Sunday, June 12, 2005

Seeds of Change - Gardening on the islands

I need your feedback on this one --

I can get veggie/fruit seeds from farmers that I know who grow for Seeds of Change (click on subject link), as well as from local organic gardeners, I know, in Los Angeles.

Is there some way that we can start a seed distribution tree via the surf charters to the villagers??

If I get Christina, in Padang, to accept all the shipments and start plants, everyone can pretty much access them from there, right? (Sumatran Surfaris & Hotel Batang Arau).

OK, here comes a bunch of questions. Help me out here by hitting the comment button.

What grows best on the Islands? Mentawais, Nias, Banyaks, Asu, Simeulue????

I need a list of vegetable and fruits that grow well, and can be readily used in their diets/meals.

Since there is two seasons, basically - wet and dry, what are the best times to start what plants?

Is there going to be any issues sending seeds??? How should I pack them? Do I need to declare them in any way for customs? Which way, exactly? Or, do I just send them in baggage with someone travelling in for a surf trip?????

I will be sending only organic open pollenating seeds....and....can send instructions in english on how to save seeds from the plants they grow - so - they can develop seed banks on the islands and start to share them with other villages....but they will need to be translated for the various village dialects.

Can we do this and combine it with a bamboo planting program? Also, I see where the surf charters could get a line in on delivering baby mangrove trees.

In other words, how about a veggie/fruit seedling/seed program started out of Padang with Christina/Seeds of Change etc....and then...find some place to start donating bamboo shoots and mangrove plants.

Bamboo needs to be grown for housing (and future tsunami escape rafts!! yes, indeed, the floor to your home can also become a raft! ) and as protective barriers, and as a source of income for villagers. The wood carvers may start to make furniture and other items with it,
as well.

Also, along the lines of food and shelter.....mangrove forests need to be replenished and nurtured everywhere. They protect the islands from tsunamis and create habitat and breeding grounds for many fish and other creatures.

So....I am thinking that if we can get seeds, seedlings and small shoots or cuttings out as gifts to the villagers on every surf charter (fishing tackle is another good one), and just keep it going from here on will make a long term massive difference for all concerned.

If anyone has any feedback, comments, ideas, connections, suggestions - hit the comment button. Cheers, Birdie


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