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ECHO Development Notes (EDN)

In "ECHO Development Notes (EDN) we share the most helpful, practical information that we come across about growing food under difficult circumstances. Within each issue you'll find featured techniques, practices, information, and experience to help guide your work in tropical and subtropical agricultural development.

ECHO Technical Notes (TN)

ECHO Technical Notes (TNs) share in depth information about topics important to those working in the tropics and subtropics. Each document introduces and explains the general concept behind the technological solution, and some include examples or step-by-step instructions.

ECHO Best Practice Notes (BPN)

Best Practice Notes (BPNs) are concise summaries of interventions or approaches that have consistently proven to be effective. BPN provide a comprehensive approach to principles and practices, highlighting further resources to continue study on the topic.

ECHO Research Notes (RN)

ECHO Research Notes (RNs) share results of first-hand trials and experiments, done by ECHO staff or by network members. Material is authored by ECHO staff (past and present) as well as outside writers, all with experience and knowledge of their subject.

 Community Contributions

ECHO welcomes submissions to our publications. For information about submitting an article please see the Author Instruction page.

Publications by Release Date

EDN Issue #148

EDN Issue #148
Farmer-Centered Climate Change Mitigation: Part 1 of 2 Are Crickets a Practical Source of Protein in Tropical Countries? From ECHO's Seed Bank: Cowpea Varieties for Warm Rainy Season ECHOes from our Network: Emergency Gardens in a Quarantine World Books, Websites, and Other Resources: New ECHO Branding, New Technical Note on Earthbag Seed Banks, Restoring the Soil- Second Edition now available through Amazon.com Inc®

TN #96 Earthbag Seed Banks

TN #96 Earthbag Seed Banks
Seed storage in the tropics has been a frequent topic of ECHO publications and trainings due to its importance to the smallholder farmer. Access to quality seeds is imperative for agronomic and horticultural crop production. While on-farm seed saving benefits the smallholder farmer, cooperative seed storage through the creation of seed banks bolsters farmers at the community level. Seed banks provide secure structures for seed storage, while also serving as genetic repositories for important plants in the community. Centralizing the seed saving process also allows for cooperative...

EDN Issue #147

EDN Issue #147
Responding in the Case of an Epidemic or Pandemic A Tip of the Hat to the Tippy Tap Promoting Biodiversity on Maize Smallholdings: Importance of Birds From ECHO's Seed Bank: Fast-Growing Plants for Household Food Supply Echoes from Our Network: 100-Fold Gardens in Honduras Books, Web Sites, and Other Resources: A Post-Program Review of Grain Amaranth in East Africa

EDN Issue #146

EDN Issue #146
Low Oxygen Methods for Insect Control in Seeds ECHO International Agriculture Conference 2019: Topic Summaries Echoes from our Network: Roger Gietzen on the topic of syntropic farming Books, Web Sites and Other Resources: Vetiver Latrine

EDN Issue #145

EDN Issue #145
Pest Prevention: The Foundation of Integrated Pest Management Echoes from our Network: Nutrition Education in the Context of Community Agriculture Programs From ECHO's Seed Bank: New Lima Bean Cultivars Available Books, Web Sites, and Other Resources: Syntropic Farming Guidebook by Roger Gietzen

EDN Issue #144

EDN Issue #144
Introducing 100-Fold Gardens: Wicking Beds for High-Density Planting of Vegetables Where Water is Scarce Echoes from our Netwok: Literacy and Agriculture and Termite Harvesting in Ghana From ECHO's Seed Bank: Earthbag Houses for Storing Seeds Books, Web Sites, and Other Resources: Restoring the Soil, Second Edition Book Release

TN #95 100-Fold Vegetable Gardens with Low-Cost Wicking Beds

TN #95 100-Fold Vegetable Gardens with Low-Cost Wicking Beds
I discovered 100-fold gardens while researching ways to irrigate plants directly in the root zone. I wanted to know how to practically and affordably control some of the variables that influence plant growth, such as water availability and soil fertility. I read about “wicking beds,” which are watered from below as water moves up towards plants’ rooting zone from a reservoir lined with plastic. Watering from below prevents water loss while maintaining constant soil moisture and supplying water and nutrients in accordance with plant needs.  Wicking beds are a way of maximizing vegetable...

EDN Issue #143

EDN Issue #143
Learning about and from local seed systems Germination to Detoxify Jack Bean Techniques to Boost Plants’ Stress Tolerance and Extend Fruit Marketability From ECHO's Seed Bank: Fever Tree Books, Web Sites and Other Resources: Planetary Health Diet Proposal

TN #94 Parasitic Plants in African Agriculture

TN #94 Parasitic Plants in African Agriculture
This Technical Note provides an overview of parasitic plants of agricultural significance in Africa. Parasitic weeds cause drought stress and stunted crops. Affected plants include cereal grains (e.g., sorghum [Sorghum bicolor] and maize [Zea mays]) and grain legumes (e.g., cowpea [Vigna unguiculata]) that farmers rely on for food. Damage to these and other crops is generally heightened by low soil fertility and drought stress, conditions that are faced by many African smallholders. Parasitic weeds can lead to severe yield losses, making them an important constraint to food security in many...

EDN Issue #142

EDN Issue #142
Understanding Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages EIAC 2018 Topic Summaries Echoes from our Network: Intercropping Native Shrubs From ECHO's Seed Bank: Rollinia Books, Web Sites and Other Resources: Feed the Future Technical Briefs

TN #93 Vacuum-Sealing Options for Storing Seeds

TN #93 Vacuum-Sealing Options for Storing Seeds
Two broad categories of seeds exist, referred to as recalcitrant and orthodox. The former must be kept moist and planted soon after they are collected; large-seeded fruits such as mango and avocado are typical examples. The second type of seeds are discussed in this document. Orthodox seeds are generally smaller than recalcitrant seeds and represent almost any grain, legume, or vegetable crop. Orthodox seeds can be dried and stored for extended periods of time—often for many years, depending on the crop and storage conditions. This document presents ways to remove air from seed...

EDN Issue #141

EDN Issue #141
Shea Nut: The Butter Tree For How Long Should Chaya Leaves be Boiled?   Green Leafy Vegetables: Leaf Powder for Improved Nutrition  From ECHO's Seed Bank:  Jewels of Opar, An edible ornamental SPRING Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Training Resource Package

EDN Issue #140

EDN Issue #140
Farmer Field School Trials of 2:4:2 Maize/Legume Intercropping Laurel Wilt Disease: "Save the Guac!" Echoes from our Network: Metal silos for grain storage From ECHO's Seed Bank: Culantro Let’s Restore Our Land and Farming for Change curriculum

TN #92 Bamboo for Construction

TN #92 Bamboo for Construction
Many plants deemed as invaluable for the smallholder farmer offer nutritious food for the family, fodder for animals, or timber for construction. Remarkably, bamboo offers all three of these assets from the same perennial plant! This Technical Note will focus on how to most effectively harvest, preserve and use bamboo as timber for construction purposes. What’s Inside: Introduction Plant Description Harvesting Preservation & Post-Harvest Treatment Construction Conclusion References and Resources Cite this article as: Bielema, C. 2018. Bamboo for...

EDN Issue #139

EDN Issue #139
Anthropology as a tool for facilitating agricultural development Invasion of the Fall Armyworm Echoes from our Network: Millepede Damage From ECHO's Seed Bank:  Passionfruit Books, Web Sites and Other Resources: Permaculture for Refugees in Camps

EDN Issue #138

EDN Issue #138
Yellow Shoot, Green Fruit: Citrus Greening Disease EIAC 2017 Topic Summaries Echoes from our Network: edible insect feedback From ECHO's Seed Bank:  Tree Lucerne (Tagasaste), multipurpose forage crop for the highlands eBook Release: Agricultural Options for Small-Scale Farmers