Category: Village Development

Volunteer Manager’s Checklist

As a volunteer tourist I have really appreciated receiving tips before my trips from hosts. Now I return the favour. Here are some tips for volunteer managers, and many may also find the resources in the ‘References’ section at bottom of value. Your ideal destination Do you want to change the world? Most of us do, but how do we know we mean the same thing by this? To be […]

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A Tale of Three Countries: Are Farm Subsidies Necessary?

Imagine if Tom Vilsack (whose Wikipedia biography does not list any experience whatsoever with farming or farmers prior to his appointment as the United States Secretary of Agriculture) emerged from his offices to find a cow tethered on the street outside and protestors informing him that it was his task to milk her. This was exactly what happened in Norway during 2012 protests to changes in agricultural subsidies for Norwegian […]

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Ten Grassroots Environmental Justice Campaigns from Around the World

Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture Andhra Pradesh in India has been called the pesticide capital of the world.  Pesticides cost farmers a lot of money.  To recover these costs the fruit and vegetables the farmers produced had to be expensive too.  This put them out of reach for many poor families.  Not only that, but farmers themselves had been hospitalised due to pesticide poisoning.  This is why Self Help Groups of […]

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Start Growing! Part 5: The Best Employee For Your Farm or Food Hub

Imagine that your small farm or food hub just hired a new employee. Her name is Susan. But she’s not just any employee, she’s an electronic one. Susan’s the best you’ve ever hired. She does exactly as instructed. She works 24×7, 365 days a year. She’s never grumpy, never calls in sick and never gets tired. She never takes shortcuts and her wage is only pennies per hour.

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Not Socialism, Not Capitalism… Distributism Seeks Community Power

Not socialism, not capitalism… distributism seeks community power. by Jay Walljasper, On the Commons Conservatives, progressives and everyone else likes farmers’ markets, local food, mom-and-pop stores and other qualities of a thriving community. Can they all connect around the commons? (Photo of the Barberton, Ohio, Downtown Farmers’ Market by the Barberton Community Foundation under a Creative Commons license.) In the early-to-mid-20th Century the Distributists — led by English authors G.K. […]

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Micro Business – Soy Products

After several months of making tofu and soymilk weekly for ourselves and some customers, I thought I would share the process and costs. We source our soybeans from Slater Farm in Fairy Hill, NSW, Australia. The beans are biodynamic certified which is very important; avoiding biocides, GMOs, hopefully most fossil fuel fertilisers, and are not irrigated. They are semi-local, about 200km from us. We buy at least 200 kg a […]

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Rashtriya Guni Mission – Promoting Traditional Medicinal Systems (India)

A mission to revive and promote traditional health care systems — Guni traditions — in India. Abstract Herbal medicine is the oldest form of healthcare known to mankind. Much of the medicinal use of plants developed through observations of wild animals, and by trial and error. As time went on, each tribe added the medicinal power of herbs in their area to its knowledge base. With industrialization and urbanization, this […]

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New Trees in Guatemala That Are Not Just for Reforestation

Special bicycle for shelling coffee beans It sounds strange to speak of poverty as an exciting opportunity, but many of the projects in Guatemala make me do just that. I’m particularly impressed with those working with trees. Reforestation is often not so simple as just planting trees. Mass agriculture has created a need for serious reforestation efforts, but that need doesn’t override humanitarian concerns like malnutrition and poverty. A largely […]

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Global Inequality and Its Ills

Inequality is bad for most people not just the poor, bad for business and political stability; and it can be cured. by Prof Peter Saunders Two recent books deal with inequality and some of the myths surrounding it (see ISIS reviews, SiS 63). In Capital in the Twenty-first Century [1], the French economist Thomas Piketty argues that the natural tendency of capitalism is to generate ever increasing inequality. We, lay […]

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