I don't think anyone thinks that your concern for campesinos (and presumably
Indios) is frivolous. I certainly don't or I would not have offered my
perspective. Certainly, refocusing us on your proposal to put these folks on
the net is helpful.
First, I'm not so sure that exporting food from Peru to the United States is
the way to go. As your campesino friends found out the hard way, export
markets lead to monocrops and these lead to pestilence. If the market was
really strong for lemon grass, undoubtedly the campesinos would have been
displaced by "powerful" people who would cash in on the market. This is the
standard pattern and I've no doubt that you observed it. Basing an economy
on export means putting people in dependence on others who are remote. I'm
not 100% against recommending export markets in these circumstances, but I do
like to be sure that local needs can be met without the cash from exports,
presumably by subsistence farmers. Then the exports can go for the little
luxuries like refrigeration and shoes that improve the quality of life. It
does people no favors to make them as dependent on the US cash economy as US
I must say that writing this is helpful in once again looking at my own life
and seeing places to change to become less dependent. Thanks for that.
In your situation, I would talk with campesinos, let them know the kinds of
things that are available, and ask them what they want me to do for them.
They may rather have draft animals or a permaculture course than computer
access. Do they all read? If not, who do you trust to filter information
for them? Etc.
I admire you for being willing to pitch in with this very difficult
situation. If you do go with getting these guys and gals on the net, let me
know. We are developing a permaculture design course with an email classroom
right now and there will be room for one full scholarship each session.
Good luck. I think you can get more out of this list with specific
questions. For example, I'd suggest trying fresh human urine to combat
fungal infection on lemon grass. It has been used for centuries on other
fungi on other plants and might work. Urine from males is apparently
different enough from that produced by females to be tried separately. Ditto
for children vs. adults, etc. That's the sort of thing this list could be
most useful providing. (Not the urine, the info.)
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now permaculture
training in an email classroom. Copyright, 1996, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway.
YankeePerm@aol.com P.O. 2025, Ocala FL 3447-2025 USA.
We don't have time to rush.