This article will share ideas of how to put your written farm plan to work. It will start with a brief outline of some basic project management principles. Next, it will cover a simple system used by the author to implement his farm plan. Finally, it will describe the process of ongoing planning and adjustment that is a vital part of diligent project stewardship.
ECHO Asia -- The latest issue of Asia Notes (Issue 17, May 2013) contains the following articles:
- Sustainable Decentralized Water Treatment for Rural Developing Communities Using Locally Generated Biochar Adsorbents (by Josh Kearns, MS)
- An Introduction to Bokashi Fertilizers and Soil Amendments (by Rick Burnette)
ECHO East Africa -- Two new documents from the East Africa Impact Center are now posted on ECHOcommunity.org. One is a Best Practices Note (BPN) about working with pastoralists. The other is the first issue of East Africa Notes (EAN) with a focus on conservation agriculture and an article about the ‘Oyster nut’ plant.
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI; see EDN 70, and http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/) has changed the way millions of farmers plant rice. The management practices used with SRI have also now been tried with many other crops. Here we present an update about crops that have demonstrated increased yields using similar management practices.
Job’s tears is a 1 to 2 m tall grass thought to originate from Southeast Asia. It is found throughout most of the tropics, often in wild stands along ditches and streams. Depending on the variety, the seeds are yellow, purple or brown and are often tearshaped; hence, the name “Job’s tears.” There are both soft-shelled grain (var. ma-yuen) and hard-shelled ornamental bead (var. stenocarpa and var. monilifer) forms.
Despite its minor crop status, Job’s tears merits consideration as a food plant for human and animal consumption. It produces 2-4 tonnes/ha of nutritious grain rich in calcium and containing more fat (5.5%) and protein (15.8%) than rice and wheat (LuFeng et al., 2008). The sweettasting raw kernel is eaten as a snack (van den Bergh 1996). In various parts of Asia, it is steamed like rice and included in soups, beverages and desserts. Dough from Job’s tears flour lacks gluten and, by itself, will not rise. For use in baking, therefore, Job’s tears flour should be mixed with flour of other grains (e.g., 70% wheat with 30% Job’s tears flour).