Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring Sprung

A rapid fire look at photos I've snapped from March and April.  Getting ready for new greenhouse gas research, corn planting, and celebrating our rainy and productive North Carolina Spring.  

Wheat before a spring storm, Goldsboro, NC.
Hurry up, finish soil sampling....

Sean eating some weeds.  A constant battle.  

Angel Cruz, Mary Parr, Sean Bloszies, Aaron Fox, Sarah Seehaver, and other members of Sustainable Ag Grad student assoc. celebrate Spring by stomping on some mud, sand and straw to make cob for an oven.  

 The base for a new cob oven at the Agroecology Farm at Lake Wheeler.

Back in the lab.... microbial biomass fumigation extractions.

 The Easter Bunny hid some eggs for all the good little soil science students this spring....

 We have partners in crime - Chris Reberg-Horton with the Organic Cropping Systems Lab helps direct our tractor driver, Todd, at the CEFS research farm.

 Spring means MANURE!! And lots of it.  Try weighing out 5 tons to the acre....

 Driving over a tarp, to create a manure-free zone, for greenhouse gas research.

 Fields of amber grains..... these fields are amber, because they are getting ready for CORN.

 Nitrogen gets applied at CEFS for the greenhouse gas study.  Spring is a busy season for planting and fertilizing.

Moisture and temperature sensors are installed to continuous loggers, so we can track moisture every few minutes all season long.  

Friday, May 3, 2013


Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the ECHO Global Farm in Fort Myers, Florida. ECHO is a non-profit organization with the mission of improving the food security status and livelihoods of resource poor farmers in underdeveloped regions of the world. The group is dedicated to ensuring that this increase in agricultural productivity is done in a sustainable and culturally appropriate manner. ECHO conducts research in green manure cover crops, agroforestry systems, conservation tillage, alternative crops, and in other areas of sustainable agriculture. The Global Farm serves as a learning laboratory where ECHO takes advantage of South Florida's subtropical climate to test agricultural methods that may be suitable for areas in the developing world. In addition, ECHO has Regional Impact Centers in East Africa (Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Thailand) where sustainable agricultural models are extended to farmers.

Intercropping systems with heavy mulching to build up soil organic matter and conserve moisture

Alternative crops: Grain Amaranth