> Again, some good ideas, but there are reasons why they might not work. In the
> arid inland region, where our family lived for some years, it is very hot and
> the climate not conducive to labor.
> But never, ever did anyone copy his garden. They had free access to all the
> land and the river water, but they did not do anything about it. When starvation
> years came, they looked so thin you could see the spine from the front of them.
> It was hot, and just too tiring to carry water, or to exert themeselves. They
> never got any benefit from my father's example.
> Gathering leaves, mounding to make raised beds,
> wouldnot ever be done--just too much effort.
This sounds depressing and negative, but I saw similar phenomena as a
Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. No matter where you
are in the world, you have some basic hurdles to jump which have to
do with working with that most confounded of species: humans. It is
not just the idiosyncracies of individuals which come up, but
strange, unforseen culture clashes pop up when you least expect them.
For example, where I worked (and have reason to believe this is more
wide spread) there is a very deeply rooted idea about "clean" and
"dirty." Land with anything other than the target plant (crop in the
fields or ornamental at home) is "dirty." Mulch and intercropping
clearly fell into the "dirty" category, and "dirty" is unequivocably
"bad." When one looks at the RoudnUp fields of modern agriculture,
it is not hard to see where this sort of thinking comes from or to
dismiss it as just peculiarities of "those" people. Nevertheless, it
is a real barrier. I certainly wish the Peace Corps volunteer in the
Sahel much luck with these barriers. Anita
313-F Conner Hall
Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-7509
(706) 542-1915 phone
(706) 542-0739 fax
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