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General Technical Documents are resources made available through ECHOcommunity.org that are not currently part of an ECHO periodical publication such as ECHO Development Notes or ECHO Technical Notes. These resources may or may not be published by ECHO, but have been made available to the ECHOcommunity as online, sharable resources.

72 Issues in this Publication (Showing 11 - 20) |


1. Efficient recycling of clean vegetable residues.
2. Feed and multiply earthworms to populate a garden area of up to 1000 sq. ft. (32’ X 32’).
3. Protect young worms from animal predators.
4. Worm numbers per bed increased 25 fold, over 6 months at ECHO in N. Fort Meyers, FL.
5. Improved conditions, year around, for efficient composting.
6. Enhances the management of permanently located, no till, organic, raised beds.
7. Worm tunnels improve soil aeration, moisture conditions, plant root development and nutrient cycling.
8. Highly favors beneficial microbial, soil health.
9. Improved and better balanced soil fertility.
10. With some three years of use, on poor sandy soil, the Brannen’s report improved soil quality and higher vegetable yields and quality.


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Wicking Bed / 100 Fold Garden

This document was provided by Lance Edwards as an outline of the process of building a 100 Fold Vegetable Garden using Foundation for Farming principles.  He includes a description of wicking bed technology by Colin Austin

The irrigator’s dilemma

If the irrigator applies frequent but shallow irrigations much of the water will be lost by evaporation. Applying deeper but less frequent irrigations is more efficient but can easily lead to loss of water past the root zone, valuable nutrients and can cause environmental pollution.

The wicking bed is a solution to this problem. In its simplest form a water reservoir catches any excess water from above ground irrigation and feeds it back to the plants as they use the water. In more advanced versions water is fed directly to this reservoir so all the plants water needs are supplied from the reservoir by wicking action. 

The essential feature of the wicking bed system is the water reservoir filled with a coarse aggregate which is saturated with a significant volume of water which is not held tightly by surface tension. This water is free to wick up to the layer of soil containing the root zone. This contrasts with the traditional system in which a much smaller volume of water is held in the soil below the root zone.

The restraining surface tension forces in this soil mean there is very limited ability to wet the soil in the root zone above.

Earthbag House Construction Guide

This document presents  key steps the ECHO Asia staff used to build an Earth Bag Seed Storage House on the new ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center in Thailand.

Chaya, valor nutricional, cutivo, utilizacion

La chaya, llamada quelite en nuestro país, es una planta que ha sido cultivada en Mesoamérica desde tiempos prehispánicos. Los mayas la llamaban chay y fueron quienes la heredaron a sus descendientes en la península de Yucatán (México), y Guatemala, aunque pasaron muchos años para que se re-descubriera su alto y significativo valor en sus aspectos nutritivo, medicinal, medioambiental y culinario. Durante varios siglos, constituyó un alimento primordial en la alimentación de los mayas, quienes la consumían en una mezcla a base de maíz y semillas de calabaza, en forma de un tamal, con el propósito de lograr un equilibrio nutricional entre estos tres alimentos.

La chaya ha tomado de nuevo un repunte gracias a recientes investigaciones en universidades, de México y Guatemala, además de muchos artículos sobre sus propiedades, a tal grado que es ahora un cultivo de exportación y se ha popularizado en muchos países del mundo gracias a sus amplias y reconocidas cualidades, pero lo más importante es que se ha reconocido que puede llegar a jugar un rol fundamental en combatir la desnutrición y mejorar la seguridad alimentaria. Es así que hoy se la encuentra diseminada en muchos países tropicales del mundo donde se ha popularizado por sus amplios y valiosos atributos.

-- Guillermo Bendaña García

Agri-Plus - Agriculture Project Sustainability Checklist

The purpose of this document is not necessarily to answer each question with a yes or no, but rather as a bullet point list to help think through strengths and weaknesses of starting a new project or revisiting an existing project. Not all the questions apply in every situation. It is another tool to help keep us focused on a sustainable vision.

Manual for Installation of Chapin Bucket Drip Systems and Demonstration Trials of Cabbage

A photo-based manual on bucket drip irrigation, produced by Steven Kovach (PhD), in conjunction with a Winrock training event in Guinea.

Eleusine coracana - Finger millet

A millet grass. It is an annual grass. It is robust and forms many tillers or young shoots from the base. It grows 40-120 cm tall. The stems are somewhat flattened. The leaves are narrow. The flower heads are made up of 2-7 finger like spikes. These spikes are 1.5 cm across and 10-15 cm long. These in turn have about 70 smaller spikes. Each one of these smaller spikes has 4-7 seeds. The seeds can be 1-2 mm across. The seeds are roughly rounded. The colour varies. There are coracana and africana subsp.

05 Endogenous Development Magazine 2009 #5

  • Methodologies to support endogenous development
  • The social mobilisation approach facilitates community change in Sri Lanka
  • Promoting health care in India - by reinforcing local health traditionsrang
  • Ghanaian community approach
  • AGRUCO's methods strenthen self esteem and cultural identity
  • Reviving the use of fire in the Borana rangelands of Ethiopia