Woody Agriculture: Breeding & Implementing Hazelnut & Chestnut as Staple Crops by Badgersett Research
Jul 3, 2013
(1) Good technical information about woody agriculture. (2) Ideas may be novel but not very clear about that. (3) Strong CC benefits. (4) Good presentation text, pictures and diagrams.
Jul 29, 2013
Not high on the novelty, but well-organized and well-written proposal with clear economic and carbon impacts. Good budget as well.
Aug 5, 2013
Thank you! A note on novelty: It is true that growing food on trees is a time-honored tradition, however staple crop production on woody plants has been rare in Western and temperate areas for some time. In this light, both the basing of an agricultural system on woody crops, and the use of ecosystem pest management, are currently "novel" to most of the land area currently in agricultural use. Also, the poly-hybrid swarm breeding technique, which leverages the vast genetic diversity available in interspecies crosses, has to our knowledge not been applied in as directed a manner as this before, and perhaps not ever on purpose before this. Though it is very similar to a natural process which commonly results in new species. I'm afraid we didn't fit the "how this is novel" part into the summary description, and then left it out of the "actions proposed" since we were trying to limit that primarily to newly planned actions that would be directly rendered attainable by potential prize money. I hope this clarifies things a bit, and please don't hesitate to offer more feedback or ask more questions!
Aug 10, 2013
This proposal gives us products that are considered delicacies now, chestnuts for carbohydrates and hazelnuts for protein and cooking oil, which can not only be grown as agricultural staple crops, but can also be part of low-tech, small scale individual home production systems, which could make a huge contribution to food and fuel security. Extreme weather has to be considered, and I believe that last year's extreme weather didn't damage hazelnut crops, unlike most of our current staple crops. Additionally, these crops can be stacked with livestock production (sheep, chickens, etc.) or understory crops in the same space, benefiting both.
Aug 12, 2013
This is novel in the sense that it would be a paradigm shift for large scale commercial food production. I would consider a change from annual soil depleting crops to perennial soil building crops (among other things) a huge change in the structure, culture, and environmental impact of agriculture. This needs to happen, or our current agricultural lands WILL eventually turn into deserts due to erosion. The idea that woody plants sequester carbon may not be novel, but switching from large commercial staples like soy to woody crops like hazel is on a scale that I don't think has been attempted before. This is a great project and deserves your vote!
Aug 29, 2013
I'm probably making this up, but I once heard that a squirrel used to be able to travel from Minnesota to Mexico with touching the ground. Modern agriculture has really changed our landscape and has been shown to be a drain on our water table, as well as a major source of pollution (i.e., petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides/herbicides). It's probably time for us to switch to something that is better for our bodies than grains, and would also give our world many benefits such as preventing erosion, keeping our waterways clean, and cooling our climate.
Aug 30, 2013
Changing the way we do agriculture is a big leverage point. I think it very important that whatever we do to tackle climate change also has a strong economic component to it. This could be scaled up to replace our current agricultural practices.
Dec 26, 2013
> a squirrel used to be able to travel from Minnesota to Mexico Gulf of Mexico, I think it was. I came across that in something Sigurd Olson wrote. 'oogling: Found one similar mention: http://www.iatp.org/files/Revolutionizing_County_Forest_Management_in_Mi.pdf _______ In Rediscovering America: John Muir in His Time and Ours, Historian Frederick Turner discusses a folk truth from the time of European settlement of the East which said that âa squirrel could start in a tree on the seaboard and travel west all the way to the Mississippi without having to touch the earth.â