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MIT believes we need genetically modified food to save the world…really?

The cover of the December MIT technology review has an article entitled “Why we need genetically modified foods”.  I assume we also need saccharin and glyphosate to save the world too…The basic premise of the article is that GMO’s are needed if we are to produce enough food for the growing population, expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The scientific argument is basically that the ability to insert a gene into a plant for a specific trait rather than horizontally breed that plant to have that trait seems like a simple way to modify plant behavior in a faster...

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Bacillus, Trichoderma and Mycorrhizae

We are often asked if we include other beneficial microorganisms in our products.  Some users simply want to be sure they are getting just the mycorrhizal fungi and others would like other organisms in the mix.  We have traditionally not included other microorganisms because of mycorrhizae’s ability to create and to regulate biological diversity in the soil.  Our focus has always been on just the mycorrhizal fungi.  However, as growers have been exploring the interactions of different microorganisms, in particular bacillus and trichoderma, science has advanced to where these can be duplicated (most are naturally found in healthy soil or...

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Organic Orchard

Organic Orchard As part of our organic conversion we will be establishing an orchard.  Again, the goal will be primarily as a demonstration for organic growing methods.  Our efforts will met with great challenge as according to the USDA there are currently only 130 acres of organic apple trees grown in Pennsylvania.  There appear to be a number of reasons for this low amount.  First, pest management is much more difficult in this region than in the west.  There are many more pests to contend with and the weather fluctuations year to year are more extreme, which may bring different...

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Organic Conversion

We are happy to be starting an organic conversion of the farm here in Bucks County.  For many years now there has been a rotation of corn, corn, and corn – all Round-up Ready GMO corn.  Once it is harvested we plan to begin the organic conversion of all 60 acres.  Our purpose will be to demonstrate the viability of biological products and to compare the potential economic returns of organic crops versus crops grown with synthetic chemicals. We have our work cut out for us though.  The soil test shows organic matter less than 2% across all samples.  I...

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Easy Organics

Now that I have attended many trade shows and garden shows, I have a better understanding of growers’ perceptions towards organics.  There is the core group of organic growers who have dedicated their lives to studying and to understanding the biology in soil, the interaction of organisms and the right formulations of products (amendments, fertilizers, etc.) for themselves.  This is a small but growing niche.  There are also the chemical growers who may never switch (although as I have mentioned the cost of petroleum-derived products may force this in the future).  However, there are also many growers who want to...

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