Category Archives: Horticulture

Rocks, ropes and roses – our final few days in Colombia

29th September: We’re getting a bit behind ourselves on the ol’ blog. Right now we are in Madrid, Spain having said a fond farewell to our cycling adventure in the Americas after just over a year on the road. Prolonging … Continue reading

Posted in Colombia, Horticulture, Local Agriculture | 7 Comments

Blots on the landscape

Colombia is blessed with some of the most diverse and fertile terrains on earth. For example I have lost count of the number of new fruits that we have sampled in less than a month, it’s probably running at one … Continue reading

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‘Hey farmer, farmer put away that DDT now…’

…wrote Joni Mitchell in her hit song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ in 1970. DDT that most infamous of synthetic pesticides, the use of which arguably launched the environmental movement as we know it today, first made it’s appearance during World War … Continue reading

Posted in Horticulture, Nicaragua, Politics | 1 Comment

Organic kitchen gardens in Miraflor

One of the projects in El Sontule, Miraflor Reserve focuses on the development of organic kitchen gardening. Many people have a bit of land by their house, perfect for growing veggies to meet many of the families’ needs. A few … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Horticulture, Nicaragua, Organic Farming, Small Scale Faming, Sustainable Development / Climate Change | 1 Comment

More on coffee…

On May 15th, Radio 4′s ‘The Food Programme’ broadcast a fascinating programme about coffee – focusing on Central America. Apparently the global price of coffee is at a 34 year high. Back in 2003 coffee was trading at $60cents per … Continue reading

Posted in Horticulture, Local Agriculture, Sustainable Development / Climate Change | 4 Comments

Grains of gold

In El Salvador the coffee bean is known as ‘el grano de oro’ – the grain of gold. And for good reason. No other country in the region has depended so heavily on coffee in its history and economic development. … Continue reading

Posted in El Salvador, Horticulture, Local Agriculture, Water | Leave a comment

How fair is fair trade?

Buying fair trade products is popular back home. People happily pay a premium on their coffee, bananas, chocolate, and a range of other products in the belief that a proportion of the money is going to pay workers a fairer … Continue reading

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Land of plenty

The land around Quetzaltenango is very fertile indeed. Two villages in particular: Zunil and Almolonga have a thriving agriculture industry. Almolonga is k’iche (the local language) for ‘place where water springs’. There are many rivers and streams tapped for irrigation … Continue reading

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Some musings on maize

Mexico is the birthplace of corn. The crop was domesticated 8,000 years ago into one of the world’s most important food crops. Unfortunately since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994, US corn has flooded Mexico at … Continue reading

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Notes on arable farming: from the slopes of the volcano to the banks of the river

On leaving Mexico City, and drawing closer to the awesome volcanoes, evidence of crop cultivation increased as urban sprawl decreased. Despite the very arid looking environment, on the banks of the volcano there was a lot of corn growing activity. … Continue reading

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