Posted February 26, 2014 in Nutrition by Katie Cole,
Personal opinions aside, we know this is a highly controversial topic in foodservice. So we were wondering.. What’s the deal with GMOs?What are GMOs?You may have heard of a genetically modified organism (GMO) or maybe you’ve seen the Non-GMO stamp of approval on food products in the grocery store but what are GMOs and what is the story behind them?DefinitionA genetically modified organism (GMO) has undergone a transfer or removal of genes from one organism to another altering the DNA of that organism.
Posted January 26, 2014 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Agroforestry is an ecological approach to farming that incorporates trees as a central element of an agricultural system. Agroforestry pays close attention to the ecology of a landscape, or the relationship between different species. The idea is that by adding trees to an ecosystem the environmental, social, and economic value of that ecosystem will be improved.
Re-defining the Garden Weed: The Dynamic Accumulator
Posted January 13, 2014 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Weeds get a lot of negative press, but once you’ve heard about dynamic accumulators you’ll be open to using weeds as an active and functional part of your garden. There are hundreds of weeds out there that don’t deserve the harsh treatment we’ve so commonly given them. In fact an area of land with a lot of weeds usually is an indicator of soil health, and nitrogen richness which many of the fruits and veggies we eat need to thrive.
Posted December 20, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
With the arrival of a cold, white, snowy winter, we at UMass Permaculture can’t help but think about the prospects of a green spring thaw! We’re brimming with anticipation for our most exciting event of the spring, the 2014 Revisioning Sustainability Conference.
Green Walls: A Multifunctional Urban Gardening Technique
Posted November 28, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Vertical gardening has picked up a lot of speed in urban agricultural movements in recent years, and people are beginning to develop these structures more readily. The reason for this could be because of the obvious benefits that a green wall, or vertical garden brings to an urban area. The title Green Wall does an apt job of describing what a green wall actually is: a vertical surface (aka a wall) with vegetation growing up it. Think of your average city with plants not only growing out of windows but on the walls themselves.
Posted October 07, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
A rapidly growing trend in modern agriculture is a method of growing called hydroponics. The utilization and research of hydroponically grown food with has an extensive history, however recently it has been proposed as a solution to the downfalls of modern monoculture farming and as a way to improve our overall food systems. Hydroponic Vegetables are grown without soil in a water-based system that utilizes a mineral nutrient solution.
Posted August 29, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Preservation of fruits and vegetables has its deep roots in human history. From the days of the Romans who dried their dates and figs through adding heat in a smoking process to the salt used to preserve meat and vegetables, crucial in making the several month long journey across the Atlantic during the founding of the New World. Pickling has been around for probably around 4,000 years with its origins in India and the Tigris Valley where cucumbers were first pickled. Food preservation has long been a favored way to store our food, but why?
Posted August 13, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Dear UMass Amherst Students,The UMass Amherst Student Farmers Market is getting closer, and we’ve got huge haul of produce to bring to the student body, and we want you to take advantage! The Student Farmers Market will be held every Friday from September 13 to November 22nd 12:00(noon) – 4:00 P.M. on the lawn outside Goodell Hall.
Posted August 07, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
One of our favorite companion plants found right here at UMass Permaculture is Stinging Nettle, or Common Nettle. Though painful if brushed up against, Nettle is a useful multi functional plant. Its roots and leaves have many common uses, and if you know how to harvest it properly, you can turn what might be seen as a weed into a multi-purpose permaculture plant. Stinging Nettle's uses are not usually seen at face value, and visitors can easily pass it up as an undesirable.
Posted July 24, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
A form of companion planting known as the “Three Sisters” is taking off in the Franklin Permaculture Garden. Three Sisters is a type of polyculture farming originally practiced by many Native American societies in traditional organic farming. Polycultures involve creating a diverse natural ecosystem by combining different beneficial crops as companions for one another. This encourages an increase in biodiversity among species and offers unique benefits such as pest-control, improved soil quality, and a greater aggregate yield.