Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cuba's Organiponico's: Teaching the United States a hard lesson it need to learn.....

Cuba is definitely in the privilaged position of teaching us the hard lessons that we need to learn. For a couple of years now I have been reading about the many Organiponico's (small organic farms, self sustainable in type, and built using recycled materials and no synthetics) which are responsible for the production of 80% of all of Cuba's vegetable production.


Contrary to popular belief, Cuba is nowhere near the hell hole that our mass media has portrayed it to be, in fact in many ways they are far ahead of us, when the oil runs out in this country Cuba will be just fine!

Anyhow, without getting to deep into it, I'll allow you guys to check it out with these two videos via YouTube.



8 comments:

Jeremy said...

I wonder what you make of some of the criticisms that have been raised about the role of the organoponicos? We mentioned some of them on our blog, here.

This is not to say that the Cubans haven't done a great deal of work. Just that it may not be quite as perfect as some people imagine. Nor as dire.

Anonymous said...

A bit easier to be self sufficient in a tropical climate than large parts of USA..
EJ

Bishops Homegrown said...

I dont' doubt any one of those criticisms Jeremy, most certainly either could be true and I wouldn't know, not having a chance to have visited Cuba. I do think in general they have the right idea though with producing food on abandoned lots, rooftops and marginal agricultural land and at least a good portion of them seem to be genuinely interested in the self-sufficent aspect of food production.


EJ, to some extent I suppose you could say it's easier to be self sufficient in a tropical area, but looked at in another way there is no reason it could not work in the temperate zone given the abundance of waste materials to build cold frames from and the ability of man to manipulate plants and animals in all manners that suit our needs. I see it that way anyhow.

Patrick said...

I also just made a comment on Jeremy's post, and I personally don't see a lot in his argument.

After all if it's true that '75% of Cuban farmers use agrochemicals, and 83% would apply more if they could', don't you think that's true in the US too? Just what what does this statistic mean anyway?

I've heard mostly good things about what's going on in Cuba, and the arguments against it sound more like recent political debates in the US than anything else. Who's paying these people to make these arguments?

I'd be interested in seeing some more hard and meaningful statistics in the debate against the Cuban food system.

linda said...

The bottom line is that as Alan says, even in temperate climates, we can strive towards a certain level of self sufficiency. I just got the go ahead to build a coldframe at the community garden which will enable me to continue growing my families food on a rather small scale but it will be a learning experience for when we finally move to our farm permanently, where I will be growing year round. This is in Chicago, very harsh winters but others have done it successfully and its catching on.

I won't be able to grow tomatoes for example, but I will be growing beets, cauliflower, kholrabi, turnips, greens (lots of greens!) One man is growing alpine strawberries during winter as well. By adjusting our food preferences towards seasonal crops, we can succeed outside of the tropics. Add that to food preservation and the climate will not hinder the prospects.

Tina said...

Why only USA??
What about you?? how about others?? I mean to say all need to know the things about environment. One thing i would like to admit that if USA will start caring then other will copy sure..There are many who look on USA...what they will do etc..

Thanks for sharing..It's an insipirational and motivational and i hope everyone would learn from it..

Jeremy
Fair trade shop

Patrick said...

My understanding is by most accounts the organoponicos are pretty successful for what they are. They are mostly or completely organic, and they meet a substantial part of the needs of fresh salad like veggies (ie lettuce and tomatoes) for the urban areas.

Apparently however, the Cubans are not that fond of lettuce and tomatoes and prefer to eat other things.

In the agricultural areas there is more of a mentality of wanting to grow crops with chemical inputs, and there is far less interest in organic principles. In addition, like any other countries, Cuba has decided it's cheaper and easier to import a lot of their food and so their own agricultural system is not operating at full capacity.

This is just a summary! If you want to read more, have a look at this post:

http://agro.biodiver.se/2009/09/cuba-the-goods/

E said...

Free Panfilo!
Who hasn't, after an evening (or afternoon) of aggressive alcohol consumption, wandered around town looking for some delicious, greasy, cheap nosh? Last month, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Marcos, a hard-drinking resident of Havana who goes by the name Panfilo, knocked backed a few hundred beers and decided to tell a nearby foreign film crew that food is scarce in the communist nation. When the video was posted on YouTube, Panfilo's troubles began:

http://reason.com/blog/

Sept 11 post.