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destiny
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flora and fauna
noah s ark
close proximity
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Gardens Of Destiny
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Gardens Of Destiny

Today this gardener is going to open your eyes to the world we are living in, in regards to food production. You shall see how desperate we are about to become and how addicted we are getting to unsustainable practices.

The other day I was watching what I first thought to be just another documentary about how some organic gardener was growing an ecosystem of interdependent flora and fauna in the effort to feed the world. Boy was I wrong. These guys have a vast garden of thousands, if not millions of different species of different crops, from maize, comfrey, lime to exotic species tobacco. They are growing a garden of diversity to save and catalog as many different species of plants in order to preserve their seeds for the future. Something like a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for plants.

Dan Jason, the man behind the whole concept believes that diversity in species is not an accident, but a gift from Mother Nature to ensure sustainability. I learnt that having a large variety of species of a plant, for example maize or rice, means that the plants are less susceptible to total crop destruction due to disease or pest outbreaks.

A good example was sited of how useful diversity is and how we are developing in the wrong direction as an agricultural society.. During the green revolution in Malaysia the farmers were faced with a marketing problem. They all grew rice but there were between 10,000 and 100,000 different species of rice, depending on how you classify them, being grown in the country. More rice species meant that there were low quantities of any particular species thus hindering mass production. The government, thinking that it was helping the farmers, outlined three specific strains of rice to be planted by farmers countrywide. The rice now was harvested in bulk countrywide. Problem solved, right?

WRONG. The plan worked perfectly for five years or so, until a disease that attacked one of the three strains started infecting the rice. Due to the close proximity of the next crop of the same strain, the disease spread like wildfire and within no time had wiped out the entire species from farms across the country. You can only imagine the difficulty they must have faced.

If the rice species had been as diverse as it was initially, the disease would have been contained to only a few farms, seeing as it only infected one of the three strains.

Due to “development” we, as a society have found infinite reasons to reduce the diversity of plant species in the world. We have cleared and eliminated strains of maize because they were too short or too long to be harvested by farm machinery. We have cleared entire forests that have hundreds of thousands of uncataloged species, whose benefits we may never know. And when disaster strikes we try playing Mother Nature. We modify the few existing species to be like the ones we killed i.e. drought, disease and pest tolerant. In our effort to do so we fill the crops intended for our consumption with chemicals that harm the plant, the soil and our bodies. But that is a topic for another article.


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