(Sicilian farmers look) Back to the future


Wheatfield with Crows, by Van Gogh. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
Wheatfield with Crows, by Van Gogh. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Sicilian farmers are returning to cultivate ancient seed. This is to recover the ancient wisdom that feed the island and Italy since ancient times. Giuseppe Li Rosi is a local farmer and one of the strongest supporters of the return to traditional agriculture. He has converted a property of 100 hectares to traditional farming and proudly guards three local seed varieties (“Timilia”, “Maiorca” and “Strazzavisazz”), keeping at least 10 hectares for each one. Continue reading

Soil science, food production and hunger in Africa


A child dies from malnutrition or related causes every five seconds. Every child who dies from hunger is assassinated. And we have a herd of market traders, speculators and financial bandits who have turned wild and constructed a world of inequality and horror. We have to put a stop to this.

Jean Ziegler

Soil as a resource

A long history of land use

Ever since man learned to cultivate, soil has been considered as a source of food for humanity. Agriculture was born during the Neolithic period, when the economy of human societies evolved from gathering, hunting and fishing to farming and ranching. The first known crops were wheat and barley. Cultivation of cereals and legumes favored the development of the population during the Neolithic, and the development of agricultural techniques such as the use of domesticated animals, irrigation, or intensive farming encouraged the development of civilizations in the Fertile Crescent, Egypt, India, China or America. In the West, improved cultivation techniques favored the development and expansion of agriculture during Roman times and the Middle Ages, further improving the living conditions of farmers. Especially since the discovery of America (AKA collision against Europe), globalization of agricultural products initiated.

Fruits and vegetables in the Mercado Libertad, in Guadalajara (Jalisco, Mexico). By A. Jordán. Click to see the original picture at Imaggeo.

Continue reading