Locavore

People & Place

Tough times, tough birds: Kenyan farmers swap back to hardy chickens

Tough times, tough birds: Kenyan farmers swap back to hardy chickens

In Elly Joy Kanini’s farmyard in Kenya’s Tharaka Nithi County, a few chickens perch while others peck for food, and a cock runs after a hen.

But when Kanani, dressed in a blue chequered apron and carrying a container of grain, walks past the chicken house and gives a familiar call, the yard is in no time packed with birds of many different colours, snapping up the grain almost before it hits the ground.

Kanini has been raising chickens for about four years, along with crops and other livestock, but she has not always reared the local variety of chickens that now make up her flock.

Too late to plant green seed among world’s forgotten palm oil farmers?

Too late to plant green seed among world’s forgotten palm oil farmers?

When palm oil farmer Isnin Kasno eventually retires, his three children will turn their backs on the family’s small plantation in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor. Like many ageing oil palm growers in Southeast Asia, the 58-year-old struggles to make ends meet from his 2 hectares (5 acres), and his adult children have little appetite for the physically demanding work and dwindling financial rewards.

“It makes me very sad,” said Kasno, who planted his land in 1983 after working in Singapore’s construction industry. “Soon, when I no longer have the energy to help with the harvesting, my only option will be to lease my farm.”

Eider down farming – a living cultural tradition

Eider down farming – a living cultural tradition

Birgitta Berglund has studied eider down farming areas and the special culture along the Norwegian Helgeland coast since the 1970s. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Cultural History at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) University Museum.

The coastal communities included eider duck egg and down harvesting, sealing and fishing villages, but Berglund’s greatest interest lies with the practice of eider farming.

The man who wants to pull 60,000 Rwandans out of poverty by planting trees

The man who wants to pull 60,000 Rwandans out of poverty by planting trees

Jean Baptiste Mutabaruka is on the road to the local bank, again. When he gets there, he will inquire once more about raising money for an idea he thinks will reduce poverty in his small farming community of 60,000 in the province of Eastern Rwanda. For 10 years, Jean Baptiste has journeyed through the parched villages of the Karangazi Sector, even in soaring heat, to champion the planting of trees, which he sees as a potent antidote to widespread poverty in the region.

According to research conducted by WRI, he is right. Planting and protecting trees would likely lead to increased land productivity, as well as improving food and water security. The Tigray region of Ethiopia halved its poverty level through restoring land over the last 20 years.

How to reduce poverty and re-connect people to nature

How to reduce poverty and re-connect people to nature

Access to food and water — once considered common goods and a basic human right — are increasingly treated as commodities, like precious metals or lumber. Instead of being necessities for life that are available to all, they are being kept from people who cannot afford them.

The perils of this commodification are rife — and sometimes tragically untold — yet several stories have survived.

Take the Happerley Challenge: only eat what you know for a week

Take the Happerley Challenge: only eat what you know for a week

How easy is it to survive for seven days only consuming food and drink you can trace back to its origin?

The Live Happerley challenge is to eat and drink only food and drink with known origin, back to seed or birth, for a week. It is designed to raise awareness of how little consumers know about where food is from and help drive change for a more transparent and traceable food industry.

In Ecuador’s Northern Highlands, greenhouses to grow roses for export now dominate ancient Inca agricultural fields

In Ecuador’s Northern Highlands, greenhouses to grow roses for export now dominate ancient Inca agricultural fields

Several hundred years ago, pre-Inca and Inca civilizations grew corn, potatoes, beans, quinoa, and squash on raised beds in the verdant Cayambe Valley. Now greenhouses dominate this landscape, and most of them are filled with roses and other cut flowers that will be harvested, packed, and shipped to the United States. Located in Ecuador’s Northern Highlands, the Cayambe Valley has one of the highest densities of greenhouses for rose production in the world.

Page 1 of 41234