Why is Quinoa Grain so Popular?

Quinoa grain has become popular in many countries where it is not naturally grown such as United States, Canada, Europe and Australia which in turn increased the crop value.  Quinoa grain is also appreciated by the many health benefits that it is associated including losing weight and high content of protein.

Nutritional value

Raw, uncooked quinoa is 13% water, 64% carbohydrates, 14% protein, and 6% fat (top nutrient table). Nutritional evaluations indicate that a 100 g (3.5 oz) serving of raw quinoa is a rich source (20% or higher of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins, including 46% DV for folate, and dietary minerals.

After cooking, which is the typical preparation for eating, quinoa is 72% water, 21% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 2% fat and its nutrient contents are collectively and substantially reduced. In a 100 g (3.5 oz) serving, cooked quinoa provides 120 calories and is an excellent source of manganese and phosphorus (30% and 22% DV, respectively), and a moderate source (10-19% DV) of dietary fiber, folate, and the dietary minerals, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Possibly owing to these qualities, it is an experimental crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied space flights.” Taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa#Rising_popularity_and_crop_value

Where does Vainilla Extract Come from?

” Vanilla extract is a solution containing the flavor compound vanillin as the primary ingredient. Pure vanilla extract is made by macerating and percolating vanilla pods in a solution of ethanol and water. In the United States, in order for a vanilla extract to be called pure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that the solution contains a minimum of 35% alcohol and 100 g of vanilla beans per liter (13.35 ounces per gallon). Double and triple strength (up to 20-fold) vanilla extracts are available.

Vanilla extract is the most common form of vanilla used today. Mexican, Tahitian, Indonesian and Bourbon vanilla are the main varieties. Bourbon vanilla is named for the period when the island of Réunion was ruled by the Bourbon kings of France; it does not contain Bourbon whiskey.
Natural vanilla flavoring is derived from real vanilla beans with little to no alcohol. The maximum amount of alcohol that is usually present is only 2–3%. Imitation vanilla extract contains vanillin, made either from guaiacol or from lignin, a byproduct of the wood pulp industry.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_extract

Strange Solutions That Worked.


Weird Hiccup Cure – Hiccups are annoying; they go away as sudden as they come. However, there is a simple solution to this problem, albeit a little bit gross.

Condor Cluster – Giving the Air Force Research Laboratory a low budget did not stop them from building their own supercomputer. Having not enough money to buy a supercomputer, they decided to buy 1760 Playstation 3 units.

Colours to influence behaviours – According to scientific research, some colours are effective in reducing one’s negative thoughts, be it suicidal tendencies or aggressiveness.

Plastic Wishbones – Its Traditional for two people to break apart a birds wishbone after extracting it from a cooked dinner.

Bottled Air & Bags of Dirt – When travelling overseas, it is always a good idea to bring something that reminds you of your home.

Shooter Stopped with a Hug – If you ever encounter a man with a gun, your natural instinct would be to hide or run away as fast as you can.

Black Dyed Water – It is said that the more you prohibit people, the more they are inclined to do it.

Face Masks Fooling Bengal Tigers – Bengal tigers are considered one of the most dangerous predators in India.

Ants for Stitches – Sutures weren’t a thing back as early as 1000BC, so our ancestors had to make do with what they had on their hands. Plant fibres, animal hair, ants…

“Instant” Baggage Claims – Having to wait to claim your baggage is extremely infuriating, especially if you just had a long flight. Using Typewriters Against

Spies – Within days of Edward Snowden’s revelations, Kremlin agents were quick to replace all their high-end computers with something more traditional – typewriters.

Fish Eating Dead Skin – Turkish people came up with a weird solution to treat psoriasis – fish.

Piano Stairs – Ever wish you can have fun while using the stairs? Then piano stairs can do the trick.

Balls to Reduce Evaporation – California often experiences drought spells, so to prevent the Ivanhoe reservoir from getting dried up, they filled it balls – lots of it.

Flame Weeding – Tired of plucking weeds all day? Worried about contaminating the land with pesticides? Well, How about just flame-thrower-ing the ground? Sounds crazy but this solution, called ‘Flame weeding’ is an organic alternative, used by a number of conscious gardeners and agriculturalists around the world.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gt_-yO72LI

What are The Benefits Agroforestry?

“Agroforestry systems can be advantageous over conventional agricultural, and forest production methods. They can offer increased productivity, economic benefits, and more diversity in the ecological goods and services provided . (An example of this was seen in trying to conserve Milicia excelsa.)

Biodiversity in agroforestry systems is typically higher than in conventional agricultural systems. With two or more interacting plant species in a given land area, it creates a more complex habitat that can support a wider variety of birds, insects, and other animals. Depending upon the application, impacts of agroforestry can include:

  • Reducing poverty through increased production of wood and other tree products for home consumption and sale
  • Contributing to food security by restoring the soil fertility for food crops
  • Cleaner water through reduced nutrient and soil runoff
  • Countering global warming and the risk of hunger by increasing the number of drought-resistant trees and the subsequent production of fruits, nuts and edible oils
  • Reducing deforestation and pressure on woodlands by providing farm-grown fuelwood
  • Reducing or eliminating the need for toxic chemicals (insecticides, herbicides, etc.)
  • Through more diverse farm outputs, improved human nutrition
  • In situations where people have limited access to mainstream medicines, providing growing space for medicinal plants
  • Increased crop stability
  • Multifunctional site use i.e. crop production and animal grazing.
  • Typically more drought resistant.
  • Stabilises depleted soils from erosion
  • Bioremediation

Agroforestry practices may also realize a number of other associated environmental goals, such as:

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Odour, dust, and noise reduction
  • Green space and visual aesthetics
  • Enhancement or maintenance of wildlife habitat” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agroforestry


How to Harvest Cocoa Trees?

In the first place, we will learn about what is a cacao tree. ” A cacao tree is also called the cocoa tree. s a small (4–8 m (13–26 ft) tall) evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae, native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. Its seeds, cocoa beans, are used to make cocoa mass, cocoa powder, confectionery, ganache, and chocolate.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobroma_cacao

How to harvest cocoa trees?

Usually, ripe cocoa pods are ripe and mature when they are red, yellow or purple coloured. Other varieties tend to ripe when they are orange coloured. The fruits grow from the trunk or the branches. During the year the pods need to be harvested since they do not ripe all together in the tree. With a curved knife, the pods are harvested from the trunks, when cutting the fruit the cutter has to be very careful since a deep wound on the trunk will damage where other flowers may appear to produce more fruit.

  1. The pods are opened with a machete to expose the seeds. The seeds and pulp are extracted and the rid is discarded.  The pulp and seeds are then piled in heaps, placed in bins, or laid out on grates for several days. During this time, the seeds and pulp undergo “sweating”, where the thick pulp liquefies as it ferments. The fermented pulp trickles away, leaving cocoa seeds behind to be collected. Sweating is important for the quality of the beans, which originally have a strong, bitter taste. If sweating is interrupted, the resulting cocoa may be ruined; if underdone, the cocoa seed maintains a flavour similar to raw potatoes and becomes susceptible to mildew. Some cocoa-producing countries distil alcoholic spirits using the liquefied pulp.
  2. A typical pod contains 20 to 50 beans and about 400 dried beans are required to make one pound (880 per kilogram) of chocolate. Cocoa pods weigh an average of 400 g (14 oz) and each one yields 35 to 40 g (1.2 to 1.4 oz) dried beans; this yield is 40–44% of the total weight in the pod. One person can separate the beans from about 2000 pods per day.
  3. The wet beans are then transported to a facility so they can be fermented and dried. They are fermented for four to seven days and must be mixed every two days. They are dried for five to 14 days, depending on the climate conditions. The fermented beans are dried by spreading them out over a large surface and constantly raking them. In large plantations, this is done on huge trays under the sun or by using artificial heat. Small plantations may dry their harvest on little trays or on cowhides. Finally, the beans are trodden and shuffled about (often using bare human feet) and sometimes, during this process, red clay mixed with water is sprinkled over the beans to obtain a finer color, polish, and protection against molds during shipment to factories in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and other countries. Drying in the sun is preferable to drying by artificial means, as no extraneous flavours such as smoke or oil are introduced which might otherwise taint the flavour.
  4. The beans should be dry for shipment (usually by sea). Traditionally exported in jute bags, over the last decade, beans are increasingly shipped in “mega-bulk” parcels of several thousand tonnes at a time on ships, or in smaller lots around 25 tonnes in 20-ft containers. Shipping in bulk significantly reduces handling costs; shipment in bags, however, either in a ship’s hold or in containers, is still common.https;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWI3Ykl7cPw

What is Agroecology?

” Agroecology is the study of ecological processes applied to agricultural production systems. The prefix agro- refers to agriculture. Bringing ecological principles to bear in agroecosystems can suggest novel management approaches that would not otherwise be considered. The term is often used imprecisely and may refer to “a science, a movement, [or] a practice”. Agroecologists study a variety of agroecosystems, and the field of agroecology is not associated with any one particular method of farming, whether it be organic, integrated, or conventional; intensive or extensive, although it has much more in common with some of the before mentioned farming systems.

Agroecologists do not unanimously oppose technology or inputs in agriculture but instead assess how, when, and if technology can be used in conjunction with natural, social and human assets. Agroecology proposes a context- or site-specific manner of studying agroecosystems, and as such, it recognizes that there is no universal formula or recipe for the success and maximum well-being of an agroecosystem. Thus, agroecology is not defined by certain management practices, such as the use of natural enemies in place of insecticides, or polyculture in place of monoculture.

Instead, agroecologists may study questions related to the four system properties of agroecosystems: productivity, stability, sustainability, and equitability. As opposed to disciplines that are concerned with only one or some of these properties, agroecologists see all four properties as interconnected and integral to the success of an agroecosystem. Recognizing that these properties are found on varying spatial scales, agroecologists do not limit themselves to the study of agroecosystems at any one scale: gene-organism-population-community-ecosystem-landscape-biome, field-farm-community-region-state-country-continent-global.

Agroecologists study these four properties through an interdisciplinary lens, using natural sciences to understand elements of agroecosystems such as soil properties and plant-insect interactions, as well as using social sciences to understand the effects of farming practices on rural communities, economic constraints to developing new production methods, or cultural factors determining farming practices.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agroecology



What is Permaculture?

” Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. The term was developed and coined by David Holmgren, then a graduate student, and his professor, Bill Mollison, in 1978. The word permaculture originally referred to “permanent agriculture”,  but was expanded to stand also for “permanent culture”, as it was understood that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system as inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy.

It has many branches that include, but are not limited to, ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, construction. Permaculture also includes integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, and regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.

Mollison has said: “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

What is The Dragon Fruit?

” A pitaya /pɪˈt.ə/ or pitahaya /ˌpɪtəˈh.ə/ is the fruit of several cactus species indigenous to the Americas. Pitaya usually refers to the fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to the fruit of the genus Hylocereus. These fruits are commonly known in English as “dragon fruit”, reflecting its vernacular Asian names. The names pitahaya and pitaya derives from Mexico, and pitaya Roja in Central America and northern South America, possibly relating to pitahaya for names of tall cacti species with flowering fruit. In China, the fruit is referred to as huǒ lóng guǒ.

Dragon fruit Hylocereus

 Ripe dragon fruit, Vietnam

Sweet pitahayas come in three types, all with leathery, slightly leafy skin:

  • Hylocereus undatus (Pitaya Blanca or white-fleshed pitahaya) has pink-skinned fruit with white flesh. This is the most commonly seen “dragon fruit”.
  • Hylocereus costaricensis (Pitaya Roja or red-fleshed pitahaya, also known as Hylocereus polyrhizus) has red-skinned fruit with red flesh.
  • Hylocereus megalanthus (Pitaya Amarilla or yellow pitahaya, also known as Selenicereus megalanthus) has yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh.

Early imports from Colombia to Australia were designated Hylocereus ocampensis (supposedly red fruit) and Cereus triangularis (supposedly yellow fruit). It is not quite certain to which species these taxa refer, though the former is probably the red pitaya.

The fruit normally weighs from 150 to 600 grams (5.3 to 21.2 oz); some may reach 1 kilogram (2.2 lb).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya



What is The Agricultural Revolution?

“Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human cultures from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement, making possible an increasingly larger population. These settled communities permitted humans to observe and experiment with plants to learn how they grew and developed.This new knowledge led to the domestication of plants.

Archaeological data indicates that the domestication of various types of plants and animals happened in separate locations worldwide, starting in the geological epoch of the Holocene around 12,500 years ago. It was the world’s first historically verifiable revolution in agriculture. The Neolithic Revolution greatly narrowed the diversity of foods available, with a switch to agriculture which led to a downturn in human nutrition.

The Neolithic Revolution involved far more than the adoption of a limited set of food-producing techniques. During the next millennia, it would transform the small and mobile groups of hunter-gatherers that had hitherto dominated human pre-history into sedentary (non-nomadic) societies based in built-up villages and towns. These societies radically modified their natural environment by means of specialized food-crop cultivation, with activities such as irrigation and deforestation which allowed the production of surplus food.

These developments provided the basis for densely populated settlements, specialization and division of labor, more trade, the development of non-portable art and architecture, centralized administrations and political structures, hierarchical ideologies, depersonalized systems of knowledge (e.g. writing), and property ownership. The earliest known civilization developed in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia (c. 5,500 BP); its emergence also heralded the beginning of the Bronze Age.”



How are Mushrooms Produced?

Mushrooms are not plants, and require different conditions for optimal growth. Plants develop through photosynthesis, a process that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, especially cellulose. While sunlight provides an energy source for plants, mushrooms derive all of their energy and growth materials from their growth medium, through biochemical decomposition processes. This does not mean that light is an irrelevant requirement, since some fungi use light as a signal for fruiting.[1][2] However, all the materials for growth must already be present in the growth medium. Mushrooms grow well at relative humidity levels of around 95–100%, and substrate moisture levels of 50 to 75%.[1]

Instead of seeds, mushrooms reproduce asexually through spores. Spores can be contaminated with airborne microorganisms, which will interfere with mushroom growth and prevent a healthy crop.

Mycelium, or actively growing mushroom culture, is placed on a substrate—usually sterilized grains such as rye or millet—and induced to grow into those grains. This is called inoculation. Inoculated grains are referred to as spawn. Spores are another inoculation option, but are less developed than established mycelium. Since they are also contaminated easily, they are only manipulated in laboratory conditions with a laminar flow cabinet. SRC – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungiculture

Mushroom production synthesized in 6 steps:

  1. Making Mushroom Compost

  2. Finishing the Compost

  3. Spawning

  4. Casing

  5. Pinning

  6. Cropping


For additional information on mushroom crops you can visit the following page: