Category: Saiks Agri-Treks

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Cornell University’s Gene Gun and Plant Breeding Labs

The gene gun, the first of which literally used a .22-calibre bullet, was invented by plant geneticists working at Cornell University in the 1980s as a way of injecting DNA into plant cells. The technology made the process of introducing new genetic material to many major crops, including corn and wheat, much more efficient, helping to create plants with resistance… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Martagon Lilies, “Anti-Deer” Cedar and Ieuan Evans (Pt 3)

In this episode of Saik’s Agri-Treks, we are back on the tour of Ieuan Evans’ 4.5 acres of diversity. Besides being credited with discovering the Evans cherry tree in a gardener’s home near Fort Saskatchewan, Evans is also well-known for his passion for lilies. Saik’s Agri-Treks: Sunflowers, Sheep and Ieuan Evans Saik’s Agri-Treks: Grafting, Non-Browning Apples and Ieuan Evans… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Grafting, Non-Browning Apples and Ieuan Evans (Pt. 2)

Related: Saik’s Agri-Treks: Sunflowers, Sheep and Ieuan Evans (Pt. 1) In this episode of Saik’s Agri-Treks, we are back on the tour of Ieuan Evans’ “4.5 acres of ecosystem.” Rob Saik, host of Agri-Treks and founder of Agri-Trend, shows us an edible mountain ash, apple grafts, cherry and plum trees. He then gives us a tour of the greenhouse,… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Sunflowers, Sheep and Ieuan Evans

Saik’s Agri-Treks has taken us to favelas in Brazil, not-quite-elephant-proof fencing in Africa, Agritechnica in Germany and desert irrigation in Arizona. But this time, Rob Saik takes us on an exploration of our own backyard — or, Ieuan Evans’ backyard — in sunny Alberta. Related: Will Agriculture be Allowed to Feed 9 Billion? Rob Saik’s TEDx Talk Evans is… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Iguassu Falls and Itaipu Dam

Iguassu (or Iguazu, Iguacu) Falls borders Argentina and Brazil, its name originating from the Tupi or Guarani language meaning “big water.” With a width of 2.7 kilometers and heights between 60 and 82m, it certainly is big water. They’re taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide. And it’s not just the falls that are uniquely spectacular…. Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Farming in Ponta Grossa, Brazil

One of the few Latin American countries to expand agricultural production since the mid-1900s, Brazil’s deforestation has long been in the limelight of global scrutiny. The vast topographical change is concerning, but with the agricultural industry so important to the Brazilian economy, it’s easy to see there are incredible economic incentives fuelling the destruction. Commodities grown in Brazil vary… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Fertilizer Movement on the Port of Paranaguá

We’re about to embark on our third adventure in Brazil with Rob Saik, host of Agri-Treks and founder of Agri-Trend. We’ve explored Brazil’s Carnaval celebrations in São Paulo and Rio De Jainero, the favelas in Rio and now, we will experience the Port of Paranaguá. Located in the state of Paraná, the Port of Paranaguá has a long history, dating back to colonial times, as it was through Paranaguá that settlers first… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Touring Brazil’s Favelas

In the last episode of Saik’s Agri-Treks, we toured Carnaval celebrations in São Paulo and Rio De Jainero and the statue “Christ the Redeemer.” We also learned of Carnaval’s significance to the favelas, where many of the samba schools are formed. Favelas are areas typically located on the periphery of large cities in Brazil, where those who could not afford housing within the… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: Brazil’s Carnaval, Sambadrome and Christ the Redeemer

Every year, Brazil’s Carnaval kicks off the Friday before Ash Wednesday, which signals the beginning of Lent. The celebration is impressive, involving street festivals, masquerades and parades across the country. Perhaps the most notable Carnaval celebration occurs in Rio de Janeiro, with nearly 500 000 foreign visitors alone. The Carnaval is a celebration that involves all walks of life, ignoring cultural and sexual… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: The Mississippi Delta & Cotton Production

Flat as a pancake. That’s how Rob Saik, host of Agri-Treks and founder of Agri-Trend, describes the Mississippi Delta. It’s an apt description, but that flat land and flood plain also produces some pretty amazing crops, including cotton. In this episode of Saik’s Agri-Treks we learn about how cotton grows, identify some of the quality… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks: A Trip to Whole Foods, NYC

If decision-making isn’t exactly your forte, grocery shopping can be more than a daunting excursion. There are so many gluten-free-lactose-free-free-range-organic-all-natural-sustainable-recycled choices, it’s hard to distinguish real food from really good marketing. Quite typically, stores and restaurants react to confusion with simplicity. Whole Foods, for example, integrated a “Health Starts Here” program into its product-line. Products… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks, Russia: 240,000 Acre Farms, Sugar Beets & Dairy Cows in Town

When people talk about farming in Russia, I imagine a very similar to set up to Western Canada, just bigger. If this episode of Rob Saik’s Agri-Treks is any indication, I’m both right and very wrong. See more: Tour Kenya, see where tequila comes from and more! In this latest installment chronicling some of the… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks, Kenya —Ep. 4: Elephants as a Crop Pest & the Challenge of Weather

In this last episode of Rob Saik’s epic Agri-Trek to Kenya, Rob takes us on a tour of a primary school’s hodge-podge of a garden. We use the term only to mean the organization of the garden, because the diversity of plants is unlike anything you’d likely see in a North American garden. Corn, beans… Read more »

Saik’s Agri-Treks, Kenya — Ep. 3: The Corn Harvest, Rift Valley & Tea Leaves

Can you imagine hand harvesting your corn crop? How about drying and storing corn in an orphanage? Farming in North America and farming in Africa do share some similarities such as crop type, but that’s about where the similarities end. It’s hard to even imagine a fraction of the challenges farmers face there. In this… Read more »

Agri-Treks, Kenya, Ep. 2: Change Starts with Water, Soil & Education

Rob Saik, founder and president of the Agri-Trend Group of Companies, brought along his camera on his recent trip to Kenya, which is lucky for all of us, as we get to share in the journey, see the sites and get a sense of the struggles that Saik encountered along his way. As you’ll see… Read more »