State politicians visit UMass crop, animal research center
Oct22

State politicians visit UMass crop, animal research center

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Local legislators visited the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center on Monday morning to see for themselves how new technology can be married to the ancient tradition of agriculture.State Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, was joined by State Reps. Natalie M. Blais, D-Sunderland, and Mindy Domb, D-Amherst, at 89 River Road, where representatives from Hyperion Systems LLC spoke of the compatibility of...

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Ask a Local Master Gardener: How to start a compost pile
Oct18

Ask a Local Master Gardener: How to start a compost pile

Q: How do I start a compost pile? I’ve decided it’s time to make one. —L.S., EasthamptonA: Glad to hear you are taking the plunge into making black gold for your garden soil, L.S. When it comes to gardening, it’s all about the soil. A pleasant, earthy whiff of healthy soil makes a gardener’s heart sing.Let’s get you started. Think of compost as a soil conditioner as opposed to fertilizer. It helps create the soil structure — the mix...

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Earth Matters: Want to save the Earth? Start at home with a land trust
Oct12

Earth Matters: Want to save the Earth? Start at home with a land trust

Looking back at last month’s youth-led Global Climate Strikes, and my own family’s growing concern for this planet we call home, I find myself thinking about what “home” means and where we can really make a difference. When the climate and politics of the entire world seem overwhelming, it may seem insignificant to focus on the health of where we live. But perhaps acting at home is the most hopeful thing we can do. And that can begin...

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Raising green beef: How cattle, dairy farmers are becoming environmentally friendly
Oct09

Raising green beef: How cattle, dairy farmers are becoming environmentally friendly

Methane, a greenhouse gas, gets turned into electricity at Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley. Enough electricity is generated from cow manure and food waste to power more than 1,000 homes.The gas traps heat in the atmosphere and cows produce methane through belches, farts and their manure – enough to account for nine percent of all methane emissions in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2013,...

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Guest column Jack Clarke: Where’s the sense of urgency?
Oct09

Guest column Jack Clarke: Where’s the sense of urgency?

It’s been almost 300 days since state Sen. Marc Pacheco, chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, and his House colleague, Rep. Ruth Balser, issued a New Year’s resolution calling for climate solutions, including net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The resolution was supported by 81 other legislators, including 36 of 40 senators. Since then, Pacheco and Balser filed related legislation, but there’s been no...

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Down to Earth with Naila Moreira: Native mussels, ‘ecosystem engineers,’ return to rivers
Oct09

Down to Earth with Naila Moreira: Native mussels, ‘ecosystem engineers,’ return to rivers

On the muddy bank of the Ware River, University of Massachusetts graduate student Ayla Skorupa bends over a tray of fingernail-sized mussels.These yearling specimens are too tiny for the numbered tags she uses to identify her 2-year-old mussels. So she marks them with that most millennial of substances — glitter.“Black, pink, gold, turquoise,” she calls out. “Bottom row, blue, gold, red.” “You’ve got two gold,” points out her...

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