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Going Home with Wendell Berry | The New Yorker
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[Too much to quote, so here’s what Anne quoted:]

“Lancie Clippinger said to me, and he was very serious, that a man oughtn’t to milk but about twenty-five cows, because if he keeps to that number, he’ll see them every day. If he milks more than that, he’ll do the work but never see the cows! The number will vary from person to person, I think, but Lancie’s experience had told him something important.”
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yesterday by robertogreco
“Going Home with Wendell Berry”, an interview conducted by Amanda Petrusich for The New Yorker
“The integration of the various animals and crops into a relatively small acreage becomes a formal problem that is just as interesting and just as demanding as the arrangement of the parts of a novel. You’ve got to decide what comes first, and then you work your way to the revelation of what comes last. But the parts also have to be ordered. And if they’re ordered properly on a farm, something even more miraculous than most art happens: you have sustainability. Each thing supports the whole thing.”
interview  farming  rural  pastoral  agriculture 
2 days ago by beep
Emma Marris on Twitter: "Every time I go somewhere to give a talk, I try to learn at least a little about the human and environmental history. So today I am reading about how the Kumeyaay--the tribe in the San Diego area--have a long history of hydrologic

“Every time I go somewhere to give a talk, I try to learn at least a little about the human and environmental history. So today I am reading about how the Kumeyaay–the tribe in the San Diego area–have a long history of hydrological engineering to cope with drought.

“Careful study of Spanish accounts indicates that little or no natural landscape (i.e., climax or old chaparral) existed. Instead they describe grass, oak-park grasslands, limited chaparral, and areas with plants so even and regular they looked planted…

all the product of human management to provide food.”
–Shipek, F. C. (1981). A Native American Adaptation to Drought: The Kumeyaay as Seen in the San Diego Mission Records 1770-1798. Ethnohistory, 28(4), 295. doi:10.2307/481135

Wow, I am reading that one elder told researchers that they once lived by the coast, but moved upland when they discovered that the oaks that they relied on for food grew better at higher elevations. The “oak groves” settlers found were all pretty much orchards.

The Kumeyaay actively extended the range of palms, plums, agave, yucca, sage, and mesquite. Planted stands of many of these plants were flash burned occasionally to clear out insects and parasites like mistletoe.

Willow, elderberry, and sumac were planted in riparian corridors to prevent erosion. (This is all knowledge given to researchers by elders who recalled practices in the late 1800s on both sides of today’s US/Mexico border)

The Kumeyaay brought desert plants all the way to the coast. Spanish explorers described villages as being surrounded by “a fortress” of prickly pear cactus. M. Kat Anderson has written about Natives harvesting pruning these cacti to promote growth of tender young pads. [photo of cacti]

They planted a semi-domesticated grain, which has apparently been lost. Because they interplanted with other annuals and managed with fire, settlers mistook their fields for ‘wild’ meadows.

The Kumeyaay also placed rocks in parallel lines on slopes to slow water runoff and increase groundwater recharge.

I want to read more about this but I can’t find an online copy of this: 1993 Kumeyaay Plant Husbandry: Fire, Water, and Erosion Control Systems. In Before the Wilderness: Environmental Management by Native Californians, Thomas C. Blackburn and Kat Anderson, editors, pp. 379–388.

Today Kumeyaay people belong to 13 different bands in the US. As San Diego marks the 250th anniversary of the coming of the missionaries, some of the tribes are reminding the world that the “founding” of the city was, for them, an encroachment.

At Kumeyaay Community College, you can learn the Kumeyaay language or take an ethnobotany course!
emmaharris  sandiego  kumeyaay  history  agriculture  environment  engineering  flora  fauna 
2 days ago by robertogreco
The Young Hands That Feed Us - Pacific Standard
An estimated 524,000 children work unimaginably long hours in America's grueling agricultural fields, and it's all perfectly legal.
agriculture  farming 
4 days ago by bobpotter
MoAgriS: Modular Agriculture System |
This project tries to realise a full fledged indoor gardening System with the main focus on food crops that are normally not suited as indoor plants and provide them with everything they usually have in the outside world.

There are approaches to this problem but most of them rely on having a large basement or are otherwise very space consuming and try to re-invent containers for plants making the system very expensive and visually unappealing, although that is of course subjective.

I want to create a minimal in-expensive solution, utilizing existing containers for plants e.g. standard plant pots and breeding boxes. All you need to add to a breeding box or plant pot are metal rods which have an already accepted aesthetic in gardening as structural support for plants.

There will be modules for providing, light, ventilation, water, fertilizer and sensors to monitor plant health. They will talk over the center rod using the SDI-12 bus, with one module being the central "brain  project  agriculture  modular  robotics  automation 
6 days ago by cyberchucktx
MoAgriS: A Modular Agriculture System | Hackaday user [Prof. Fartsparkle] aims to impress us again with MoAgriS, a stripped-down rig for bringing crops indoors and providing them with all they need.

This project is an evolution of their submission to last year’s Hackaday Prize, MoRaLiS — a modular lighting system on rails — integrating modules for light, water, airflow, fertilizer and their appropriate sensors. With an emphasis on low-cost, a trio of metal bars serve as the structure, power and data transmission medium with SAM D11 chips shepherding each plant.
gardening  robotics  hackaday  automation  farming  agriculture 
6 days ago by cyberchucktx
Autonomous Agribots For Agriculture | Hackaday
For his Hackaday Prize entry, [TegwynTwmffat] is going all-in on autonomous robotics. No, it’s not a self-driving car with highly advanced features such as cruise control with lane-keeping. This is an autonomous robot that’s capable of driving itself. It’s a robot built for agriculture, and relative to other autonomous robotics projects, this one is huge. It’s the size of a small tractor.

The goal [Tegwyn]’s project is to build a robot capable of roving fields of crops to weed, harvest, and possibly fertilize the land. This is a superset of the autonomous car problem: not only does [Tegwyn] need to build a chassis to roll around a field, he needs accurate sensors, some sort of connection to the Internet, and a fast processor on board
hackaday  robotics  agriculture  autonomous 
6 days ago by cyberchucktx
Robot Harvesting Machine Is Tip Of The Agri-Tech Iceberg | Hackaday
Harvesting delicate fruit and vegetables with robots is hard, and increasingly us humans no longer want to do these jobs. The pressure to find engineering solutions is intense and more and more machines of different shapes and sizes have recently been emerging in an attempt to alleviate the problem. Additionally, each crop is often quite different from one another and so, for example, a strawberry picking machine can not be used for harvesting lettuce.

A team from Cambridge university, UK, recently published the details of their lettuce picking machine, written in a nice easy-to-read style and packed full of useful practical information. Well worth a read!
robotics  farming  agriculture  hackaday 
6 days ago by cyberchucktx
Agroecology as Innovation - FAO HLPE Report #14 - approaches for sustainable agriculture
“Food systems are at a crossroads. Profound transformation is needed,” the summary begins. It stresses the importance of ecological agriculture, which supports “diversified and resilient production systems, including mixed livestock, fish, cropping, and agroforestry, that preserve and enhance biodiversity, as well as the natural resource base.”
Agriculture  FAO  ecology  rur 
6 days ago by weitzenegger
I’m a farmer, and no-deal Brexit would put me out of business | Will Case | Opinion | The Guardian
Crashing out of the EU would not end uncertainty and would be a dark day for agriculture and food in Britain
#Brexit  food  agriculture  farm  england  uk  europe  economics 
6 days ago by Weaverbird

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