More Articles


Ask Umbra: Which cutting board is best, wood or plastic?

A reader asks about superior carving surfaces. Umbra cuts right to the chase.


Farming without water

As drought becomes increasingly common, more and more farmers will likely look to the ancient art of dry-farming as a solution. (It also makes for really flavorful produce!)

Climate & Energy

Investing in the grid: When the going gets tough, the tough get … creative

The U.S. electric grid is fragile, inadequate, and inefficient. Investing in grid modernization would clearly save American consumers tremendous amounts of energy and money. So why aren't we doing more of it?


Family heirloom: How one seedy businessman became an apostle for the food movement

Follow the evolution of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds' Jere Gettle from seed apostle to food movement leader.


Farming on the frontlines of climate change

At Cranberry Hill Farm, the Slow Ride Stories guys get a lesson in strawberries, maple syrup, and New England stoicism.


Tomato cobbler with blue cheese biscuits [RECIPE]

Are the tomatoes in your house starting to pile up? Try this unexpected twist on the savory cobbler.


Mixed blessings: A smaller Gulf dead zone offers less to celebrate than you’d think

This year's unusually small Gulf dead zone bucks the upward trend and will give aquatic life a chance to rebound. But it's no reason to breathe easy about nutrient runoff from agriculture.


Umbra’s second helpings: Beer vs. wine

A reader wonders whether beer or wine deserves more green buzz. Umbra tips one back.


The mother of all rides: Biking across America on the old Route 66

In "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck dubbed Route 66 “The Mother Road.” Now this long-abandoned cross-country byway gets a second life as an epic bike touring highway.