The Science of Sustainability

Tag: farming

The Future of Sustainable Food: Q&A with Wendell Berry

The Future of Sustainable Food: Q&A with Wendell Berry

Farmer and environmentalist Wendell Berry discusses agricultural policy and current trends in the sustainable food movement.

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Using Science to Grow Better Strawberries

Using Science to Grow Better Strawberries

Watch how scientists and farmers work together to grow strawberries in hostile climates.

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Searching for Memories on an Altered Landscape

Searching for Memories on an Altered Landscape

While prairie is converted to cropland at a breakneck pace, one conservation biologist in Nebraska is finding an alternative way to jog the collective memory of the Great Plains landscape.

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During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break

During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break

As California's drought gets worse, farmers and conservationists are teaming up to create temporary wetlands for birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway.

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An Oasis Grows in an Urban Food Desert

An Oasis Grows in an Urban Food Desert

In this video we meet former pro-basketball player and MacArthur “genius” award winner Will Allen, and explore the Milwaukee farm where he successfully cultivates food, including fish, to feed thousands of people.

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Farmers Fight Back Against Toxic Algal Blooms

Farmers Fight Back Against Toxic Algal Blooms

Agricultural runoff is the leading cause of recurring algal blooms in Lake Erie. Now farmers are inviting researchers onto their fields to figure out why — and what they can do about it.

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Tough and Tasty: Recasting a Resilient Weed as a Wild Edible

Tough and Tasty: Recasting a Resilient Weed as a Wild Edible

Find out why some residents of a drought-plagued state are welcoming a weed to their gardens—and their dinner plates.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California’s Delta has a rich agricultural legacy, but farming there can be a risky business. Dozens of farms have been flooded over the past half century as aging levees have collapsed. Now, scientists are encouraging farmers to switch to a new crop. Instead of growing vegetables, they’d grow something that has all but disappeared in the Delta: wetlands.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Can We Bring Back What We've Lost?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Can We Bring Back What We've Lost?

California's Delta is a far cry from what it once was. About 97% of its historic marshes have been lost and scientists aren’t quite sure what the Delta once looked like. Now, a Bay Area group is working to reconstruct it through ecological detective work.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Can it Be Fixed?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Can it Be Fixed?

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been the subject of a decades-long water war, but most Californians have never heard of it. Why is it so important? And can the state ever break the water deadlock?

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Songbirds as a Measure of Farm Sustainability

Songbirds as a Measure of Farm Sustainability

John Quinn, a researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explains how he collects and uses bird calls to establish an indicator for farm healthiness known as the Healthy Farm Index.

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Tomatoes: Heirlooms vs. Hybrids

Tomatoes: Heirlooms vs. Hybrids

Heirloom tomatoes are getting more and more popular—but what does “heirloom” really mean? And how do these colorful tomatoes differ from their supermarket relatives?

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Land Preservation on the Chopping Block

Land Preservation on the Chopping Block

Under Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget, state funding for the Williamson Act would be eliminated.

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Lessons from the Chicken Coop

Lessons from the Chicken Coop

As I thought about the salmonella-laced headlines that have tumbled across my doorstep and my computer screen over the past few weeks, I thought having my own backyard chickens might not be a bad idea.

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Reporter's Notes: Catching the Drift

Reporter's Notes: Catching the Drift

In this week's Quest radio piece, I talk to two pregnant organic onion workers who got sick after an apple farmer sprayed pesticides on a nearby orchard. Following a nearly three month investigation, the Kern County Ag Commissioner issued citations finding both the apple grower and the organic company at fault.

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Better Bees: Super Bee and Wild Bee

Better Bees: Super Bee and Wild Bee

California farmers depend on bees to pollinate the state's multi-billion-dollar fruit and nut crops, but in recent years thousands of bee colonies have disappeared around the country. Meet two Northern California researchers looking for ways to make sure we always have bees to pollinate our crops.

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