ECHOcommunity Updates

Restoring The Soil: Second Edition Now Available 2019-05-23

Green manure/cover crops (gm/ccs) enrich the soil while providing numerous other benefits such as weed suppression and food for human and/or animal consumption. Understanding their functions, selecting gm/ccs for specific growing conditions, and knowing how to integrate them on small-scale farmsteads can be a daunting process. Roland Bunch's second edition of "Restoring the Soil" helps practitioners and farmers learn about gm/ccs and choose context-appropriate gm/cc systems already in use by farmers.

Part 1 of the book explains benefits and limitations of gm/ccs, common misconceptions, and mistakes made in using them. It discusses how gm/ccs relate to soil improvement, tropical agriculture, and climate-smart practices that sequester carbon and mitigate against drought.

Part 2 guides the reader through a unique, incremental decision-making process for selecting which of 117 gm/cc systems have the most potential for success in their setting.

[ Available from the ECHO Online Bookstore ]

"Roland Bunch’s book distills for us decades of rich field experience in countries all around the world, where millions of farmers have given practical meaning to the concept of synergy. Farmers are doing this by growing a great number of crops in intelligent and profitable association with a huge variety of green manure/cover crop plants. These marvelous plants enrich the soil at the same time that they enhance crop yields, conserve soil moisture, and save farmers’ labor. Thanks to Bunch’s keen observations, systematic analysis and critical thinking, this agroecologically-based strategy is now accessible to anyone who will read, digest and apply what is in this book. It fills a huge gap in our published knowledge about how to make the most of our land, labor and water for meeting our food needs in sustainable ways."

—Dr. Norman Uphoff
Professor of Government and International Agriculture, Cornell University
Director, Cornell International Institute for Food and Agricultural Development (CIIFAD)
Author of Reasons for Success and other books

About ECHOcommunity

ECHOcommunity is a membership community that provides access to nearly all of ECHO’s resources online, as well as communications tools to help development workers connect with each other.   View a list of features here.

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Upcoming events

Syntropic Farming Course
Sun, 23 June 2019 » Fri, 28 June 2019

Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Syntropic Farming is a farming revolution grown out of Brazil and made famous by Ernst Gotsch and the Life in Syntropy short documentary. Syntropic Farming seeks to cultivate resilient ecosystems that are abundant, financially viable and heal abused land. It asks us, as stewards of the land to live in harmony with nature. It asks that we learn from nature through imitating natural processes in order to produce food. This results in abundant systems which grow healthy soils, sequester carbon, ...

Konferans Agrikòl, Haiti Agriculture Conference (South) 2019
Mon, 24 June 2019 » Fri, 28 June 2019

HRM Mission, Haiti

We invite you to participate in a conference that would help strengthen connections amongst those working in the agricultural sector in Haiti and spend time learning from one another. The conference will take place June 24-28, 2019 at HRM Mission in La Baleine, South Department, Haiti. This conference is tailored to encourage conference delegates and presenters to connect and learn from each other’s successes and failures. There will be plenary sessions in the morning followed by workshops...

Agroforestry: Designing for Impact
Mon, 15 July 2019 » Fri, 19 July 2019

ECHO Global Research and Demonstration Farm, USA

Agroforestry is the agricultural practice of combining the management of annual crops and/or animals with trees. Agroforestry systems, largely composed of perennial crops, offer the resilience needed to address extreme climatic issues such as drought and torrential rain, along with social and economic factors that influence agricultural production of small-scale farmers.   This five-day course will introduce students to key agroforestry concepts, allow them to see the various agroforestry ...

Student Organic Seed Symposium
Thu, 22 August 2019 » Sun, 25 August 2019


WHAT IS SOSS? An annual gathering of graduate students, researchers, farmers, and seed industry professionals working in organic seed systems. The major annual event of the Society of Organic Seed Professionals (SOSP), the parent organization that has grown out of the SOSS network. SOSP is fiscally sponsored by Organic Seed Alliance, a 501(c)3 organization.

Small-scale seed production and utilization
Mon, 16 September 2019 » Fri, 20 September 2019

ECHO Global Farm, USA

ECHO offers over 350 varieties in its Florida seed bank requiring diverse approaches to growing, processing, and storing seeds. This five-day course will begin in ECHO’s seed production plots to help participants better understand how crops are managed and harvested. Techniques related to both wet and dry processing of seeds will be practiced, as well as, essential tasks such as germination testing. Long-term seed storage approaches including vacuum sealing and cold storage will be explored, ...

Latest Resources

Evaluation of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae and Pre-Pupae Raised on Household Organic Waste, as Potential Ingredients for Poultry Feed

Abstract, Animals, 2019

Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae and pre-pupae could be satisfactorily raised on household organic waste and used as poultry feed, offering a potential sustainable way to recycle untapped reso...

How to Use Black Soldier Flies for Biowaste Treatment

How to Use Black Soldier Flies for Biowaste Treatment

This video presents the relevant tasks required to run a Black Soldier Fly facility. For more detailed information and a free download of the "Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing - A Step-by-Step Guide", go to: https://goo...

How black soldier fly larvae can demolish a pizza so fast

Abstract, Science News, 2019

An individual Hermetia illucens larva doesn’t eat steadily, Shishkov found. One feeds for about five minutes on average and then stops for about another five. As a group of thousands, t...

Black Soldier Fly

Growing Bananas

Growing bananas does not take much effort, but it does require that you get a few things right when you first get started.

Banana plants can offer many benefits:

They make great windbreaks or screens, t...

Journal of Spices and Aromatic Crops

Journal of Spices and Aromatic Crops (JOSAC) [ISSN 0971-3328] is the official publication of Indian Society for Spices, published in association with TathQeef Scientific Publishing.

JOSAC is an international, peer-...

The Spice Journal

The global spice industry is valued at more than a $108,000,000,000 annually but in much of the world it is treated with indifference. It lacks governance, plantations are often neglected, research in spice agro-technology i...

Journal of Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants

The Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants is an essential reference filled with recent research and other valuable information associated with herbs, spices, and medicinal plants. The Journal serves as a focus poin...

ICAR - Indian Institute of Spices Research

The Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode (Calicut) a constituent body of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is a major Institute devoted to research on spices. In 1976, it started as a Regional S...

Rangoon International Cook Book

Published by the Woman's Society of Christian Service of the Methodist English Church of Rangoon Burma, this cookbook in English includes recipes of traditional Burmess cooking and English based cooking.

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