Check out the Green Pastures Farm blog for more information.
From whirlpool turbines to edible cutlery, water blobs, and package-free shampoo and toothpaste. We’ve compiled a list of 22 inventions that could help us cut back on plastic, reduce garbage in the sea, and make the Earth a better place.
Source: Tech Insider, February 8, 2019
For the first time, Sonoma County fire officials are inspecting thousands of rural properties this spring for compliance with tree trimming, grass cutting and other guidelines to create a firebreak around homes.
The goal of the vegetation management inspections is to establish “defensible space” around homes, making them easier to protect from wildfires.
State and local firefighters have long endorsed the concept, and Cal Fire has conducted inspections for years, but relied on voluntary compliance by landowners.
Source: Guy Kovner, The Press Democrat, May 27, 2019
Standing on the south slope of Healdsburg’s Fitch Mountain, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Marshall Turbeville surveyed a distressing scene.
Above him, a towering fir tree was close enough to fall across two roads, blocking access and bringing down power lines that could remain live and dangerous on the ground. To one side, the roof and gutters of a residential structure were full of leaves ready to ignite from a windblown wildfire ember in dry weather.
On the way up Spring Street, Turbeville’s four-wheel drive pickup had met a descending UPS truck, forcing him to pull off the substandard, single-lane road. In an emergency, fire engines and evacuating residents could be at a similar standoff.
Source: Guy Kovner, The Press Democrat, May 25, 2019
A Davis company is buzzing after winning big at University of California Davis’ annual innovation and business competition.
BioMilitus, which studies the use of insects in reducing agricultural waste and creating animal feed, took home a total of $22,000 in prize money from the Big Bang! Business Competition last Thursday.
The company, a team of four UC Davis graduate students and one researcher, won a total of five awards, including the $10,000 Central Valley Innovation Award and the $7,500 People’s Choice Award. It also won $3,000 in services at the UC Davis-HM.Clause Life Science Innovation Center, an off-campus business incubator with biochemistry, molecular biology and chemistry lab space.
Source: Sacramento Business Journal.
If you build it they will come — or words to that effect — is what a friend told Spring Mountain Vineyards Manager Ron Rosenbrand a year ago.
The friend was “Amigo Bob” Cantisano, a sage of organic farming, and he wasn’t talking about laying out a baseball diamond in the middle of an Iowa cornfield to attract the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and Ty Cobb, et al. Cantisano was talking about building birdhouses to attract bluebirds to the Spring Mountain vineyards to combat the blue-green sharpshooter, which, as a smaller cousin to the more notorious glassy winged sharpshooter, is sometimes called “the wine bug.” Sharpshooters spread Pierce’s disease, which dehydrates the vines and kills them within two or three years.
What Cantisano told him, Rosenbrand recalls, was that there isn’t a good natural insect predator to attack the sharpshooters, but he might try bluebirds.
“I said, ‘OK, that sounds great, but where do I buy bluebirds?’ He said, ‘You don’t buy them — you just build houses for them and they will come,’” said Rosenbrand.
Source: John Lindblom, St. Helena Star / Napa Valley Register, April 16, 2019