Tag Archives: Crops

Transgenic crop genes can transfer to organics and heritage/heirlooms: new study

April: In the future we will have to be vigilant in watching and testing for GM contamination of our heritage and heirloom seeds and plants. A new study (below) shows how easy it is: although, for those of us in the battle against GM crops, we have always known this exists.

ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2010) — A new data-driven statistical model that incorporates the surrounding landscape in unprecedented detail describes the transfer of an inserted bacterial gene via pollen and seed dispersal in cotton plants more accurately than previously available methods.

Shannon Heuberger, a graduate student at the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and her co-workers will publish their findings in PLoS ONE on Nov. 30.

The transfer of genes from genetically modified crop plants is a hotly debated issue. Many consumers are concerned about the possibility of genetic material from transgenic plants mixing with non-transgenic plants on nearby fields. Producers, on the other side, have a strong interest in knowing whether the varieties they are growing are free from unwanted genetic traits.

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‘Farmpreneurs’ Grow the Bounty

Investing in small-scale processing on the farm can make a big difference in its bottom line.

By Jeff Nield, 9 Dec 2010, TheTyee.ca

Just north of a sharp bend in the Puntledge river on the edge of Courtenay sits Nature’s Way Farm. Arriving at the farm-gate, there are two options for entry. One is through the welcoming door that leads to Tria Culinary Studios and the retail outlet for Blue Moon Winery.

I veer to the right, bypassing this obvious choice and enter through a slightly skewed wooden gate and am quickly set upon by Gattie, a hefty Bernese Mountain dog who promptly sits on my foot in a maneuver she’s learned to demand attention. Once satisfied, Gattie releases her hold and I walk through to a central courtyard that offers a view of the 5.7-acre farm. Blueberry bushes, dormant for the season, sit straight-ahead, a farmhouse with cedar shingle siding is to the right and to the left is a building that I’ll soon discover doubles as an office and a winery. It’s in this final, also cedar clad, two-story building that I find farm owners George Ehrler and Marla Limousin hard at work on one of their many ventures.

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