Dawn Berkelaar and Tim Motis
Network member Lance Edwards works in Zimbabwe. He told us about using and promoting inexpensive, water-conserving planting beds that he calls 100-fold gardens. These are a type of “wicking bed”; they are lined with plastic so that water pools at the bottom in a reservoir. From there, water moves up towards the plants’ rooting zone. 100-fold gardens are a way to maximize vegetable production on raised beds.
Several years ago, in a meeting, an ECHO staff member wondered aloud about the importance of literacy as it relates to agriculture. We received feedback from a few network members on this topic; their thoughts are shared below.
Over the past 35 years, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) has restored forests on millions of hectares of land in at least 24 countries. FMNR has also had some surprising results. For example, the introduction of FMNR in the Talensi District of Northern Ghana has boosted farmers’ local poultry production.
Patrick Trail, an ECHO Asia staff member, compiled a picture-based guide for constructing earthbag houses for seed storage in Asia. Earthbag houses have been used by multiple seed banks in Asia as an alternative to more costly conventional structures. At this writing, construction of an earthbag house at ECHO in Florida is also underway. Content below is drawn from insights gleaned at both ECHO locations.