By Brian Barth
A select number of "cool-weather crops," mainly greens and root vegetables, thrive when planted in mid to late summer.
That may sound counterintuitive, but the idea is to get them started early enough so that they are maturing as the weather turns crisp. If you wait until fall to plant your "fall" vegetables, cold weather may nip them before they're big enough to harvest.
Here are some of our favorite cool-weather crops. To avoid heat stress on the seedlings, it is best to sow fall crops indoors, or in a semi-shady part of the garden, and then transplant them to their permanent location two to three weeks after they sprout. The fall planting window stretches from early August in northerly latitudes to late August and early September in southerly locales.
1. Speckled Trout Lettuce
This Austrian heirloom goes by various names—Forellenschluss, Flashy Trout Back, Freckles—all of which refer to its spotted appearance. It looks as though someone has dripped Merlot all over the leaves. This is a romaine-type lettuce that matures in about 60 days.
2. Greasy Collards
This old-school Southern heirloom, which is often sold under the name Green Glaze, is essential for authentic collards and ham hocks. With ruffly-edged leaves that have a unique glossy sheen (as though they are already coated in grease), these collards are a different animal than those found in the supermarket. Pest- and frost-resistant, this variety often persists through the winter in mild climates.
3. Black Radishes
Also known as a Spanish radish, Noir Gros de Paris or Black Mooli, these dark-skinned beauties grow much larger (nearly softball size) than your standard red skin radish. They also have a more pungent flavor and a tougher texture—that may sound unappealing but don't knock it 'til you try it (black radishes have a cult following in the culinary world). If the flavor is too strong for you raw, trying cooking them as you would turnips.
4. Hakurei Turnips
Speaking of cooked turnips, this is one variety that is so sweet and tender you can eat it raw. They are often diced and tossed in salads. Hakureis are unusually small for a turnip—they're ready to harvest when they reach two inches in diameter. And they only take about 40 days to reach maturity, so it's one fall crop that you can get away with planting on the late side.
5. Candy Stripe Beets
Also known as Chioggia beets, these Italian heirlooms are as glamorous looking as the name implies. They are also tender and tasty—even those who turn their nose up at the intense, earthy flavor of most beets often find mild, sweet (one might say, candy-like) Chioggias to their liking.
6. Rainbow Chard
Why not plant a garden that is both beautiful and delicious? So-called rainbow chard is not a distinct variety—it's really just a mixture of chard cultivars that happen to have stems in different colors (red, pink, white, orange, yellow and gold)—but it's a fun way to grow this sweetly-flavored green anyways. Harvest the baby greens in as little as 30 days or give them 60 days to mature into bunches. Multi-hued chard seed is sometimes sold under the name Bright Lights.
7. Red Russian Kale
There is no kale more sweet or tender than this heirloom, which is also known as Ragged Jack because of the zig-zag shape of the leaf edges. It matures in as little as 60 days and is one of the most cold-hardy greens available (along with the closely related Siberian kale). The purple, red and green tones of the foliage grow more vivid as the weather cools. Harvest the baby kale after 30 days for a nutrient-packed—and colorful—addition to salads.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
By Betsy Mason
For decades, climate scientist David Keith of Harvard University has been trying to get people to take his research seriously. He's a pioneer in the field of geoengineering, which aims to combat climate change through a range of technological fixes. Over the years, ideas have included sprinkling iron in the ocean to stimulate plankton to suck up more carbon from the atmosphere or capturing carbon straight out of the air.
Solar geoengineering would involve injecting reflective aerosols from high-altitude planes into the layer of the upper atmosphere known as the stratosphere, which stretches between 10 to 50 kilometers (6 to 31 miles) above Earth's surface. The idea is that the aerosol particles would reflect a small amount of sunlight away from the planet, reducing the amount of heat trapped by greenhouse gases and mitigating some of the effects of climate change.
The planned Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment will send a balloon carrying scientific instruments in a gondola into the stratosphere. The instruments will release a small amount of material — likely ice or mineral dust — to form a kilometer-long plume of aerosol particles (left). Modified airboat propellers will allow the gondola to maneuver above the plume (middle) and lower instruments into the plume to take repeated measurements of how the particles spread through the stratosphere (right). ADAPTED FROM J.A. DYKEMA ET AL / PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A 2014
David Keith envisions using multiple approaches to combat climate change. The red line shows how the impacts of climate change would worsen with a business-as-usual scenario of unabated burning of fossil fuels and other greenhouse gas emissions. Aggressively cutting emissions bends that curve, and removing carbon from the atmosphere offers further cuts, but there are still consequences from the already high levels of carbon dioxide. In this scenario, solar geoengineering would lessen the impact from existing atmospheric carbon dioxide, effectively carving the top off the curve.<p>Some people think we should use it only as a get-out-of-jail card in an emergency. Some people think we should use it to quickly try to get back to a preindustrial climate. I'm arguing we use solar geoengineering to cut the top off the curve by gradually starting it and gradually ending it.</p><p><strong>Do you feel optimistic about the chances that solar geoengineering will happen and can make a difference in the climate crisis?</strong></p><p>I'm not all that optimistic right now because we seem to be so much further away from an international environment that's going to allow sensible policy. And that's not just in the US. It's a whole bunch of European countries with more populist regimes. It's Brazil. It's the more authoritarian India and China. It's a more nationalistic world, right? It's a little hard to see a global, coordinated effort in the near term. But I hope those things will change.</p>
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Lisa Newcomb
Analysis released Thursday of the world's top 10 biggest plastic polluters in 15 countries reveals how major corporations hide behind the veneer of corporate responsibility while actively working to thwart regulatory legislation around the globe.
<div id="5899a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f2af5e24600e9a04a59098846be0795c"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1306489782529335296" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Out now! 📢 Our ground-breaking new report reveals the hypocrisy of the world’s biggest #plasticpolluters, who claim… https://t.co/TWutruUlqA</div> — Changing Markets Foundation (@Changing Markets Foundation)<a href="https://twitter.com/ChangingMarkets/statuses/1306489782529335296">1600326412.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="688ca" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3370c14123ff2ac521085479120d1260"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1306488205198401536" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">DELAY, DISTRACT and DERAIL: 3 tactics that help Big Plastic fight plastic legislation behind the scenes across the… https://t.co/f29Pc86aMj</div> — GAIA (@GAIA)<a href="https://twitter.com/GAIAnoburn/statuses/1306488205198401536">1600326036.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="eaab1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0f6dbe75ec7e7ed4656a767958238c89"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1306313773511303169" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Amount of federal government subsidies given to the fossil fuel industry every year: $15 billion. The amount it sh… https://t.co/NRWQWRiw5f</div> — Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)<a href="https://twitter.com/SenSanders/statuses/1306313773511303169">1600284448.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Urbanic urged lawmakers to act to protect the planet.</p><p>"The voluntary initiatives and commitments by the industry have failed," she said in a statement. "Policymakers should look past the industry smokescreen and adopt proven, progressive legislation globally to create the systemic change that this crisis so urgently needs."</p>
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The secretive blueprints for two of the leading vaccine candidates for the coronavirus were released Thursday. Pfizer and Moderna became the first two companies among the nine leading vaccine candidates to share their study designs, hoping that the disclosures will create trust and clarity for the public, as The New York Times reported.
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New Zealand could be the first country in the world to require its major financial institutions to report on the risks posed by the climate crisis.
Eco-friendly outdoor brand Patagonia has a colorful and timely message stitched into the tags of its latest line of shorts. "VOTE THE A**HOLES," it reads.
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