News & Events



    Can we encourage as many as possible to sign and/or organise petitions - and if possible to attend the "Day of Action" at the Carmarthen Guildhall on Saturday 30th August at 10am.

    If the TTIP goes ahead, as is being discreetly negotiated at present, it will make billions for the US global corporations and ruin our society, economy and environment in the process.



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  • The new Three Towns Food Network, linking Knighton, Presteigne and Kington to increase local food resilience, will be showing at Knighton Agricultural Show on 30 August (next to the tea tent, with Tene Valley Environmental Group and Knighton Tree Allotments Trust. Read more ...  

  • The 2014 Spring Greens Fair


    Bigger, better, bursting with good things green, but still intimate and charming...the 2014 Spring Greens Fair is back this weekend, 3/4 May at the wonderful Court of Noke, Staunton on Arrow. Mid Wales Permaculture Network will be there, of course (perennial forest garden plants for sale and adopt-a-plant with free plants for children. This year there will be even more wonderful food, activities, forum discussions, demonstrations, crafts, performace... see it all here:

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    Memorial Hall, Presteigne, 9am -1pm


    LOCAL PRODUCE inc fresh organic veg, local cheeses, meats, eggs, smokerie, scrummy bites, homemade Indian foods, apple juice ...

    A SPECIAL stall for April from Whitton WI

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This site has not been updated since 2014 and is being maintained as an archive for now. As time allows we'll be weeding out the dated material and presenting the many useful articles in a new format. We'd appreciate any feedback on what you find most useful on this site via our contact page.

Fungal activation of drought tolerance

Fungal spores kick-start plant metabolism to cope with environmental stresses


A New Scientist report tells how researchers sprayed of D. lanuginosum endophytes (fungal spores) onto wheat seeds that normally grow at temperatures up to 38 degrees C. and how the spores somehow enabled the wheat to grow at 70 degrees C, with a fifty per cent reduction in water requirement. Trials suggest that different microbiomes can confer tolerance of a variety of environmental stresses to a number of crops.

Genetic engineering of plants for drought-tolerance works by switching on metabolic pathways one at a time (a lengthy and expensive procedure, which is controversial and has attendant environmental concerns), but fungi can activate them simultaneously as part of a natural process.


Researchers Jerry Barrow and Mary Lucero, of New Mexico State University, transferred endophytic fungi and bacteria from drought-tolerant desert plants Atriplex canescens and Bouteloua eriopoda to vegetables and fodder grasses, producing increased yields in all of them (USDA Forest Service Proceedings, 2008, p 83).


Significantly, the researchers also suspect that there could be an even simpler way to achieve such increases and stress coping levels in plants. Instead of isolating specific types of fungi, they think it could be more effective to use mulched plant root material from species exhibiting the desired tolerance for drought etc. and to grow crops in this – thus utilizing a whole spectrum of fungal and microbial resource in the mulch. This could be a fast and non-technical way to boost tolerance for changing conditions as weather patterns alter and coastal incursions salinate soils. It provides a viable natural alternative to genetic modification, and could possibly be used by farmers and growers without expensive production of specially treated seed or sprays.


More information:

Increased Fitness of Rice Plants to Abiotic Stress Via Habitat Adapted Symbiosis: A Strategy for Mitigating Impacts of Climate Change



New Scientist article (abstract):


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