Grapevine: Hot Chilies, Dead Cypress, Bokashi, Colony Collapse, Food Policy, Tacos

Photo Bernt Olsen. A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 24th, sparking bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Click photo to visit Spaceweather's aurora gallery.

– To Turn Up the Heat in Chilies, Just Add Water
Hot chilies growing in dry areas need more water to produce as many seeds as non-pungent plants, but the Fusarium fungus is less of a threat in dryer environments so chilies in those areas are less likely to turn up the heat. In wetter regions, where Fusarium thrives, wild chilies build up their reserves of spicy capsaicin in self-defense.  Science Daily

– Ancient Cypress Tree Destroyed by Fire
Investigators are ruling out arson after one of the world’s oldest cypress trees caught fire and collapsed in central Florida. The county parks department says ring samples showed the tree was roughly 3,500 years old.   Florida Today

Bokashi: Homemade Probiotics for Your Soil
In addition to the usual kitchen scraps that end up in a compost bucket, bokashi allows for the inclusion of bread, fish, prepared foods, pizza, pasta, pastries, cheese and other dairy products (no milk or liquids), pits, meat (cooked and uncooked) … and bones.  Yes, bones!  Because this method takes place in an air-tight container at room temperature, the resulting fermentation is usually quite rapid.    All Things Plants

Dying Honeybees: It Was the Insecticides All Along
With news that the U.S. honeybee population has been so devastated that some beekeepers will qualify for disaster relief dollars, comes a report from Purdue University that one of the causes of honeybee deaths is – as long suspected – neonicotinoids.    rsn

Agriculture & food policies have a vital role in improving health and well-being
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has recently published an interesting report titled “Bringing Agriculture to the Table: How Agriculture and Food Policy can Play a Role in Preventing Chronic Disease .” The report is principally concerned with the health risks imposed by a modern food and agricultural system, demonstrated by the growing rates of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. There should be more alignment between the agriculture/food and health sectors to order to prevent NCDs.   Agrobiodiversity Grapevine

Hundreds of Tacos Sent to Connecticut Mayor
Two days after a Connecticut mayor delivered an errant comment about eating tacos to support East Haven Latinos, some 500 tacos were delivered to his office after a Latino activist group called Junta for Progressive Action launched a text-for-tacos campaign to draw attention to the comment, which [Mayor] Maturo later apologized for.    CNN

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