Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lost Crops of Incas and Africa

In the 'old world' -- or ancient civilizations--before the 'industrial revolution' and the industrialization of society--(although many societies have been 'advanced' in the past--the greatest industrialization happening particularly first in the 'west', look up how much SMOG was in LA during the 1920's --worse than it is now i read) -- there was a wealth of knowledge
and practice of cultivating many, diverse species.  In fact--it was not uncommon to talk about nature--today when you talk about nature some people snicker and want no part of it--they
forget that they cannot be removed from it, even for a second---many of the species ive
read do not look 'lost' at all, perhaps just unknown--quinoa for instance, which often costs
a high price here at the health food store, but is widely known for its nutritional qualities and a alternative to wheat/rice.

Wild rice is another subject--i'd like to discuss, true wild rice is a rarity.  But i believe wild rice has a superior nutritional quality, the problem is not all wild rice 'sold' is legitimate, i forget what it was people did, but man really bungles things up, and i have no answer why.  Well i do--Greed.  anyway

Btw, the best way to SAVE seeds, is by replanting them, seeds can go bad if
stored in a seed bank, but seeds can be stored in ground for ...long time and
still be able to germinate---(I'm not an expert on this, just what I read)

I remember reading something about how many varieties of heirloom plants
were around in America around the turn of the century--something like 100+
different varieties of apples... this was the case for many fruits/vegetables etc.

Today that number has significantly dwindled--like a lot-owing to man's reliance on
'commercial' and 'industrial' agriculture processes, (Chemicals, monocropping, blah blah etc)

If man has any 'heritage' really at all, it is in nature's diversity-- , look
at the rainforest, the tremendous amount of life and diversity.  (Above ground, i have read
apart from 'terra preta' sites, that the soil is actually not that great because the cycles
there move so rapidly they dont have time to replenish the soil--but that is another subject not the purpose of this little post.

Africa's Lost crops books is available online, as well as the Incas lost crops (if there are any others I would add them too, I don't know any)

The point is--we are not bankrupt as a society, yet--(at least not in one sense, there are many morally bankrupt people out there obviously) -nature has in it's store, 'currency' for creating new and habitable landscapes, through plants, and it is up to good people to make sure we have this 'backup' by replanting and sharing...

If nothing else, if some of these plants cannot be found--(many of them can), it is educational , and
there is a tremendous LACK of 'natural' 'nature' education--especially in our 'westernized' world...

If it were up to me, in 'school' ciricullum---Nature 101 would be the first subject taught before
any others,....I would probably add nutrition, geometry, and astronomy also.  I wasn't around
when the great philosophers were around, Im not sure what they taught--but I am fairly certain
they gave great importance, to subjects not thoroughly discussed in modern times--- or at least
subjects which are not 'en vogue' or as fashionable as say, mathematics or literature.  One must
search for the Truth, in whatever subject one studies, if it is not truthful, you are basically
learning a lie and retelling yourself that lie.  That is not a good way to go about life, as we have
seen, in our society how much harm not stating the truth is...

Some people say truth is harsh---it is , it can be,  I would prefer a harsh truth, than a
harsh lie any day---people forget that lies, falsehood, can be equally or greater harsh
than truth....Out of Kindness some people avoid the truth-which i respect to some extent and understand--but in our present day i would liken hiding the truth too, sitting on a burning stove and saying "My ass is not on fire" -- what is the point of that? 

Anyway, here's the links to the 'Lost Crop's' --which you can find on other websites also, I just
thought it interesting and wanted to repost. 

Lost crops of Africa Vol.1 : Grains
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309049903

Vol.2 Vegetables
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11763

Vol.3 Fruits (my favorite)
 http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11879

 Lost crops of the Incas
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11879


These are by no means 'exhaustive' list of the crops available, you can generally find in any part
of the world what native plants are by asking around locals or , through libraries or nature reserves.

I think knowing and respecting NATIVE plants, is one of the greatest tasks we have facing
the future of our planet... Especially with the 'commercialization' of seed , i could say another
name for it--but i won't-- Many land animals and other species, including man, rely on plant species to live, when those plant species dissapear---desertification, famine, etc occur.....It is nearly impossible to separate man from plants,....(or animals for that matter but again --another issue)

We don't live in the ocean anymore, we can't just swim around and eat plankton...No, plants are
our main food source for all 7,000,000,000+ (and rising) humans in existence....That's a lot of mouths, and an equal amount of plants ...So we had better take care of them, and also the diversity and naturalness of them. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Less is More

Many problems in the world seem to be because of 'want' of enough, or want of more than enough--Certainly we have basic 'needs' that should be met- clean; air, water, food, which unfortunately is becoming a rarer thing these days... -As far as 'animal agriculture' is concerned--it is not necessary for feeding mouths, perhaps if we planted more 'food forests' and 'fruit forests' --and leave the animals alone, we would accomplish more than simply lamenting the fact the pain and suffering that hunger and drought or other environmental factors have wrought in many parts of the world.  Certainly 'conventional' agriculture --is not the answer, has not helped in this regard,in fact it could be said--it has been the 'problem'-- nor has animal agriculture which for many reasons i won't go into, is wrong,--a return (or a start) to a plant-based, more nature-like, integrative agricultural system (i.e. forested) seems to be the only real solution to the world's 'food' problems.  I know one thing, it is only by listening to nature--that we can work in harmony with her-- the predominating use of relying on 'animals' in agriculture in many parts of the world, exemplifies man's ignorance of this concept--leave the animals alone, plant fruit forests, sounds simple, but maybe it could be a start or a solution to a global problem.  And also a way to return to abundance, vs. scarcity.  True abundance is not only about getting 'needs' met, whether nutrition or clean water, etc..it is about realizing what we can live without...also, (i.e. junk food, bad/ unnatural agricultural practices, animal agriculture, etc)  Many people know more about these things than me--how to create abundance or forested systems even in 'harsh' environments--- Truly, modern 'cities' seem to be the harshest environments to me these days--with such pollution and lack of natural atmosphere, noise pollution, etc, ---We have to admit, these are dying systems--faulty from the start, and re-integrate NATURE into our 'systems' or we will invariably and undoubtedly fail at attaining any sort of harmony between our real needs, and the resources available.  We will also fail at perhaps even existing beyond the current century--at this current catastrophic rate of destroying, and ignoring nature.  If nature is given a chance, even the tiniest one--it can do many miracles, all man has to do, is give it a little help,  Man only has to understand this, vs. seemingly always working against it.  Perhaps that is the greatest 'obstacle' of all.  But it is far worse to hold onto something that doesn't work--never worked in the first place, and will never be 'good' for humanity or animals or nature or anything else--that path is certain ruin.  Following nature--Nature's path--there is at least a chance of harmony.  Admitting what man's real 'needs' are, seems to be his stumbling block.  Man tends to want more than he actually needs most of the time---MUCH of this is compounded by incessant advertising/propaganda telling man he needs this this and this to be happy, and modern societies 'acceptance' of the exploitation and ignoring of 'nature' --..I do not know if society has always been like this, but truly i believe we live in the most foolish of times.   If people wish to succeed---at actually living on a planet with abundant food, clean air, clean water, abundant natural resources, less health problems, less reliance on 'man's foolish meddling, and 'inventions' --many of which do more harm than good--we have to
wake up,...Does this mean throw everything away and return to the forest?  If that suits you, ok, but
for most people this is not necessary, only the perception needs to change, how we are doing things today is not working, we need a new nature-based--nature-inspired-model, and we need it yesterday--Nature shows its resilience in a single seed....If planted and sprouted it grows into a tree, bears fruit, and sustains life, Where else in the cosmos can you find such a miraculous thing?  Mars?  No trees there, nor fruit.  We need to be focused on what is real HERE FIRST,  Or we will never make it 'out there' .