The Chagga homegarden agroforestry systems of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
One of my life's deepest joys has been the opportunity to visit with farmers around the world, learning about their farming systems and ways of life. Supporting the preservation of their traditional knowledge through speaking, visual media, and writing are ways I have worked to relay these important practices to students and readers back home as I have learned from direct experience and directly from farmers as well as expert researchers. These are ways I provide Educational For Sustainable Development to groups pursuing more resilient ways of life in a variety of contexts.
With agroforestry expert Dr. P.K. Ramachandran Nair of Kerala, India and the University of Florida
Agriculture has deeply affected the health of our planet. While it meets basic needs of humanity with the provision of food and materials, it also causes massive ecological damage while not supporting the thousands of years of cultural heritage it represents, from its beginnings in gathering and on the how it is classified today, including farming, fisheries, forestry and livestock. The most diverse form of agriculture recognized today is called "agroforestry", which can be explained as "a system in which woody perennials, such as trees, shrubs, and bamboo, are planted alongside agricultural crops and animals." Basically, it is farming in a way that closely mimics nature's forests with their biodiversity, beauty and productivity.
A number of great organizations in the San Diego area are working on how to bring complex ideas like agroforestry - ones that connect food systems and traditional and modern farming practices - to people in a way that they can learn and participate themselves. The Leichtag Foundation's Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas is one of these places, and it was an honor to contribute my writing on agroforestry in a global context to their blog a while back. I welcome you to have read, and let me know what questions you may have! If you have any interest in learning more about agroforestry, or even having a "food forest"-inspired garden at your home, let's talk!