Agriculture looks pretty fun in Kaitlyn Thornton’s hands.
Big trucks, small trucks, pears and apples, belt buckles and boots, and lots of music.
Through videos and photos she educates her followers on what it takes to operate a more than 400-acre orchard in north-central Washington. For example, that “dust” on apples in the family orchards? It’s natural clay sprayed on the fruit to prevent sun damage. And imperfect fruit tastes … » More …
The robots are coming…to an orchard or field near you.
Robots, drones, and automation are part of the smart agriculture movement with the aim of creating the farms of the future.
Watch some of the robots in action…
Robotic apple harvester making headway (Good Fruit Grower, January 14, 2022)
Automatic fruit picker demonstration by FF Robotics (Good Fruit Grower, 2017)
Mechanical pollination trials on a commercial cherry crop (Good Fruit Grower, 2016)
Featuring WSU horticulturist Matthew Whiting at the Prosser-based WSU research orchard
LaserWeeder implement (Carbon Robotics, … » More …
We’ve come a long way from clunky, claw-handed Robot from Lost in Space.
Robots have had industrial and entertainment uses for a number of years, but researchers at Washington State University are rethinking robots’ design, tasks, and collaboration with humans. From the tiniest self-powered robot to soft robots, fruit-picking bots, and swarms of small robots like bees that can search collapsed buildings, the very idea of what is a “robot” is changing.
The creation of the National Robotics Initiative in 2011 also pushed the field toward more collaborative robots (or co-robots), which are designed to work cooperatively with humans. The robots are no longer … » More …
Kate Lebo’s lyrical and literary Book of Difficult Fruit—part memoir, part cookbook, wholly wonderful—published April 6.
The compilation of essays, one for each letter of the alphabet, uses different fruits as key ingredients for recipes and storytelling. Each piece stands on its own. Collectively, though, the entries present an associative work that is altogether delightful, insightful, witty, surprising, and often deeply personal.
Lebo finished the final draft while working … » More …
Sweet, tart, juicy, firm. These traits make the Cosmic Crisp® super versatile in the kitchen.
The new apple, developed at Washington State University and grown—at least for now—only in Washington, is good in both sweet or savory dishes as well as raw or cooked, standing up to heat and holding its shape and texture.
Its myriad culinary uses include brightening soups, sauces, salads, slaws, and salsas—and even topping pizza. Of course, with its satisfying snap-crunch, the flavorful Cosmic Crisp, a registered trademark, is a good eating apple, too—raw and right out of your hand, or sliced and served with brie or dipped in peanut butter or … » More …
Cosmic Crisp® isn’t the first Washington State University apple to go to market. That distinction goes to WA 2, or Sunrise Magic®.
Like Cosmic Crisp, Sunrise Magic was bred at WSU for Washington growers. But it wasn’t launched with the same hype. And it still isn’t as well-known as its successor. Proprietary Variety Management, which is handling the commercialization of both Cosmic Crisp and Sunrise Magic, is working to change that—just as WSU’s pome fruit breeding program continues working on creating new varieties.