Organic farming study at – gasp! – a research university

There is a common misperception among some that university researchers are in the pocket of Big Ag (see June 11 and 13 posts). So here’s a link to an article in today’s Seattle Times about the benefits of organic farming from a study at Washington State University.  The research was published in Nature (one of the most revered of the scientific journals).

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

4 thoughts on “Organic farming study at – gasp! – a research university”

  1. i just read about this on the science daily web site. The idea of ‘eveness’ of species is interesting. Would it apply to plant species also? Ie would make sense to mix up the plants in the veggie garden a little?

  2. It absolutely makes sense to “mix it up” in the veggie garden. Polyculture can be applied to the home garden as well as to agricultural fields. Growing plants in a patchwork confuses insect pests and reduces soil pathogen levels, because many pests are species specific. It’s a way of reducing the monocultural smorgasbord that can create epidemic levels of pests and disease. This is part of the “cultural control” prong of IPM.

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