking that the membership ent Cycling in Organic Sweet Cherry Orchards agreement is a key part of the CSA, and an unclear mem- The Activity and Suppression of Soil-Borne Pathogens and bership agreement can create a barrier to people joining Pests in Organic vs. Conventional Plots with Conservation vs. CSAs. It's actually a contract between the farmer and the CSA member who wants to get the vegetables every week, Nutrient Dynamics, Soil Biota, and Functional Biodiversity so a well-written and clear contract is much better for every- at an Organic Farm Cropping Intensity and Organic Amendments in Transitional Endres said this year's drought conditions offer a perfect Farming Systems: Effects on Soil Fertility, Weeds, Diseases, and example of the need for a clear membership agreement. "If your CSA didn't have irrigation, it's unlikely you received Development and Implementation of Organic Pest Manage- a lot of vegetables, and you might be severely disappoint- ment Strategies for Lowbush Blueberries ed if your expectations aren't met," he said. "The purpose Biological Buffering and Pest Management in Organic Farm- of the membership agreement isn't to make it more legalis- ing Systems: The Central Role of Organic Matter tic, but to formalize the expectations of both parties and Integrating No-Tillage with Farmscaping and Crop Rotations explain in better detail that as a CSA member you really to Improve Pest Management and Soil Quality in Organic Vege- are sharing the risk of production–including droughts." table Production Endres pointed out that the CSA is also [at least in some Organic Nursery Production: Development and Demonstra- cases] not the farmer's only outlet. "They might have a cer- tain part of the farm segregated, or a certain percentage set Paths of Transition: Strategies for Peri-Urban Organic Farmers aside for the CSA and another area for the farmers' mar- Identification and Characterization of Potato Clones for Or- ket," Endres said. "The membership agreement provides ganic Production Systems the farmer with the opportunity to spell out exactly howthey divide the bounty of the harvest among their constitu- At the beginning of this article, we described the OREI and ents. It's really about setting expectations. Stating farm mar- ORG online databases as "amazing." That's because, if you keting practices at the beginning eliminates a lot of poten- click on "Full" under the "View" column for any particular tial misunderstandings." project in either the OREI or ORG CRIS listing, an incredibly Endres and postdoctoral researcher Rachel Armstrong detailed amount of information will appear for that particular obtained copies of membership agreements from existing project. Typically, this includes the following (often running to CSAs and used them to develop easy-to-understand con- several pages in all!): Non-Technical Summary, Objectives, Ap- tracts for CSA owners to use.
proach, Progress, Impact, Publications, and Project Contact.
The downloadable contracts are available online at For anyone seriously interested in the topic of one of these projects, we know of no better way to get "up to speed" on it said the forms are written in a nontechnical format with a than to study the database-provided information. The gather- readability level that's clear to both sides, not like reading ing in one place of all relevant papers is, in itself, extraordinar- a formal lease .
ily useful. And the access provided to data generated to date by Because about 30 to 50 percent of CSAs allow people the ongoing projects makes it easy to see exactly what is currently option to work on the farm for their share of produce rather known about the topic.
than accepting money, Endres and Armstrong have also These databases are truly treasures for organic growers (paid created a model agreement between farmers and workers for by U.S. taxpayers!); we are sorry that we have been unaware on the farm.
of them until now. And we hope that the new (pending) Farm "The farmer has created an employer/employee rela- Bill will continue to provide funds for OREI and ORG projects.
tionship," Endres said. "What legal implications could thatbe triggering for the farm owner? Do you need to have work- Model Legal Documents for CSA Participants ers' comp? Illinois is very flexible on agricultural labor be-cause we've exempted small-scale farms from most of those The following is excerpted from a recent news release pro- rules, but other states around the country, such as Wiscon- vided by the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Con- sin, have very strict rules for agricultural labor." sumer, and Environmental Sciences, written by Debra Levey Armstrong said that the purpose of a worker agreement is to raise the liability risk awareness not to discourage HORTIDEAS, November 2012, 29(11) worker shares [but] so that everyone has a clear picture.
social motivations for developing CSAs, but they're not "Some farms already have employees and already have that going to be building much community if they get put out structure set up," she said, "It might be enough to tell your of business. The industry can't grow. Most Americans can- insurance agent what you're doing and pay a little more not participate in CSAs if we don't straighten things out each month in insurance to make sure you're covered." and address these legal concerns. It's about growing the in- Armstrong said that farmers are concerned that the legali- dustry and protecting the farmer." .
ties will change the personal relationship feel of CSAs andtake the ‘community' out of Community Supported Agri- At the web site given above, there is a link for users to pro- vide feedback about the forms provided by Endres and Arm- "Farmers are trying to build community," Armstrong said.
strong and also to ask them specific questions related to the "There's a handshake. I trust you. You trust me. They have BOOK REVIEWS The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, by Janisse Ray,Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT, 2012, 217 pp., $17.95, ISBN Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers' Movement, edited by Zoë Ida Bradbury, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, and Paula Manalo, Storey Pub-lishing, North Adams, MA, 2012, 256 pp., $14.95, ISBN 978-1-60342-772-2.
To Janisse Ray, seeds are not just small objects that you get out of a packet and plant in the ground–she is adamant that "a Greenhorns is "a grassroots nonprofit organization made up seed is life." And she views seed savers as passionate revolu- of young farmers and many collaborators. Their mission is to tionaries, absolutely essential for preserving what is essential recruit, promote, and support the generation of young farmers and good about life for the future.
in this ample and able twenty-first-century America." And The When I (Pat) first saw the cover of this book, I expected that I Greenhorns is a documentary film directed by one of the edi- would appreciate it because it is by one of my favorite authors tors of this book (von Tscharner Fleming); this book is the com- and about a subject about which I am very enthusiastic. It con- panion to that film, providing loads of both inspiration and siderably surpassed my expectations! It's a well-written and information for "the next generation of American farmers." highly entertaining (yet serious) tour of various topics related We welcome the realism of these "dispatches" from (para- to seeds, seed-saving, the sustainable food movement, local- doxically?) highly idealistic young farmers who are trying to ism, growing your own food, heirlooms, sharing seeds (and produce food with deep concern for environmental and health culture), and much more. She tells about seeds from a person- issues while surviving economically–not an easy task! Here al viewpoint, starting with her grandmother giving her Jack the reader will find great optimism tempered by a skepticism of bean seeds when she was a child, recounting her passionate authority of all stripes. These folks show how it is possible to embrace of gardening and seed-saving throughout the ups and meld emotional commitment with do-it-yourself science–just downs of her life, and to her current life on a small farm in what we've been trying to promote in HortIdeas. They haven't southern Georgia with plants, animals, and seeds everywhere.
got everything figured out (and distrust anyone who claims to Janisse tells of her interesting visits and contacts with seed have done so), but they are working toward patterns of farming savers and food activists, including well-known ones such as that are clearly more sustainable than industrial agriculture.
Will Bonsall, Glenn Drowns, Lynne Rosetto Kasper, and John The often-poignant essays reveal the truth about both the chal- Swenson, and also lesser-known seed savers such as Jane lenges and the rewards of their chosen vocation and encourage Howell, who stopped at Janisse's booth at a seed exchange and others to join in the (often) hard work and (occasional) glory of later sent Janisse a start of marriage garlic (supposedly, your producing what might fairly be called "least-guilt" food.
marriage will last as long as you grow it). She also describes a We recommend this book even more than how-to books on trip to the annual campout of the Seed Savers Exchange in alternative farming techniques to anyone thinking about trying Decorah, Iowa, where she describes SSE's Heritage Farm as a to be a "new farmer"–Greenhorns gives the essential why-to.
wonderful place but doesn't shy away from informing aboutproblems in administration and vision that have plagued the Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health, by Les Crowder organization in recent years.
and Heather Harrell, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT, 2012, This is not a how-to book, but even though I'm a long-time 175 pp., $24.95, ISBN 978-1-60358-461-6.
casual seed saver, I learned a number of new-to-me practicalthings, including facts about pollination and interesting culti- The authors keep bees on their organic/biodynamic farm in vars I'd like to try.
New Mexico; Les Crowder has been the New Mexico Honeybee Stories (and all of the chapters in The Seed Underground are Inspector and president of the New Mexico Beekeepers Asso- stories, not essays) are included on the origins of agriculture ciation. They have long-term hands-on experience with top-bar and seed saving, on the recent corporate intrusion into and hives, which offer some advantages–especially for small-scale near takeover of seed production, on hybrids and GMOs and beekeepers who are using organic techniques–over the con- the businesses that are trying to control agriculture and food for ventional Langstroth hives. Top-bar hives are quite low-tech; profit by patenting life. It's a scary story, but not a hopeless one they mimic hollow logs. This book provides plans for top-bar as long as there are growing numbers of food activists–and hives and includes extensive technical details on their use. It especially seed savers who continue to expand the genetic and also provides much information on honeybees and beekeeping cultural heritage packaged in tiny miraculous seeds. Reading in general, with an emphasis on organic methods. There are this book is a sure-fire way for gardeners who are accustomed many color illustrations throughout, many references, and a to purchasing seeds into seed savers, and to turn sometime list of additional resources, plus a detailed index.
seed savers into passionate and committed ones. So I suggest Top-bar hives are not for all beekeepers, but they are certain- that you share this book with anyone and everyone who you ly an option for backyard use. And beekeepers interested in or- think might possibly join Janisse Ray (and myself) in the "seed ganic techniques should find much of interest in this book, even if they don't use top-bar hives.

Source: http://www.dakotacollege.edu/files/7814/0933/7388/hiol1211.pdf

120596 effect of atenolol on mortality and cardiovascular morbidity



New technology requires great teamworkAnita Heeg and Glen Blier for Progressive Dairyman Over the last decade, one of four farms in Canada to milking methods have changed be using the technology along substantially. Where our with its two robotic milking grandparents were milking by systems. Together with its herd hand, we now have the ability