Boing Boing 

The roots of perennial wheat

This is not the best photo, but it is pretty damn mind-blowing. What you see here is Jerry Glover, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, holding the root system of a single perennial wheat plant. The photo was taken by Scientific American editor Mariette DiChristina at the Compass Summit in Palos Verdes, California.

There's more to this than just a freaky looking plant dreadlock. That root system represents something far bigger than itself: Soil health. Perennial plants build soil and protect against erosion in ways annual plants and their skimpy root structures simply cannot. It's why, since large-scale corn farming replaced perennial prairie, Iowa has lost some 8 vertical inches of precious topsoil. Glover's argument: To protect our farming resources for future generations we need to pay more attention to the potential benefits of perennial crops.

HOWTO farm with dynamite, the Art Nouveau edition


Lakelady sends us, "a complete online text for how and why farming with dynamite is a good idea written by E.I. Du Pont de Nemours Powder Company. Published in 1910. Note the lovely art nouveau embellishments on some of the pages."

Farming with Dynamite