The second half of my sabbatical has brought us to Dijon, France, where I've been working with colleagues at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). INRA is akin to our USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and has research facilities all across France. My host here is Dr. Stephane Cordeau, pictured below standing in … Continue reading French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
I tend to like to take pictures of landscapes. That's probably because I prefer to focus more on the bigger picture than on minutia. But sometimes taking a closeup lets you examine the important details you might otherwise miss. Here are some closeups from our travels in Australia and France (arranged by category). We'll continue … Continue reading That is too close!
We ended the first chapter of our sabbatical adventure on Sunday night at 11:05 pm. That is the precise time that our Qatar Airways flight departed Perth International Airport. On one hand it was a relief because prior to that moment, we had spent the entire day frantically trying to get ready to go. This … Continue reading Goodbye, Australia… Hello, France.
The second day of our annual ryegrass collecting adventure started out much like the first—lots of driving on paved and dirt roads through a stark and desolate, but also beautiful, landscape. Our route took us a couple hundred kilometers northeast of Geraldton. Our mission was to find and collect annual ryegrass seeds in five paddocks. … Continue reading A Trip North (Part II): Adventures Heading Home Via the Coastal Highway
This week, I took a two-day trip to the northern portion of Western Australia's wheat belt with Mike Ashworth and Roberto Lujan of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI). The purpose of the trip was to find and collect annual ryegrass seeds from 15 or so paddocks where farmers are employing alternative weed management practices … Continue reading A Trip North (Part I): On the Hunt for Annual Ryegrass Seeds
This is Jessica Strauss. Jessica is the communications officer for the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) here at UWA. In that role, Jessica is in charge of much of AHRI's on-line and social media outreach to farmers, researchers, and policy makers. Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jessica for a short … Continue reading Podcast
. . . I guess you could say we were looking for adventure. On Friday I visited the Merredin Dryland Research Institute with my colleagues Kevin Foster and Daniel Kidd. To get there we had to drive several hours down the Great Eastern Highway. This hot ribbon of asphalt stretches 370 miles, linking the city … Continue reading Get your motor runnin’, head out on the (Great Eastern) highway. . . .
Our beautiful little burb of Perth is called Subiaco (but everyone here knows it as "Subi"). And every Saturday morning it is home to a really fantastic farmers market. In fact, we started hearing about the wonders of the Subi Farmers Market pretty much as soon as we arrived in town. So naturally, we were … Continue reading Bringing the farm (and more) to the city: the Subi Farmers Market
When you think of the legumes typically grown for forage in the US, alfalfa, white and red clover, and even soybean often come to mind. In many parts of Western and Southern Australia, however, subterranean clover "sub clover" is king. So much so, in fact, that over 23 million hectares of the region is planted … Continue reading Here’s how you harvest subterranean clover seed in Australia
Sadly, most of America's supermarkets harbor only a small fraction of the vast diversity of candy that exists on our planet. Lucky for me, Australian supermarkets are a veritable rainforest of chocolate treats. Even candy brands that are staples in American stores seem to have come to Australia and evolved into a dizzying array of … Continue reading The real reason we came to Australia . . . for the candy!