Want proof that sustainable agriculture is firmly on the radar of the mainstream press? Newsweek has a piece this week on how Andean potato farmers are adapting to climate change. While Time sings an ode to the American “urban agricultural boom.”
Two palm stories were in the news yesterday. First, from Brazil, how a local community is changing its ways in an effort to exploit the juÃ§ara palm (Euterpe edulis) more sustainably. Then, from India, news of a biotechnological trick to determine the sex of palmyrah palms without having to wait for them to grow up.
I’ve been having to do rather more thinking about palm conservation than is altogether comfortable at work lately — coconut is such a beast, really. That, and these stories, and the need for some displacement activity got me googling. Kew and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden seem to be at the forefront of palm conservation. There have been some successes in the field, but I’m beginning to think that at least for coconut the best bet may be Roland Bourdeix’s islet idea.
And here’s the text of the Directive announced in an earlier post. As it starts being interpreted and implemented (or not) in different ways in different member countries, it will be interesting to monitor what actually happens to genetic diversity. I hope someone’s gathering the baseline data for this natural experiment, or “randomized evaluation” as I believe economists call them. The floor is open for discussion!
LATER: Perhaps the Farm Seed Opportunities project will set that baseline?
- No-dig, (almost) no-water surplus veggies in Lala land. Via.
- Smell the coffee and wake up.
- Yet more urban agriculture reviving neighbourhood culture.
- Giant grasshopper is good for you.
- And speaking of Google Earth (see below): you can use it to track disappearing forests as well as disappearing gourds.
- “Our mother who grinds ragi at home is far more superior to our father who rules this country.” Finger millet makes a comeback in India.
- Aussie report urges honey bee protection. Good on ya, mate.