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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog

Sunday
Sep162012

Secret Life of Roots

New discoveries about roots leads to better understanding of the role of organic matter in the soil.

This article by Michele Owens was originally published in Garden Design magazine. She reports on new discoveries regarding the extraordinarily complex life of roots.

All gardeners set out to grow healthy plants, but they also face a stubborn barrier, a curtain beyond which eyesight ends and mystery begins: the surface of the soil. Below, plants root in darkness, and our ministrations above ground only sometimes seem to determine whether our charges will go belly up or thrive.

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Sunday
Sep162012

Haiti‚Äôs Lost Creole Pigs

Creole pigs were once an important part of the rural economy of Haiti.

Many people point to the slaughter of the country’s pig stock as helping to fuel the popular revolt that toppled Baby Doc Duvalier. Known as Creole pigs, or “cochon-planches,” these small, black, resilient hogs had long been more than just farm animals, but represented a savings bank that could be sold to pay for school fees, medical emergencies, weddings, or seed for crops. As such, they were a key component of the rural economy.

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