Natasha Turner 's Profile
Natasha Turner
Details
Joined:
04/02/2011
Last Updated:
10/03/2011
Location:
Wilmore, KY, United States
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate
Gender:
Female
Web site:
www.natashaturner.org





My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)

Ti Lorien, Haiti

Ti Lorien, Haiti

Ouanaminthe, HT

Haiti Homefront

Haiti Homefront

Ouanaminthe, HT

Home in Manzanillo

Home in Manzanillo

Manzanillo, DO

Forkland Road

Forkland Road

Junction City, US


Projects

(projects i'm following)

My Hands and Heart in Haiti Tacomepai Organic Farm Trinidad & Tobago Permaculture Institute Molokai Permaculture Education Initiative - PRI USA & Sust`aina ble Molokai Partnership
Followers
Andrew Ayers annick midwifeofthestar@gmail.com Brad Ward Eden Gal Grifen Hope Hannes Dettmann Helder Valente Hunter Heaivilin Itai Hauben Jaime Hernán March Fernández John ("Cade") Johnson Justin Wood Landcraft Permaculture ...... Paul Boundy Luis Caceres Mark Garrett Max Boekholt Michelle Dallas Mike Mubaya Nick Huggins ozlem guven Renee  Robinson Shawn Tisdell TJ Thompson Umut Tekakca Wes Gordon Willi Paul Win Almazan
Following
Eden Gal Geoff Lawton John ("Cade") Johnson Leon van Wyk Tim Barker

Back to Natasha Turner's profile

Banana Sprouts/Burning

Posted by Natasha Turner over 8 years ago

Banana Plants: You can cut them, but they don't die. Burning: When it is so ingrained in the farming practice, how do you prove its harm?

The American NGO for whom we are working hired men to clear the property and cut down all the banana and plantain plants for more visibility in photos. They will be looking for quick progress.

Clearing by hand takes a while, so they decided to go with some traditional burning techniques. A bulldozer was mentioned but hasn't been brought up lately.

I notice Geoff Lawton and Bill Mollison both use heavy machinery for creating swales, etc. However, with my inexperience, I am very concerned that I would not be able to speak intelligently enough to direction the attention of the machinery in a positive direction. Also, I have not figured out yet how to get my hands on bulk seeds for replanting after a major land clearing.

All I see for seeds so far is what I can find in the market - wheat, corn, coffee beans, millet, cocoa beans, pigeon peas, beans, etc. I'm not sure how approprate that is for re-seeding the land. Any good suggestions from anyone who's been to Haiti?

The bananas and plantains are sprouting right back . . . shhhhh. (I had not idea they would do that). Though in part Haiti is very green, growing, and tropical, I notice that plowing, burning, and bare dirt and/or compacted dirt are VERY common here. It is everyday practice for a Haitian to wake up and sweep their yard clear of all "trash," including all leaves and previously living matter which they just call "trash," the same as plastic trash.

Composting has been difficult for me to get across, although it is not completely foreign here. Often the Haitians I have worked with just don't see the point. It is easier to sweep all plastic trash, vegetable matter, leaves, etc. together and burn it once the pile gets too large or stinky. I won't give up though. :-)

How do you respect local farming tradition while gently implying that there is a better way? Can it only be shown first on your own property? How do you seek out individuals who are open to the "new ideas" of permaculture methods?

I'm not out to preach permaculture to everyone whose path I cross. However, I sincerely want to place permaculture methods in place for the employees of the NGO property. This is something I am still trying to work through in my mind - how I can respectfully insist on a certain way of doing things on the property and allowing the employees to see the benefits of doing things in the "new" permaculture way with their own eyes. Does anyone have any tips for speeding that progress, or do I just need to be ready for a slow and patient back-and-forth (give and take) of sorts?

 

 

Land nat kids Across%20the%20street Kids land1 Kids land2 Lamision Land natasha1 Land natasha2

Comments (5)

You must be logged in to comment.

Leon van Wyk
Leon van Wyk : Hi Natasha, good on you for sticking to it - we must not give up! I'm wondering if there's a Permaculture aid group in Haiti that you might be able to work with for some on-ground experience... because the permaculture theory can be learned from books and dvd's but there's no substitute for practical involvement.

It's very unfortunate that the landowner (NGO) wants to clear a lot of the food plants that are growing and creating interesting habitats for the children to explore and play in. I think is you can get your hands on lots of pigeon pea seeds from the market, GO FOR IT! If you can get heaps, just take out a pick or mattock at the start of the rainy season and every 2m or so (on contour or in an appropriate pattern for a function other than shading the earth hand fixing N) chop the ground and pop a seed in. chopping the bushes for mulch and dropping right there on the uphill side, will eventually create a strip of more fertile, friable and water-absorbing strip on contour. This should then be able to spread down slope quite easily from each contour line you've planted. If you need a higher success rate, propagate as many seeds as possible and plant out seedling shrubs/trees with a mulch ring around. pumkin vines also create a REALLY vigorous groundcover and if there are pollinators around, you'll get lots of pumkins, bring a bee hive in and you'll get pigeon peas, pumkins, bananas, papayas, sugarcane, fertile soil (through shading the ground, composting and mulching) and harvestable honey! That's a pretty good start. Planting some larger pioneer trees would also assist long-term restoration of that land.

I think the local populations will only transition to a "new" permaculture way when they see a productive system up and running, that proves what we preach so to speak -- once their situation deteriorates, they'll see it makes sense to change their ways to incorporate systems thinking.

if you have any other questions feel free to ask
Posted over 8 years ago

Report Leon van Wyk on Banana Sprouts/Burning

Reason:

or cancel

Natasha Turner
Natasha Turner : Wow, thank you so much for your comments. That's a great start! I appreciate the encouragement and the good ideas. I think those are very do-able. :-)
Posted over 8 years ago

Report Natasha Turner on Banana Sprouts/Burning

Reason:

or cancel

Max Vittrup Jensen
Max Vittrup Jensen : Hi there,

In response to the advice of Leon: John Calvert started a quite active elist right after the quake: John Calvert Facilitator, PermacultureRelief.org website: www.PermacultureRelief.org email: [email protected]

I'm also aware of this initiative, (where I incidentially ended up on the advisory board): http://permacorps.wordpress.com/

I believe Hunter has good 'on-the-ground' contacts from his stint in Haiti, and as he's from Hawaii, he has similar tropical knowledge: [email protected]

Last, but none-the-least, a Slovak PC teacher went there for a while, may still be there: Marcel Susko: [email protected]

Good luck, Max
Posted over 8 years ago

Report Max Vittrup Jensen on Banana Sprouts/Burning

Reason:

or cancel

Pedro Franco
Pedro Franco : Hi Natasha - bananas and compost - have you heard about banana circles? may turn your problems in solutions.

to gain respect and attention from the local community you have to aproach very wisely and remember... start small

http://permaculture.org.au/2008/06/23/build-a-banana-circle/

here is the page of a permaculturist friend in haiti. http://permacultureglobal.org/users/534-rodrigo-goncalo-figueira-silva

Good luck and best wishes

Posted over 8 years ago

Report Pedro Franco on Banana Sprouts/Burning

Reason:

or cancel

Natasha Turner
Natasha Turner : Thank you guys so much for the tips and contacts. I am checking them out.
Posted over 8 years ago

Report Natasha Turner on Banana Sprouts/Burning

Reason:

or cancel

My Badges
Consultant Aid worker
My Permaculture Qualifications
Verified
Permaculture Design Course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Verifying teacher: Larry Santoyo
Other Teachers: Hunter Heaivilin
Location: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Date: May 2011
Pri verified
Online PDC
Type: Online Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: online :-)
Date: May 2013

Report Natasha Turner

Reason:

or cancel

Hide Natasha Turner

Reason:

or cancel

Hide Banana Sprouts/Burning

Reason:

or cancel

Report Banana Sprouts/Burning

Reason:

or cancel

Feedback