Food Gardening in the Anthropocene

By Daniela Soleri, University of California, David A Cleveland, University of California, Steven E Smith, University of Arizona

In early September 2017, the fall equinox was approaching, and things were different in our garden. The heat-loving basil plants that should have been slowing down as the days shorten and cooler weather usually arrives, were showing no sign of changing. The fruit on both varieties of our persimmon trees were turning deep orange at least one month earlier than in previous years. The unusually warm, dry summer of 2017 in much of the western US contributed to similar experiences for many gardeners.

The experimenatl garden of Mashhad University in Iran

That autumn was an example of how the timing and duration of plant life cycles, and our garden activities, are changing from what we are familiar with, and like other gardeners and farmers, we need to figure out how to respond.

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The Science of Communicating Science: The Ultimate Guide, by Dr Craig Cormick

By Rachel Winks, CABI

The Science of Communicating Science: The Ultimate Guide by Dr Craig Cormick, published this month jointly by CABI and CSIRO, is a book that helps to solve a major problem that many scientists face at some point in their career: how do I communicate my work to society?

How do I give that interview with a news outlet that would help explain my research to the general public, or how do I deliver that presentation to a donor that could secure the next round of funding for my project?

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While there are millions of chatty blogs, books and videos about how to talk to the press or give a speech, where do scientists go to get digestible but evidence-based answers about the approaches that work best; the tools that really move the dial?

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The history of cultivating citrus

By L Gene Albrigo

Citrus is one of the most important exported fruit crops. Large plantings in countries bordering latitudes 20 south and north and in-between provide fresh and processed citrus for the more populated northern European and American countries as well as other large populations around the world. Citrus has also been a cultivated crop in southeast Asia for thousands of years. Its genetics are unique in that stable hybrids naturally propagated through polyembryony have been recognized as species. New molecular techniques have clearly elucidated the true genetic background of citrus.

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Village-based film screenings prove a popular way to reach and inform farming families in Northern Ghana

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Farmers and their families sit down to watch one of the screenings on how to grow soybean – a priority crop for many in Ghana

Duncan Sones, from the CABI GALA communications team, reflects on the first two years of the soybean campaign in Northern Ghana.

In the last two years, there have been 346 village-based film screenings of films made by CABI to show farmers how to grow soybean. Take into account the use of Facebook for a music-based video campaign, and an estimated 128,000 members of farming families in the North of Ghana have received information on soybean farming from the campaign work we have been delivering, with our partners, in the region.

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Truly international expertise on tomato production

By Rachael Russell

Rows of Tomatoes in a Greenhouse

Ep Heuvelink’s Tomatoes is part of CABI’s Crop Production Science in Horticulture series. First published in 2005, it became an essential resource for growers, extension workers, industry personnel, and horticulture students and lecturers. Since then, our knowledge on tomato has greatly increased; tens of thousands of scientific papers have been published and the tomato genome has been sequenced, reinforcing it as a model fruit-bearing crop. Great progress has been made in open field and greenhouse production, and in our understanding of tomato crop physiology, fruit quality and postharvest physiology.

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What do bees ‘see’ and how does it inform our understanding of vision?

By Adrian Horridge, F.R.S.

Bees are familiar to all, and tests to discover what they see can be repeated in any temperate part of the world, requiring little basic science but lots of thought to grasp this anti-intuitive but wonderfully adapted newly described visual system. In advance of World Bee Day on the 20th May, I look here at the importance the visual system of the bee, and the journey to establish this understanding.

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Four animals and insects that humans can’t live without

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Guest blog by Master Beekeeper ‘in the making’ Greg Long.

When people start to think about the ecosystem and nature as a whole, many don’t fully grasp the importance of relying on other species. Everything on earth is connected, whether we realize it or not. Human survival doesn’t rely on humans alone — the human species depends on tons of other life forms to stay in existence.

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