This week on Greenhorns Radio Sev speaks to agro-ecologist Houston Wilson. Wilson discusses the primary goal of his science: eliminating “off farm” input. This essentially means designing your farm in a way that encourages nature to do the tasks we often leave up to chemicals or people. With enough crop diversification farmers will find that controlling pests, nutrient cycling, and dealing with diseases can all be executed internally if the farm is designed appropriately. This episode was sponsored by Hearst Ranch: purveyors of fine grass-fed beef from the coasts of CA.
Photo 1: The Altieri Lab at UC Berkeley has been conducting cutting edge research in vineyard agroecology over the past decade. Recent efforts focus on the management of non-crop vegetation to enhance the natural regulation of key insect pests in vineyards. We strive to conduct comprehensive research spanning landscape-level dynamics to specific within-field insect interactions. We also believe in the importance of collaborating with growers to conduct research in real-world settings where the system designs that we are developing will be employed.