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Molasses Powder

Rated 4.67 out of 5

Molasses provides your plants with a natural sources of carbohydrates (sugars) and plant nutrients. Great for use in indoor or outdoor environments. Use in soil or hydroponics in conjunction with any other nutrients or fertilizers.

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Riding on Top of Global Brands

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Touch the Soil News #756 (feature photo honorablesamurai – CC SA 3.0) Unilever, one of the world’s largest companies, just released a press release. Thirteen of its products qualified to be in the top 50 products brands chosen by people around the world. Unilever reports that the polling company – Kantar World Panel – analyzed 15,300 brands in 1 billion households in 39 countries across five continents. The poll was conducted in the 12 months to November 2016. While many of the products were personal care in nature, there were two food brands – Knorr soups and Lipton Tea. Unilever, from the Netherlands, was founded 87 years ago, sells products…

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Grasshopper Farming

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Touch the Soil News #755 (feature photo – Charles J. Sharp – CC. SA. 3.0) Israeli start-up Hargol Food Tech is making the news (see video below). The company just received $600,000 of funding to take grasshopper farming to the next level. We’ve all heard about cricket farming, as the cricket is easier to incubate and grows rapidly. Hargol Food Tech says they have been able to shorten the incubation time of grasshopper. According to AgFunder News, Hargol Food Tech has been able to optimize temperature, light, humidity and ventilation to shorten incubation time for grasshopper eggs from 40 weeks to 2-4 weeks and increase the number of life cycles…

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Urban Food Systems – A New Cornerstone of Urban Infrastructure

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Touch the Soil News #754 (feature photo – Joe Mabel – CC SA 3.0) As many of the stories we cover reveal, connecting with urban food (agriculture) is as much about other benefits as it is about the direct food benefit. We are all familiar with the policy directives of the national government through the USDA – ditto for other governments as well. This “centralized” policymaking approach to the world’s food systems is slowly being challenged by Municipal (city) efforts to establish their own food policies. Toronto, Canada has one of the most advanced and mature Food Policy Councils. The 30-member councils is free to be creative in bringing urban…

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Monsanto – In Trouble Again

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Touch the Soil News #752 (feature photo – chemical diagram of Dicamba) The problem of dicamba drift – when an herbicide chemical put on one farm drifts over to another – has mushroomed in the past few years. The technical name for dicamba is 3,6 – dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid. The recent sale by Monsanto of dicamba-resistant cotton and soybeans resulted in farmers being able to use the more powerful dicamba over the standard Roundup (glyphosate). So when farmers plant dicamba-resistant cotton and soybeans, they can use the more powerful chemical dicamba. The problem is that the product has a tendency to drift after spraying onto other non-dicamba resistant crops. The damages…

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Most of the Tuna Labeled Tuna in the U.S. Not Tuna?

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Touch the Soil News #753 (feature photo – hundreds of cans of tuna in a grocery store – photo courtesy of Daniel Case CC SA 3.0) For the average food consumer, there is little that can be done about food fraud today. In the United States, the most common fraudulent foods include honey, olive oil, milk, saffron, coffee and fish. At the heart of the problem is that consumers may unwittingly buy a product that contains other ingredients. The non-profit group called Oceana took 1,215 samples of fish from across that United States and genetically tested them. What they found was that 59 percent of fish labeled tuna sold at…

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Africa’s Richest Man – To Be World’s Largest Farmer?

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Touch the Soil News #751 (feature photo – Aliko Dangote – photo courtesy of the World Economic Forum CC SA 2.0) In the U.S. today, when farmers look to buy land to expand, they generally buy a retiring neighbor’s farm. Mostly they are parcels of a few hundred acres. A one (1) thousand acre parcel would be considered large purchase. The largest farms in America are in the 20,000 to 40,000 acre range with a few that can be larger. Expanding his stake in the farming scene is African billionaire Aliko Dangote (age 60). Forbes estimates that Dangote has an estimated net worth of $12.5 billion, which puts him within…

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Disposable Jobs & Unsafe Food?

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Touch the Soil News #750 (feature photo – A Fast Food Employee – CC SA 3.0) As we’ve always said, the food chain is ripe with insights about ourselves and the economy. The restaurant business is considered part of the larger “hospitality” industry that includes lodging and resorts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that annual employee turnover rates in the restaurants and accommodations sector peaked in 2007 at a whopping 80.7 percent. It is hard to imagine the training and learning challenges of an industry in which almost 81 employees out of a 100 at the beginning of the year will leave for a number of reasons. The…

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Farm Labor Dilemma

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Touch the Soil News #749 (feature photo – Benjamin Gisin, Touch the Soil News) As any gardener knows – planting, tending, watering and harvesting food crops– is not accomplished without diligent effort. While industrial crops like corn, soybeans, wheat and hay are heavily mechanized, vegetables and fruits are not. For home gardeners it is hard to imagine what it would take to harvest just one acre of intensely planted broccoli or carrots. It is therefore not hard to understand when large produce growers explained to Congress last year that America can import labor or import all its fruits and vegetables. John Oxford, a Vice President of one of the largest…

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Community Gardening Mania hits Singapore (It’s a family activity)

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Touch the Soil News #748 (feature photo – Children learn to grow food at Pocket Greens – photo courtesy of Pocket Greens) Singapore is a City-State (its own little country) on the far Southern tip of the Asian Continent. Surprisingly its primary language is English and the small nation has a land area of only 178,000 acres and a population of 5.6 million people. Singapore has one of the highest standards of living in the world – ranked 3rd globally. In 2005, the nation through its National Parks department launched a “Community in Bloom” initiative. The goal was to turn much of the city into a garden. Fast forward to today…

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