NRCS Soil Conservationist Rob Pearce collecting nahavita corms. Photo by Ken Lair, NRCS.
Native American agriculture techniques once dominated the continent, but after the arrival of Europeans, many of those traditions were nearly lost. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is working with tribal communities and ethnobotanists to restore some of these techniques and crops.
NRCS Earth Team volunteer Ken Lair is working with the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley in California to test a cultivation technique to stimulate growth of the plant nahavita, or blue dicks.
Traditionally, when native people harvested geophytes through digging, they did more than just retrieve the largest bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes for eating—they also replanted the smaller ones so that they could grow into new plants. Lair is testing this cultivation technique by growing nahavita at the Big Pine Indian Reservation. Read more »
Nick Gauthier, a firefighter with Stanislaus National Forest Engine 12, holds two baby owls that fell out of a tree during the Carstens Fire on the Sierra National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
As the flames from the recent Carstens Fire in the Sierra National Forest approached, two baby Western screech owls huddled abandoned in a nest.
Then, without warning, the tree that was their home came crashing down to the ground. Firefighters working to contain the quickly-spreading fire had cut down the tree to build a fire control line. Too young to fly, the baby owls tumbled to the ground and onto a roadway. Read more »
To enjoy nutritious fresh fruit smoothies - Summer Food kickoff participants power a blender using a stationary bicycle.
On the grounds of Valley Hi-North Laguna Library in Sacramento, California, upwards of 150 children participated in the California Summer Meals kickoff event hosted by the California Summer Meal Coalition, Sacramento Public Library, and the Elk Grove Unified School District. USDA’s Summer Food Service Program offers free meals during summer break so kids are better fueled with healthy food to learn and grow all year long.
Though the weather approached 100 degrees, the children were not deterred from learning about the importance of healthy meals during the summer months at this event. Read more »
The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and Helen Bonham Carter opens nationwide in theaters on July 3. The movie shot for 10 days on the Santa Fe National Forest for a fight scene on a train speeding through a tunnel. (Copyrighted photo courtesy Walt Disney Pictures)
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, stars of Disney’s The Lone Ranger debuting July 3, join a long list of formidable Hollywood greats, including Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne, who have acted on the nation’s outdoor soundstage – a national forest.
Last year during 10 days of filming on the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico, the Gilman Tunnels served as the backdrop for a scene in The Lone Ranger where a train passes through the tunnels. Read more »
Studies have shown that olive powder has potential to suppress the foodborne pathogen E. coli O157:H7 in hamburger patties and to retard the formation of potentially carcinogenic heterocyclic amines that can form when the burgers are cooked.
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Chances are that you—or whoever’s the “grillmaster” at your house—have your own “secret ingredient” for making grilled burgers taste even better. But it might surprise you to know that Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university colleagues also are working on secret ingredient for a better burger, although their interest focuses on food safety rather than flavor.
They’ve been testing the capacity of olive powder, a byproduct of olive processing, as a weapon against Escherichia coli O157:H7, and the powder’s potential to retard the formation of undesirable substances called heterocyclic amines while the patties are being grilled. Read more »
Goats on the Cleveland National Forest nibble on vegetation to defend communities against wildfire by reducing regrowth. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
Recently, 1,400 goats reported for duty with the U.S. Forest Service. Their mission: Lend their appetites to the removal of fuels buildup on the Cleveland National Forest.
The goats were a part of a 100-acre forest-thinning project that begin in late April to clear a 300-foot community fuel break area between the San Vicente/Barona Mesa communities and the forest. Read more »