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Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 11:46:11 -0600
From: "Douglas M. Hinds" <email@example.com>
Organization: CeDeCoR / TDA
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To: Kippy Nigh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Revolutionary times--viva la milpa!
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> From: Ronald Nigh <email@example.com>
> Douglas.- My server is not accepting mail right now and SANET will not
> accpet these except from my account so I am sending them directly to you.
> If you feel inclined you might forward them to the list. Thanks,
> Douglas Hinds wrote:
> >Hi Ron,
> >We have a mutual friend - Arturo Moreno and a mutual acquaintance (your
> >partner, he said), Eric Kindberg.
> Dear Douglas,
> Thank you for your response. Please give my best to Arturo--I hope he is
> contuing his fine work supporting organic farmers by helping them market
> their goods.
He was the last time we talked, a few months ago.
> As for Eric, I met him on one occasion and exchange e-mail
> from time to time through the Organic Farmer Marketing Association; but
> anything resembling "partnership" is certainly an exaggeration.
Glad you cleared that up.
> >Food security is not dependant on corn alone, and corn is a waste of land where
> >better crops do well. As I said, a friend of mine had the nations top yield
> >per hectare for corn some years ago, but preferred to get involved in other
> >crops. This is still a major corn growing area, though. and if monocropping
> >is bad, doing it with corn and sorghum is worse. Obviously, I am opposed to
> >poverty and even more to to nutritional poverty.
> Growing corn Iowa style is certainly a waste of land as well as
> environmentally damaging. But traditional corn growing in Mexico--known as
> milpa--is an intensive intercropping system, combining any one of hundreds
> of ecological races of corn with as many as 30 other crops, including the
> classic squash, beans and chile as well as a wide variety of vegetables and
> semi-wild food and medicinal plants and many others.
I wish there was still more of that happening.
> Herbicides and the
> green revolution came along to destroy that system in many areas. Even
> today the government has an outrageous program called "kilo por kilo" in
> which farmers are supposed to turn in their traditional seed varieties to
> the department of agriculture who will then replace it with a flaming
> hybrid "improved" variety. Great idea, lets keep destroying crop diversity
> and making farmers dependent on hydbrid seed companies in the name of high
> yields. The purpose of milpa was family and regional food security, not
> having "the nation's top yield per hectare". Your friend was already well
> along the primrose path.
Ron, I think I can agree with you 100% However, a federal govt. (particularly in
a country as big as this one) has many different agencies, some of which may be
working on or open to things that are philosophically better defined or even
opposed to the errors you describe. But getting support for something like that
is a far cry from armed revolution.
> Fortunately, examples of the "high-performance milpa", as Wilken once
> called it, are still to be found and are making a comeback among organic
> farmers. The idea is not to go back--times have changes--but the milpa
> offers a fantastic resource for "modernization and improvement" through
> organic techniques.
> Ronald Nigh
> Dana, A.C.
I see we basically agree, and hope to meet you in person sometime soon (I expect
to be in Oaxaca next month (Sept). Today I'm leaving for the border.
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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