An excellent piece by Nick Roll on a different example of intercropping: “Farmers in Senegal learn to respect a scruffy shrub that gets no respect.” In this case, it’s Guiera senegalensis, in the Combretaceae (white myrtle) family. In a reversal of shade-grown coffee’s pattern, target crops (like millet) grow above the shrub, which brings up water into the millet’s root zone. Research indicates that Piliostigma reticulatum, a legume found in wetter parts of the Sahel, can also pull off this hydraulic redistribution trick.

This is the kind of digital-only (no audio) work that I wish we did more of. Not every bit of journalism needs to be in a podcast.