Agriculture


March 2011 046

Most people who visit Dominica exclaim over and over how green it is!

Most of the people who live here say one of the reasons they put up with all the challenges of living on a small island with low incomes is the access to nature.

Lucky for me growing up my parents loved to immerse in nature; our most frequent family outing was an experience in nature; visiting a lake or a park for a day or a week holiday. I still remember the feelings of well being after being immersed in nature and the deep refreshing sleeps after.

01012015 001

Immersion in Nature is now scientifically proven to be healing!

I first learned this concept – nature is healing as part of a conscious lifestyle for health and wellness – in the 1980’s from the Rasta’s I studied during my year’s sabbatical in the West Indies studying Herbal Medicine; Appropriate Technology and Vegetarian Cooking!

Repeatedly as I interviewed people who were part of the Rasta Movement and interested in Healthy Conscious Living I heard that Immersion in Nature – gardening; hiking trails; nature walks; river baths; hot water soaks or visits to ‘Dr. Sea’ – was an intricate part of their Healthy Lifestyle.

Now Forest Bathing is offered everywhere.

The scientifically-proven benefits of exposure to nature include:

  • Boosted immune system functioning.
  • Reduced blood pressure.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Improved mood.
  • Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD.
  • Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness.
  • Increased energy level.
  • Improved sleep.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

“The classic permaculture model sounds like this: permaculture practiced on the land leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate community.

Social permaculture implies a second narrative possibility that sounds like this: permaculture practiced in the community leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate the land.”  ~ Butterside.com

Farm
Eden Heights Garden

Social and Ecological Permaculture Design Certification Course

March 7th-19th 2016 – Mon. to Fri.

The course is being designed and delivered by Jeff “Papillon” Ribier of the ButterSide and Mike Wird of Regenerative Lifestyles, Colorado, and is based on the classic Permaculture curriculum as inspired by the work of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

It will take place in the Castle Bruce area at Eden Heights and Beyond Vitality plus various other sites across the island.

This certification course will expose participants to a wide variety of subjects in the form of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.  You will be studying in some of Dominica’s most beautiful gardens as well as in devastated and urbanized areas.  Residing on the design sites at Beyond Vitality and Eden Heights, looking through the lens of Permaculture, you will develop a deeper understanding of social and ecological patterns, principles and appropriate strategies.  And most importantly, the quality of the relationships between them.  There will be a series of presentations by local community organizers, farmers, botanists, builders too.

One thing you know when you visit Dominica whether you have an intricately planned itinerary or not there will be something more …

… because Dominica is such a spontaneous natural environment there is always more to enjoy then what is planned – a beautiful rainbow; the visit of an iguana;  a ripe fruit; the heavenly scent of flowers; the call of a bird.

The organizers are going out of their way to have both Dominican and International Students be able to participate. In my opinion this is essential for a truly eco sustainable educational tourism program.

This will enable the rare blending of those from Dominica interested in organic farming with those interested in organic farming throughout the world – I am sure a lifetime of friendships will evolve!

International Students:

You can choose to take a one week or two week program.

Early-bird rates end on December 15th, 2015.

Dominican Students:

Scholarships are available to a limited number of people – checkout who complete the PDC scholarship application form and return it to Sian at Eden Heights by January.

The program is available for people who can only attend a couple of days of workshops, as well as those interested in completing the whole course. Exact dates and topics for the 2 day packages will be confirmed in January.

There is a limited number of spots for this course, don’t wait too long.

Final sign-up deadline is February 1st, 2016 (no refunds are available beyond this date).

If you miss the deadline or wished there were a possibility for a payment plan, don’t give up!  We’ll work it out.

Contact us to see what can be arranged.  If you are choosing a payment plan, a non-refundable $300 deposit is required upon registration. Your registration will be handled with care and you will be on our standby list for the first available opening.

Accommodation is organized on a first registered/first served basis.

The link below gives you an overview of the itinerary; the topics covered during the training as well s the credentials of the teachers.

http://www.butterside.com/#instructors-guest-speakers

GENET is a European network of non-governmental non-profit organisations engaged in the critical debate of genetic engineering, founded in 1995. GENET‘s mission  is to provide information on genetic engineering to its member organisations and the interested public and to support their activities and campaigns. At the moment, GENET has 51 member organisations in 27 European countries. GENET is an international non-profit association under Swiss law.

The purpose of GENET is to exchange information on genetic engineering and campaigns focussing on:

  • plant and animal breeding
  • human health
  • agriculture
  • animal welfare
  • food production

and its implications on

  • biological diversity
  • human genetics and medicine
  • the environment
  • the socioeconomic development

By informing interested organisations and individuals GENET facilitates the citizens’ involvement in decision-making processes which have to guide the development of this technology.

List of GMO-Free Regions

Dominica is listed as GMO Free on this website.

GM Crop report relating to: Dominica

 

Monsanto ……… repeatedly allowed to sell products that poison the population contribute to disease and poison our food; when will we start making them accountable for the damage they have done?

France stops sale of Roundup; Canada stops sale of Roundup; Netherlands stops the sale of Roundup …… when this happens they sell the left overs to Dominica and other small nations by the time all stock is gone the next pesticide is starting ….. and we have a sudden increase in cancer.

To quote Pesticide Action Network of North America – PANNA

“If you’ve been following the recent big news about Monsanto’s infamous weedkiller RoundUp and cancer, you’ll have heard that industry’s “dirty little secret” just got dirtier.

In case you missed it: the international scientific community sent us two very loud wake-up calls last month. First, the UN World Health Organization’s prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer released a consensus report that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, is a “probable carcinogen.”

A few days later, a team of international scientists based in New Zealand reported that widely available commercial formulations of RoundUp, 2,4-D and dicamba can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in common disease-causing bacteria.

In addition to these findings, there’s a growing body of evidence on health impacts associated with exposure to glyphosate or RoundUp, such as endocrine disruption, organ damage and birth defects.”

The next question is – where were the studies? Why did the studies not show these connections? Who pays for this? What happens to all the sucker farmers that planned gm roundup plants? Does Monsanto pay up? No they keep raking in the dollars – while we get sick from exposure to the chemicals they create and market falsely.

Unfortunately you and I and our tax dollars pay for this …… in the care of those ill from exposure!”

Pesticide Action Network of North America

But …. not to despair; the world is a living entity that can heal: I saw Lake Erie become so polluted it started on fire heal; I saw the river in my town stop a paper mill from polluting the river and the green scum went away; and in Canada just One Year After Ontario Ban on Roundup there has been over 80% Decline of Most Common Pesticides in Surface Waters – meaning Canadians will have less cancer in the years to come.

Ontario first in North America to curb bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides

Farmers and the province have agreed to rules for reduction that begins July 1, while the manufacturer maintains the controversial insecticide is safe.

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2015/06/09/ontario-first-in-north-america-to-ban-bee-killing-neonicotinoid-pesticides.html

Unless you are eating 100% organic the answer is yes!

The chemicals we put on our gardens and farms are often organophosphates and they are neurotoxins very similar to nerve gas.

Chemical warfare was introduced to a shocked world during the First World War. The development of chemical warfare agents during the Second World War led to the so-called “nerve gases,” which are quick-acting poisons attacking the nervous system. In the second world war Nerve Gas was a feared and terrible weapon. I remember my grandfather telling stories of people who had come back from the war and described the experience: convulsions; seizures; confusion; irritation; anger; loss of memory and executive function.

As a Health and Wellness Consultant and Writer I have written many articles on studies showing the dangers of agricultural chemicals and I knew more than one study had shown links between agricultural chemicals and Parkinson’s Disease.

Over the years as I delved more deeply I found there were a lot of similar symptoms in many Dementias; Parkinson’s Disease and other Brain Diseases of today.

I asked a local doctor that I respect very much if he thought there could be a connection. He said he theorized from his many years of observations that older farmers he saw were functioning differently neurologically then those the same age with other jobs with less exposure to chemicals.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Physical Symptoms
Mental Symptoms

Symptoms of Dementia

At first I could not find any studies linking agricultural chemicals and dementia but years later they are starting to be published one by one and it is sad to think that we are doing this to ourselves for money.

Then I found a study in France that supported my friends theory

I was just blown away when I began to realize that a lot of the chemicals that we put on our food are “neurotoxins” very similar to the nerve gas of Chemical Warfare.

Researchers measured the levels of pesticide byproducts in the urine of 1,139 children from across the United States. Children with above-average levels of one common byproduct had roughly twice the odds of getting a diagnosis of ADHD, according to the study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics.

Recently it was projected that one in —- would have dementia over the age of 60;

According to the ‘Gulf War and Health published by the National Academies Press: “the persistent abnormalities seen in sarin victims that last long after the acute toxicity has resolved appear to be similar to the long-term neurobehavioral effects seen after acute intoxication from organophosphate pesticides (Delgado et al., 2004; London et al., 1998; Rosenstock et al., 1991; Savage et al., 1988; Steenland et al., 1994; Wesseling et al., 2002).

Organophosphate pesticides (as well as sarin and VX nerve agent) irreversibly inactivate acetylcholinesterase, which is essential to nerve function in insects, humans, and many other animals.

Meta-analysis was carried out by the University College of London to determine the neurotoxic effects of long-term exposure to low levels of organophosphates (OPs) in occupational settings.

It was released around the start of January 2013 and their conclusions are

The majority of well designed studies found a significant association between low-level exposure to OPs and impaired neurobehavioral function which is consistent, small to moderate in magnitude and concerned primarily with cognitive functions such as psychomotor speed, executive function, visuospatial ability, working and visual memory.

Listen to what this farmer has to say about the organophosphates they were forced to dip their sheep in.

 

Listen to this Organic Farmer’s observations on Mad Cow disease and neurotoxins.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MheeiX2w8JU

CTA is a joint ACP-EU institution active in agricultural and rural development in ACP countries. This information is extremely interesting to a Dominican Agriculturalist.

Its mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management. It does this by providing access to information and knowledge, facilitating policy dialogue and strengthening the capacity of agricultural and rural development institutions and communities in ACP countries.

CTA publishes and co-publishes printed, electronic and/or multimedia information products on various aspects of agriculture and rural development (including CTA bi-monthly magazine Spore/Esporo).

I discovered them years ago when reading The Spore at the Roseau Library

Check out their catalogue of publications.

Next Page »