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Afghanistan, the Poppy and the Raised Bed
Alex Steffen, 3 Apr 04

Biointensive agriculture combines techniques which have been around for centuries -- double-dug raised beds, composting, companion planting -- with a contemporary understanding of the biological forces at work in the average garden to produce incredible yields. It's not brain surgery, but it seems to work (I've seen it in action).

Now the group Ecology Action is attempting to introduce biointensive farming into Afghanistan, where three decades of chaos, several lurching halts on the road to development, and the opium poppy trade have combined to deeply undermine traditional farming practices without creating a new replacement. Interesting idea.

Most interesting new meme I picked up here, by the way: "open-pollinated seeds," to differentiate seeds which can be grown by anyone from proprietary hybrid (and thus often sterile) commercial seeds.
(thanks, Sasha!)

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