Nature’s Course: Nutraceuticals let food be the medicine

by: Hyder A. Khoja, Ph.D., M.Sc., P.Ag. Over the past few decades, the world has witnessed the explosive growth of a multibillion-dollar nutraceutical industry. Nutraceuticals, a term combining the words nutrition and pharmaceutical, are foods or food products that provide health and medical benefits. Nutraceutical-rich vegetables and fruits are not only …


How to: Get the most out of compost

Dieter Geesing A composting operation can contribute significantly to the bottom line of a farming business, especially when it incorporates and processes off-farm residential or commercial waste. However, selling compost should not be seen as a way to generate quick and easy income—it’s a major undertaking that requires the same commitment …


Why European Agriculture Developed Faster than South America’s (Pt. 2)

Jagmeet Khabra Beginning of Agriculture and Domestication People started domesticating plants and animals roughly 10,000 years ago as an attempt to sustain the fast growing population. Domestication is the process by which human beings adapt wild plants and animals for their own use. A plant or animal is domesticated when …


Why European Agriculture Developed Faster than South America’s (Pt. 1)

Jagmeet Khabra Introduction Historians and scholars have long been asking themselves whether or not Europe won the agricultural revolution and if so, how and why that happened. Before answering that question, though, it is important to explore why Europe became so much more advanced than South America. In the late …


From Field to Fork: Part 1

Dr. Lenore Newman Part one: Food Sovereignty, Local Food, and a Healthy Region What we eat can have a strong impact on our health, and though eating healthily requires education, personal choice, and a healthy economy, it also requires that consumers have access to the best foods being produced. In …


Future Plant Efficiency (to feed 9.6 billion people)

Eric Gerbrandt, Pacific Berry Resource Centre, UFV Improving plant genetic efficiency is one of the key human innovations used to increase crop yields The mainstream media loves a provocative story. Why? Because fear-mongering, false controversy and sensationalist hype are effective sales strategies. As a reader, it can be difficult to differentiate …


Biochar: Another tool in the toolbox

Chantal Lavoi Alternative Growing Media In Greenhouses Producers of all kinds have developed agronomic “tool boxes” that change the way they do business. This hypothetical group of instruments includes, but is not limited to, new crop varieties, pesticides, biological controls, and “best practices” that have changed the way we produce …


The Silver Scurf

Silver scurf is a major concern for potato growers in the Lower Mainland The fungus infects potatoes before harvest, and once they are harvested and stored, it causes silver lesions on the skin of the tuber, reducing quality and weight. The BC Potato and Vegetable Growers and E.S. Cropconsult have …


Quality potatoes require early damage control

Kiara Jack The economic loss from  damaged tubers can be very high. Protecting tubers against damage is a challenge for all potato growers. A damaged tuber can not only become diseased, but it can also spread disease to other tubers, even in cold storage, and that can make an entire harvest …


Never too early to protect against late blight

Susan Smith & Siva Sabaratnam As members of the nightshade or solanaceous family, potato and tomato plants are susceptible to one of the most destructive plant diseases, late blight.  This pathogen (Phytophthora infestans) thrives and produces spores under humid or moist conditions, but causes infection only when free water is …