My main expertise is in water movement and wastewater treatment in the field; I especially love applied science that works for the professional in the field. I invented the Aardvark Borehole Permeameter and Soilmoisture heard about my invention and contacted me. I was truly impressed with their flexible technical staff who, after much work on their part, turned my design into the world's only automated Borehole Permeameter: tough, portable, reliable, highly accurate, and complete with software. Still known as the Aardvark, it is now sold worldwide through their extensive global network. I am proud to have my name and invention associated with Soilmoisture Equipment!

Thomas Macfie,
Inventor of the Aardvark Permeameter



excerpt from the Soil Report Newsletter of Soilmoisture Equipment Corp.

If the tomato was once known as the love apple, it can't be too titillating to point out that the avocado, the subject of this issue's cover article, comes from the Aztec word for testicle, ahuacatl, presumably because of its shape and rough texture. But maybe not. The Aztecs used the avocado as a sex stimulant, and archeologists have found the avocado seed buried with Peruvian mummies dating to 750B.C. Early Americans called it the alligator pear, because they could not pronounce the Spanish word for avocado, aguacate. European sailors called it "Midshipman's Butter," because they liked to spread a rich, guacamole-like substance on hardtack biscuits. There are eight varieties of avocado grown in the US, but the Haas variety remains the most popular. It's hard, textured skin makes it easier to ship and when it turns dark consumers can be sure it is ripe. Florida grows a few avocado, but 95 per cent come from California. San Diego County calls itself the "avocado capital" of the world, but the fruit is grown as far north as San Luis Obispo. Most avocados are eaten raw on salads or in guacamole dip for chips, but that demonstrates culinary ignorance. Californians put them on pizza or into pita bread, also with fajitas or tacos; Chileans top hot dogs with them; Japanese put them on sushi rolls; and Nicaraguans stuff them with cheese and bake them in batter. Indonesians make a cold drink of avocado, milk, coffee, and rum; Columbians slice them into soups and Koreans mix them with milk for use as facials. What's more, the avocado is loaded with minerals and vitamins and what cholesterol it contains is the good kind. Viva Avocado!