Recent Stories

Mexico's Prickly Pear Cactus: Energy Source of the Future?

The prickly pear cactus is such a powerful symbol in Mexico that they put it smack in the middle of the national flag. It was considered sacred by the ancient Aztecs, and modern-day Mexicans eat it, drink it, and even use it in medicines and shampoos. Now scientists have come up with a new use for the bright green plant: producing renewable energy.

Mexico’s Prickly Pear Cactus: Energy Source of the Future?

The prickly pear cactus is such a powerful symbol in Mexico that they put it smack in the middle of the national flag. It was considered sacred by the ancient Aztecs, and modern-day Mexicans eat it, drink it, and even use it in medicines and shampoos. Now scientists have come up with a new use for the bright green plant: producing renewable energy.

Changing Paradigms in Food and Farming — Part 1

Our world is in a bit of an uproar these days. Never before have we seen so many challenges come to the fore simultaneously. Here in Vermont, we are very fortunate to live in a rather civil society, especially when we consider the toxic political environment that we see on the national level. We still have plenty to worry about right here in our own state, however.

Master Gardeners: Making a Difference in Climate Change

There are two ways to reduce the environmental damage done by fossil fuels. The most common way is to reduce the use of fossil fuels — by driving a hybrid or electric car, for example, or using solar or wind power. The second way, carbon sequestration, involves pulling carbon out of the air and storing it in the ground.

NASA Langley Scientist Touts Biochar: An 'Environmental Superstar'

Over many centuries, primitive peoples plowed biochar into farm fields, turning poor soil into rich cropland. Now, it could help reverse global warming. That’s because an added benefit of carbon-packed biochar is that, by plowing it into farm fields, it removes the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide indefinitely from the carbon cycle.

NASA Langley Scientist Touts Biochar: An ‘Environmental Superstar’

Over many centuries, primitive peoples plowed biochar into farm fields, turning poor soil into rich cropland. Now, it could help reverse global warming. That’s because an added benefit of carbon-packed biochar is that, by plowing it into farm fields, it removes the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide indefinitely from the carbon cycle.

Climate Scientists Unlock Secrets of ‘Blue Carbon’

Tidal wetlands come in many forms, but they could be more alike below the surface than anyone realized. Whether it’s a mangrove forest in Florida, a freshwater swamp in Virginia or a saltwater marsh in Oregon, the amount of carbon locked in a soil sample from each of these coastal ecosystems is roughly the same. That’s the surprising message from a new analysis of some 1,900 soil cores collected around the United States during the past few decades.