The primary focus of E.D. Notes, as well as of ECHO, is on items (1) for direct use or consumption on the subsistence farm and (2) with potential as a cash crop or small business for those with few resources. We trust that they will

  • Offer you new ideas, information and opportunities
  • Inform you of what your colleagues are doing in other parts of the world.
  • Suggest ways from time to time in which you can collaborate with us in selected experiments.
  • Share the results of your experimentation with others.

Introduction To The Echo Development Notes 

Apples In Warm Climates?

Tropical Fruit In General

Sorghum For Fuel

Strawberries As A Cash Crop In The Tropics?

Potato Seed

African Bee Hive  [editor - and Moringa]

Can Cooking Fuel Be Made From Low-Grade Biomass By Appropriate Technology?

Garlic And Onion As Cash Crops?

New Method For Terracing


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Introduction to the ECHO Development Notes

Martin L. Price

The primary focus of E.D. Notes, as well as of ECHO, is on items (1) for direct use or consumption on the subsistence farm and (2) with potential as a cash crop or small business for those with few resources. We trust that they will
• Offer you new ideas, information and opportunities
• Inform you of what your colleagues are doing in other parts of the world.
• Suggest ways from time to time in which you can collaborate with us in selected experiments.
• Share the results of your experimentation with others.

 

Apples in Warm Climates?

Martin L. Price

Transplanted northerners, such as Bonnie and I, miss apples so much that we will pay a premium price for them at the store where they are brought in from colder areas. Most apples only bear fruit after a cold dormant period. Within the last few years there have been some important breakthroughs in the development of apples for subtropical conditions. A two year old orchard at the southern tip of Florida is now bearing fruit that is reportedly comparable to northern apples. I do not know the limits to which its range can be pushed.

 

Tropical Fruits in General

Martin L. Price

I originally thought that ECHO would have little to offer in the area of tropical fruit because so many types are common in every tropical country. I have found, however, that the improved varieties are often not available and some promising species are hardly known. Bonnie and I joined the Rare Fruit Club in Fort Myers to get to know experts with resources in tropical fruits. We find that southern Florida is a Mecca for the best varieties of many species, primarily because of the enthusiasm of people for whom such collections have been a long-standing hobby. So we welcome requests for information on tropical fruits and seeds and will pass the questions on to our newfound friends who have far more experience than do we.

Important New Book

Martin L. Price

The Appropriate Technology Sourcebook, Volume II has now been released. Many of you are familiar with the first volume of this helpful book. The second book, also by the Volunteers in Asia, contains reviews of practical books and plans for village and small community technology, covering publications since 1976. Items reviewed deal with: the workshop; agriculture; agricultural tools; crop drying; preservation and storage; forestry; aquaculture; water supply and sanitation; energy in general; improved cookstoves and charcoal production; housing and construction; transportation; health care; science and teaching; small enterprises; local communications; beekeeping; home industries; and periodicals. 

Sorghum for Fuel

Martin L. Price

I recently saw a very tall sorghum being grown in Haiti and was told that they pile the stalks together after the harvest and burn them. This is in a country where there is a severe shortage of fuel for cooking. Upon my return to the U.S. I spoke with Dr. Axtell at Purdue University. He told me of a sorghum commonly grown in Egypt called Giza 114. It has a high-lignin stalk with superior burning characteristics. 

Strawberries As A Cash Crop In The Tropics?

Martin L. Price

I was asked by the Institute for International Development, Inc. to look into this possibility. Many conversations later, I find that at least one venture failed in Costa Rica and that at least two are successful in Haiti. At elevations over 3,000 feet in Haiti, strawberries seem to be a definite possibility. It is difficult to find people who will give them the year-round attention they need, especially since the fruiting season is relatively short. Also, disease-free plants must be imported from northern countries every other year. 

Potato Seed

Martin L. Price

The Pan American Seed Company is also introducing a true potato seed this spring (as opposed to seed potatoes which are really tubers that are cut into pieces and planted). Wally Turnbull at the Baptist Mission in Haiti has already tried a related variety and is very excited about its potential, though the resulting potatoes are not large. 

African Bee Hive [editor - and Moringa]

Martin L. Price

Ron Angert of the Haitian Agricultural Mission is actively promoting beekeeping and making a new kind of hive called an African hive. He says he can produce it for about half the cost of a standard hive. One cost saving factor is that a starter comb is not used. The bees instead start their comb around a wood component cut at the same angle as the angle found in honey comb. 

Can Cooking Fuel Be Made From Low-Grade Biomass By Appropriate Technology?

Martin L. Price

This is a question we have been asking for some time. The idea is to prepare pellets using an appropriate technology pelletizer, using waste biomass or charcoal made from it. We do not have much to report at this time except that an engineer has designed and is making a simple pelletizer for us. I have found reference to a “mini-Cusab kiln” for making charcoal from low-grade material and have sent for the reprint. 

Garlic And Onion As Cash Crops?

Martin L. Price

We have noticed that the prices of garlic and onions are often high in the tropics. This makes them a good candidate for a cash crop, but also makes one wary because there must be some good reason for their expense. Wally Turnbull at the Baptist Mission in Haiti is working on both crops and helped me understand some of the problems.

New Method For Terracing

Martin L. Price

Victor Wynne has run his Haiti Seed Store for many years and experimented with improved ways of getting food from the mountains. He has kindly provided us with a description of the terracing system he has selected after years of experimentation. He says he will never make another level terrace unless he can start at the top of the mountain!