IMG_1027color cropScience in Action to Improve the Sustainability of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Food Systems

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Perspectives on Sustainability - CSANR Blog

  • Traditional Agroecological Knowledge: Where Does Cultural Wisdom Lie?

    November 6, 2014
    Gambian baboon.  Photo: Tim Ellis via Flickr CC.

    Gambian baboon. Photo: Tim Ellis via Flickr CC.

    Near the beginning of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Alex Haley mentions dietary taboos among his Gambian ancestors. Eating monkeys, baboons, bullfrogs, wild pigs, and eggs of wild birds was forbidden. When I first read that passage, a good many years ago, I thought those taboos were wasteful superstitions. Much later, I wondered whether the taboos played a role in conservation, or whether they had other functions, such as promoting group cohesion, that were opaque to me.

  • On why I might be wrong

    November 4, 2014

    In two prior posts (threats and variability), based on our research, I have argued that climate change is not likely to be a major cause for concern for agricultural production in the Pacific Northwest until at least mid-century. A little bit of warming and a little bit of CO2 elevation is actually positive for most crops in the PNW. In this post, I’m going to tell you why I might be wrong.

  • Promoting Global Food Security One Crop of Tomatoes at a Time

    October 23, 2014
    Photo: C. Benbrook

    Photo: C. Benbrook

    In early September I visited a remarkable organic farm on the coast of California.  This farm has been in organic production for about 30 years, and its harvests of mostly organic tomatoes have been marketed through a variety of outlets in Northern California.

    I arrived on the day picking had just begun on a sloping tomato field about 6 acres in size.  The crop was exceptionally clean, with virtually no insect damage and few weeds.  Minimal, organically approved control measures had been used, including applications of sulfur and releases of trichogramma (beneficial wasps), along with many hours of hand weeding.

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