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Worms

It’s a hot day in early May and I’m poking through a tray of wet worm castings, otherwise known as worm poops, in a Plant and Soil Science lab at the University of Vermont. I’m looking for worm cocoons, mud-colored spheres about two to three millimeters in diameter, for Dr. Josef Görres, Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science. Fingers muddy from crushed castings, I carefully squeeze a possible cocoon.

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Legumes in the Garden

Stroll through your garden and you might admire the progress of your peas and green beans, if you grow vegetables, or you might appreciate the showy purple spikes of lupines, if you prefer flowers. You might be shaded by an ornamental locust tree as you consider pulling weedy clovers and vetches out of your cultivated beds. While some of these plants are grown for food or for their beauty and some of them we'd rather not grow at all, they have something in common: they're legumes.

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Rabies

You might think being in the middle of a disease outbreak turning our neighbors into slavering zombies intent on biting everything around them would make all the headlines. Well, we are in the middle of such an outbreak, but it isn’t turning our human neighbors into maddened zombies; it’s affecting our raccoon neighbors. The disease is raccoon rabies, and it’s been on the rampage since 1992.

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