Category Archives: Plants & People

Did Wine Making Begin In Neolithic Georgia?

The oldest of these jars came from 8,000 years ago. It’s the earliest artifact ever found showing humans consuming juice from the Eurasian grapes that are the foundation of today’s wine industry. (Click on title for full story.)

Aboriginal People Moved Valued Plant Species Around Australia As They Traveled

Newly published DNA research from a team of scientists and indigenous collaborators upturns botanical history, pointing to a vast and unacknowledged human influence in the distribution of Australia’s native plants. (Click on title for full story.)

Troubled Vets Find Their Way Home Through Botanical Garden Program

In his 20 years in the Navy, Joseph deployed five times and saw dozens of friends die. “I relive those incidents in my head every day. So the garden kinda puts that in peace when I walk, when I walk thought the front gate it really puts my mind at ease. It takes away the darkness and brings some lightness. I used to have migraines all the time and I’m down to one or two a month. And I think that’s due in part to constantly working the garden,” Joseph said. (Click on title for full story.)

With Cacao Crops Threatened Can Jackfruit Be Chocolate’s Replacement?

Jackfruit seeds are a waste product that can be fermented, roasted and converted to flour imparting a chocolate aroma, according to research. (Click on title for full story.)

Can Iceland Restore Forests Destroyed By Viking Ancestors?

The country lost most of its trees more than a thousand years ago, when Viking settlers took their axes to the forests that covered one-quarter of the countryside. Now Icelanders would like to get some of those forests back, to improve and stabilize the country’s harsh soils, help agriculture and fight climate change. But restoring even a portion of Iceland’s once-vast forests is a slow and seemingly endless task. Despite the planting of three million or more trees in recent years, the amount of land that is covered in forest — estimated at about 1 percent at the turn of the 20th century, when reforestation was made a priority — has barely increased. (Click on title for full story.)

In Space, Humans Will Need Plants To Maintain Mental Health

While these anecdotes do not provide direct experimental evidence in support of the psychological benefits of growing plants in space, they do show the affective responses and high level of interest by the astronauts associated with having greenery on board space vessels. (Click on title for full story.)

Climate Change Forces Los Angeles To Say Good-bye To Iconic Palm Trees

‘The iconic association of palm trees with Los Angeles is a positive, but we’re now in a period where we have a better understanding of what’s needed,’ says a climate expert. (Click on title for full story.)

How Grape Vines’ Chemical Memory Of Forest Fires Taints Wine

If wine is cultivated in an area where forest fires occur more often, such as in Australia or Southern Italy, aromas that make the alcoholic drink unpalatable can develop in the finished product. Until now, it wasn’t known why this is so and what happens at the molecular level. (Click on title for full stroy.)

Researcher Looking To Lavender To Reveal Its Pest Defenses

“Lavender has proven to be very good at protecting itself through production of antimicrobial and anti-fungal biochemical compounds, One of our goals is to identify molecules that are involved in this natural self-defence.” (Click on title for full story.)

It Takes A Village With Some Self-Interest To Save A Rare And Endangered Tree In Vietnam

“The success of the project comes down to the trust and understanding we have developed with local people. By helping to establish local village nurseries, we have helped people to grow and replant a variety of trees that complement and add value to traditional ways of life.” (Click on title for full story.)