Rudy Poglitsh, Former intern working in Swaziland, sent in a question about health of Avocado trees. The problem seemed to be low pH. "We have about 18 avocado trees in the ground. Almost all of them are over five feet tall. The soil is very poor, and the leaves are a pale green/yellow. We are headed into the cold, dry season. I want them to survive and thrive. We have previously made a fertility hole and put fertilizer in it, but my wife Ruth explained I put it too close to the tree (inside the drip line). What can I do? I really want these trees to live a long time and put out lots of fruit.”
A visitor to ECHO from Nigeria told former intern Randall Fish about a method of creating fences using bamboo.
An interesting feature about the mature [moringa] seeds is that if you eat them, they act much like the miracle fruit on your ECHO farm.
Laura Meitzner Yoder wrote “I just ran across this easy-to-read, concise, but extremely thorough and practical online manual that covers most of what any potential tree-planters ought to know and to consider regarding land and tree tenure issues.
ECHO has not often shared marketing information and advice, because markets tend to be uncertain and volatile. Advice that is good for one location might not be helpful in another. Yet we recognize the important influence of economics and marketing in the lives of small-scale farmers.
Although geared toward agriculture in the US, some of the insights in this article will be helpful for those elsewhere who are trying to help farmers market their agricultural products.
Experience with tomato cuttings
In her book, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties (reviewed in EDN 87), Carol Deppe mentions an open-pollinated, orange-fleshed tomato variety called ‘Caro Rich.’ The book states that ‘Caro Rich’ is second only to carrot as a source of beta-carotene (Vitamin A). It is an indeterminate variety, so the vines will grow as long as the plant is alive and will likely require trellis support. ECHO’s seed bank now carries ‘Caro Rich’ for members of our network interested in experimenting with a trial packet.
We share many ideas in EDN for agricultural techniques that can increase crop production. Higher production translates into more food and potentially more income; this is very important, especially for farmers whose livelihood comes from a small piece of land. Another way to increase food supply and income is to minimize post harvest losses. These losses—due to insects, rodents and fungi—are often reported at 30 to 50 percent or even higher.
Another way to increase food supply and income is to minimize post harvest losses. These losses—due to insects, rodents and fungi—are often reported at 30 to 50 percent or even higher.
Post harvest losses can be minimized through practices that improve grain storage, such as the use of metal silos.