S: My Trip to ECHO Global Farm
BC: The End
FC: Monica Boemi | My Trip to ECHO Global Farm
1: ECHO is a global Christian organization that equips people with agricultural resources and skills to reduce hunger and improve the lives of the poor.
2: In the tropical lowlands region of the world, including Southeast Asia and Central South America, the amount and duration of rainfall is high. | Tropical Lowlands | At ECHO, innovations in rice growing are being developed every day.
3: The traditional method of growing rice involves flooding the fields during the entire growing season. | The new method called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has been found to result in higher yields. Seedlings are transplanted at a younger age, plants are more widely spaced, and the soil is damp, not flooded.
4: Principal Crops and Livestock | Ducks are important in the tropics, not only because they are a source of nutrition, but also because they live in a symbiotic relationship with Tilapia fish. The ducks' droppings help algae grow in the pond and provide food for the fish.
5: Neem is a versatile plant with many uses. If the leaves and seed are crushed, the resulting paste can be used as an insecticide. The twigs can be chewed to prevent tartar buildup and tooth decay. Also, the oil from the seeds can be used to treat skin diseases. | Bamboo is a crop principally used for construction rather than food. In China, it is often used as scaffolding for buildings.
6: Tropical Highlands | The main challenge faced by farmers is overcoming the poor quality of soil in rocky mountainsides. One erosion control method is SALT (Sloping Agricultural Land Technology). Terraces are cut into the mountain and then the soil is held in place by deep-root plants, like lemon grass, napier grass, or the leguminous leucaena.
7: Turkens (Transylvania Naked Neck chickens) roam ECHO freely. These birds are resistant to diseases and take hot weather well. | Goats are important to the tropical highlands region because they provide nourishing milk and meat. At ECHO, the goats are enclosed in a no-graze pen. Their dropping fall though cracks in the floor and compost the soil.
8: Tropical Monsoon | In this region, there is a distinct wet and dry season. Among the regions where this climate is located is Haiti, the Caribbean Islands, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and even South Florida. Plants are grown in mounded rows and are mulched heavily. This retains water during the dry period. Chaya is an extremely useful crop of the region. It grows very rapidly and is extremely nutritious. However, it is deemed as one of the most underutilized plants in the world.
9: Moringa is a miracle plant grown in the monsoon climate. Its seeds are sent out more often than any other plant at ECHO. It is highly nutritious; it contains more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas, and more beta-carotene than carrots. If a powder is made from the seeds of moringa, a tablespoon can purify five gallons of polluted water. Moringa grows rapidly: eight to ten feet a year.
10: Semi-Arid Tropics | The main challenge in these regions is to preserve as much moisture as possible. Therefore, water must be used efficiently. Irrigation pumps can radically improve a family's life by efficiently delivering water to crops without electricity. The Chapin drip system, prevalent in this climate region, ensures that all plants get equal water. Two buckets of water used in this system can irrigate a 50 -foot row of plants: enough to feed a family of four.
11: Plants are planted in mounds to maximize resources immediately around the roots. Raised and sunken beds should be alternated to replenish the soil. | Sunken beds are used to attract and retain water. The raised edges protect wind from young plants.
12: These regions receive 80-200 inches of rain per year. To prevent rotting from flooded roots, plants are grown on stakes and the produce is kept off of the ground. | Tropical Rainforest | One incredible plant found in the African tropics is the Miracle Fruit. It is a small red berry that contains a glycoprotein which, when eaten, causes bitter or sour foods to taste sweet.
13: The banana tree is a staple crop of the rainforest region. When a banana tree dies, the pup starts at the roots. It takes 18 months to produce a bunch of bananas. | The cacao tree is the source of chocolate. It can grow 25 feet in height, and the fruit pods grow directly on the trunk and larger branches of the tree. Fruit pods are harvested by hand.
14: People in urban areas have little or no land to grow food. Several techniques such as tire gardening, shallow bed gardening, and wick gardening can be used. Old tires are readily available in developing countries. Shallow bed gardens can be built out of bricks or bamboo. Wick gardens demonstrate the fact that plants do not need soil to grow. They are made by allowing a gallon bucket of nutrient water to seep through cloth in the bottom of the enclosure and nourish the plants. | Urban Gardening