Coconut rhinoceros beetles were first discovered on Guam in 2007. Adults kill palms when they bore into crowns to feed on sap. Rhino beetle larvae feed only on dead plant material at breeding sites and they do no damage. In order to eradicate rhino beetles, all breeding sites must be found and destroyed. Four dogs [...]
Some of Asia’s biggest soda-guzzling nations are preparing to impose taxes on fizzy drinks, following similar moves in France, certain US states and Mexico. The $560bn global soda industry has come under attack worldwide as doctors and policymakers fret about the mounting toll — on health as well as government coffers — of obesity and [...]
When Mark Anson came home with his hair on fire after a seminar on the seemingly soporific topic of soil health, his younger brother, Doug, was skeptical. What had Mark lit up was cover crops: fields of non-cash crops like hairy vetch and cereal rye that act on soil like a nourishing facial after the [...]
The coconut (the fruit of the palm Cocos nucifera) is the Swiss Army knife of the plant kingdom; in one neat package it provides a high-calorie food, potable water, fiber that can be spun into rope, and a hard shell that can be turned into charcoal. What’s more, until it is needed for some other purpose it serves as a handy flotation device.
No wonder people from ancient Austronesians to Captain Bligh pitched a few coconuts aboard before setting sail. (The mutiny of the Bounty is supposed to have been triggered by Bligh's harsh punishment of the theft of coconuts from the ship's store.) So extensively is the history of the coconut interwoven with the history of people [...]