Gardening throughout America has shown a steady increase in recent years.
There are many reasons for gardening's renewed popularity: an aging population with more time to spend gardening, increased cost of buying food in grocery stores, the proven negative effects pesticides and chemicals have on our bodies, understanding of the important role plants play in providing our planet with clean air and water, and knowledge of the simple joys gardening provides which offer calmness to our increasingly complex lives. "Back to nature" is no longer a fad but a way of life.
The first extraterrestrials to inhabit the moon probably won't be little green men, but they could be little green plants.
Researchers at the University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, known as CEAC, are demonstrating that plants from Earth could be grown hydroponically (without soil) on the moon or Mars, setting the table for astronauts who would find potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables awaiting their arrival.
2015 was another newsworthy year here in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Let's take a look back at the 10 stories last year that created the most buzz.
Soybeans Bred With Lower Allergen Content
A new type of soybean with low allergen content and better nutritional properties has been conventionally bred by scientists from the Universities of Arizona and Illinois.
"So, I've got to figure out a way to grow three years' worth of food here - on a planet where nothing grows," says Mark Watney, the botanist who ends up stranded on the red planet in Ridley Scott's new film, "The Martian."
Watney, whose character is played by actor Matt Damon, later engineers a way to grow potatoes on Mars and remarks, "I am the greatest botanist on this planet."
Harnessing the Antarctic's microbiology for the production of low-temperature tolerant biofuels is just one of the research areas the University of Arizona Office Of Western Hemispheric Programs, together with the Center for Latin American Studies, is looking to impact with small grants for collaboration in Latin America.
Researchers in the University of Arizona's department of agricultural and biosystems engineering recently reaped the reward of six years of planning, testing and trials and harvested 40 acres of experimental sweet sorghum at the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Red Rock Agricultural Research Center.
Sarah Cook landed a job with a world-class company developing cutting-edge technology – all before graduating from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/College of Engineering in May 2012.
Cook, 29, who received a bachelor's in Biosystems Engineering, is using skills she learned at UA to develop new generation harvesters for John Deere. As a hydraulics engineer in research and development, she is based in East Moline, Ill., and is teaming up with John Deere counterparts in Brazil.
When Apollo astronauts stood on the Moon and looked back at the Earth, they were the first humans to see our planet as a completely isolated system, bounded on all sides by black. Now, 45 years later, "Earthlight," a new documentary produced by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, explores the challenges facing the human race and how the technology we are designing to return to the Moon might be extremely useful here on Earth as well.
Nasseo, Inc., a medical device startup co-founded by Garrett Cale Smith, an alumnus of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, took first place earlier this year at the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge.
Entries at the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge included technologies to cure cancer, brain-computer interfaces for patients without speech, an automated portfolio management system, sensor assisted orthopedic surgery, garbage compactors, and an enhanced dental implant.
After spending most of 2012 on the road – with a stop at the San Diego County Fair in June and an installation at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, beginning in July – the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center's Lunar Greenhouse Outreach and Teaching Module returned to Tucson in January. Since its return, this traveling educational program has continued to attract attention in the media.