Organic Farming Manual

Miracle Farm Blueprint

This guide teaches you how to make the best worm farm that money can buy; and you don't have to spend much money to get a really good quality worm farm! While worms may not seem very impressive, you'd be amazed at what these worms can do. If you want to grow your own food, the best soil that you will ever get is soil that worms have thoroughly turned over. No matter what the soil in your area looks like, you will always be able to get the highest quality soil to grow plants in. You will have the most protein-rich, nutritious, and potent soil that you've ever seen. The all-natural soil that is worm-tended is far better than what you will get from organic growers; all that it takes is the process that nature invented. That's really all you need to get the best organic vegetables! More here...

Miracle Farm Blueprint Overview

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Contents: Ebook
Author: Michael
Official Website: www.selfreplenishingfoodfarm.com
Price: $39.97

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My Miracle Farm Blueprint Review

Highly Recommended

All of the information that the author discovered has been compiled into a downloadable pdf so that purchasers of Miracle Farm Blueprint can begin putting the methods it teaches to use as soon as possible.

When compared to other ebooks and paper publications I have read, I consider this to be the bible for this topic. Get this and you will never regret the decision.

Island Voices The Organic Farmer

On Pedro Cabrera's farm in El Golfo, chickens (not pesticides) keep pests away from banana plants, sheep (not herbicides) keep fields weed-free, and crops - yams, potatoes, onions, green peppers or yucca - are rotated every season. Cabrera, 43, is one of El Hierro's 57 organic farmers. He's a minority among the estimated 1000 farmers on the island, but Cabrera is convinced that other Herrenos will soon see the light and cross over to the organic side. 'On El Hierro we've developed the culture of the monocrops,' he says. 'Farmers grow just one crop, which makes them dependent on big multinational companies for sales. But that leads to failure, because where there's no biodiversity, insects and plagues can get out of control. Organic farming is a bit more work, but it gives much better results.' Cabrera got into organic farming with help from the island government, which ceded him land to get started until he'd earned enough to buy his own plot. Now he works his own land, with help from...

Tips Avoid the Crowds

A small farm that grows and dries the primary material, followed by a visit to the nearby de-veining station, or despalilladora. Here you'll see workers handle and sort the prized leaves for capas, or outer layers. You might also be given a quick tour of a final curing station, where the leaves emit an ammonia gas that will make your eyes tear. Finally, you'll visit a local cigar shop, El Estanco. However, you'll have to go into Pinar del R o (see above) if you want to visit an actual cigar factory.

The Ecological Island

In early 2007, the island took its conservationist leanings to a whole new level, launching an ambitious plan to become the world's first island to depend entirely on renewable sources (like wind, water and solar) for its energy needs. This ecological mindset is seen in other ways as well, such as the island-wide plan to promote and support organic farming.

Rose Village Volunteers

The Rural Organisation for Social Elevation (ROSE) is a village-based charitable project that encourages 'village tourism' - international volunteers living and working with the rural communities. Based at Kanda village near Bageshwar in the Kumaon hills, ROSE works with local communities on agricultural and environmental projects, education and health care. Volunteers stay with ROSE founder Jeevan Verma and his family and contribute to projects including organic farming, housing construction, teaching in schools and administration. It's not all work, with plenty of opportunity to interact with villagers, learn Hindi, practice cooking and take excursions into the Himalaya. ROSE is affiliated with the Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) organisation and we've had good first-hand feedback from volunteers. For information, contact ROSE (Jeevan Lal Verma, Village Sonargaon, PO Kanda, Uttarakhand 236 631), or check the website at www.rosekanda.info.

Internship Opportunity Maya Mountain Research Farm

Those interested in learning about permaculture, Maya farming techniques and sustainable living should consider an internship at Maya Mountain Research Farm (MMRF Map p251 www.mmrfbz.org). Located in a beautiful jungle valley 2 miles upriver from San Pedro Columbia, the 70-acre organic farm and registered NGO is run by Christopher Nesbitt and his wife Dawn. With the philosophy of promoting fully sustainable food production, the farm offers internships for those interested in learning about organic farming, biodiversity and alternative energy. Accommodations are simple and beautiful students can choose from a series of rustic cabanas and thatched-roof palapas, all of which come equipped with beds, blankets and mosquito netting. Interns pay BZ 300 for the week, or BZ 1100 for the month, which includes everything.

Ecotouring Volunteering

If you're committed to mainland Southeast Asia, fly to Vientiane (p351) from Bangkok and stop by Vang Vieng, where the Phoudindaeng Organic Farm (p365) uses extra hands for community development. Then head north to Luang NamTha (p385) and Muang Sing (p387), the base camps for trekking programmes that follow ecosustainable practices.

Arnos Vale Black Rock Plymouth

ADVENTURE FARM AND NATURE RESERVE, Arnos Vale Rd., Plymouth s 639-2839, fax 639-4157, e-mail adventur tstt.net.tt. This is a tropical 12-acre organic farm with many varieties of fruit trees, including mangoes, bananas, papayas, guavas, West Indian cherries and several kinds of citrus. They also raise sheep and racing goats. The owner, Ean Mackay, has a very special regard for the environment and has dedicated his land to the maintenance of native birds and plants. Trails throughout the property provide opportunities for you to see such bird species as king of the woods, chachalaca, woodpeckers, herons, egrets, parakeets, blue tanagers, hummingbirds, bare-eyed thrush, jacamar, and the barred antshrike. Guide Simon McLetchie is a special treat (see his listing under Simon McLetchie Tours in the Guide Services chapter). I think he knows every bird on the island personally. The farm is open Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 5 45 PM, and there is a minimal admission fee.

Environmental Issues

Serious erosion exists in Lesotho due to the pressures of modern farming techniques and overgrazing. Heavy summer rains wash away unacceptably large amounts of topsoil, as well as create dongas (eroded gullies). Action is being taken to tackle erosion, including the reclamation of dongas through the building of rock dams-cum-terraces to capture silt and detritus, but in the future, large tracts of land will become uncultivatable.

It Came From The Swamp

Some 4000 years later, during the Yayoi period (400 BC-AD 250), wet-rice farming techniques were introduced from Korea. Shinto - Japan's native religion - also began to develop during this time. Shinto, similar to animism, involves the worship of gods who inhabit animals and objects in nature. By AD 300 Japan was already, more or less, a unified nation, with its cultural base in the Kansai area (around the present-day cities of Nara, Kyoto and Osaka), while the Kanto region remained a distant backwater. While the Roman Empire rose and declined, Edo (the old name for Tokyo) continued as a sleepy fishing village for another thousand years.

Museums Historic Sites

Ing table that makes us wonder if we really do have all the modern conveniences today. People in the barns and workshops will discuss the old farming techniques and you can learn about village social life at a real ceilidh every Wednesday evening during the summer. Cookies and scones are served in the Community House in the morning and sandwiches are served from 11 am to 4 pm. Or you can order a picnic in a wicker basket to eat on the grounds. They are open from mid-May to late October hours vary, so call or check their Web site for current times. Admission is 4 for adults free for children 12 and under. The village is located just of TC1 in Orwell, midway between Charlottetown and Wood Islands mailing address is RR 2, Vernon, PEI C0A 2E0, s 902 651-8510 in summer, 902 368-6600 in winter, www.orwellcorner.isn.net.

The cultural and educational centre of South Greenland

Qaqartoq, formerly Julianehab, has approx. 3,200 inhabitants, and is South-Greenland's centre for education, with a High School, a Business School and a number of other educational institutions. Half an hour by boat from town lies Upernaviarsuk, which is South-Greenland's agricultural research station. Upernaviarsuk supplies plants and seeds

An Unhappy Occupation

Apart from the wholesale appropriation of the best agricultural land, Algerians were imprisoned without trial and the school system for Algerian children was neglected, something which the sending of a handful of (mostly upper-class) Muslim children to France to further France's 'civilising mission' did nothing to conceal. This latter policy was one which the French would later regret, as the volu s (literally 'the evolved ones') began to wonder why French ideals of freedom only applied in France. This group of educated Algerians would plant the seeds of an Algerian nationalist movement in the lead-up to WWII. The more-than-170,000 Algerians who had fought for France during WWI also came to increasingly question French rule in Algeria. One of the most popular leaders was, for a time, Khaled ibn Hashim, the grandson of Abdelkader.

Parc National Des Volcans

It isn't just poaching or soldiers, however, that threaten the gorillas. Also clawing away at their existence is local pressure for grazing and agricultural land, and the European Community's pyrethrum project - daisylike flowers processed into a natural insecticide. In 1969 this project was responsible for reducing the size of the park by more than 8900 hectares - almost half its area The park now covers just 0.5 of the total land area of Rwanda.

Laem Son National Park

Ko Phayam is a friendly, demure littie island which supports about 500 inhabitants, mosdy Thais and Burmese, with a smattering of expats and a few dozen ethnic chao leh (sea gypsies) thrown into the mix. While spotlighted by two main bays and their pretty beaches, Ko Phayam also has a couple of sizeable forested hills and plenty of scenic agricultural land to boot. Interesting fauna in the area include wild pigs, hornbills, monkeys and snakes. Locals support themselves prawn-fishing, farming cashews and working the rubber plantations.

Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room

For a park lodge, the restaurant offers a remarkably creative menu, using sustainable agricultural products. At dinner, pesto lovers will enjoy pasta Lydia fresh asparagus and potatoes tossed in pesto sauce with bow-tie pasta. Another excellent choice is poached wild Alaskan salmon topped with raspberry Dijon and served with rice. The restaurant also offers Black Angus strip loin, prime rib, free-range meatloaf, and barbecue chicken, as well as a progressive wine list with organic American wines.

A journey into the wonders of handicraft from Albisola

The genuineness of agricultural products in the Riviera delle Palme equals their freshness and excellence. The hard work done by peasants over the past centuries has contributed to a great heritage made of kilometers of terraced walls and modern greenhouse systems enabling the rational utilization of the fertile coastal plains. The genuineness of agricultural products in the Riviera delle Palme equals their freshness and excellence flowers, either in pot or cut, exported to all European countries, Albenga's artichokes, early produces and basil, the main ingredient of the local sauce pesto. Woodland offers chestnuts, mushrooms and, in the Bormida Valley, also delicious truffles bees produce excellent honey. Last, but not least, wine and oil white wines such as the Pigato or the Vermentino red wines such as the Rossese under the certified area of production (DOC) Riviera Ligure di Ponente and the typical geographical designation (IGT) Colline Savonesi, whereas the extra virgin olive...

Michelangelo The Making of a Renaissance Master

In 1475, Michelangelo Buonarotti was born near Arezzo in the tiny town of Caprese, where his Florentine father was serving a term as a podesta (visiting mayor). He grew up on the family farm at Settignano, outside Florence, and was wet-nursed by the wife of a local stonecutter he used to joke that he sucked his skill with the hammer and chisel along with the mother's milk. He was apprenticed early to the fresco studio of Domenico Ghirlandaio who, while watching the young apprentice sketching, once remarked in shock, This boy knows more about it than I do. After just a year at the studio, Michelangelo was recruited by Lorenzo the Magnificent de' Medici to become part of his new school for sculptors.

Around borgarnes Borg a Myrum

Iceland's most famous farm, Borg a Myrum (Rock in the Marshes), lies just north of Borgarnes on Rte 54. Although there's little to see here except the large rock (borg) that gave the farm its name, the site holds great significance for Icelanders as the core location in Egil's Saga. The saga recounts the tale of Kveldulfur, grandfather of the warrior-poet Egill Skallagrimsson, who fled to Iceland during the 9th century after falling out with the king of Norway. Kveldulfur grew gravely ill on the journey however, and instructed his son, Skallagrimur Kveldulfsson, to throw his coffin overboard after he died and build the family farm wherever it washed ashore - this just happened to be at Borg. Skallagrimur's son, Egill Skallagrimsson, grew up to be a bloodthirsty individual who killed his first adversary at the age of seven and went on to carry out numerous raids on the coast of England. The complex tale of the family's adventures is believed to have been written by the historian Snorri...

Cultural Eco Travel Experiences

Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, 471 Polar Drive, Cole Harbour, s 902 434-0222 or 902 462-0154. As the city of Halifax grew, it put pressure on adjacent lands that had been market gardens and dairy farms. Cole Harbour has preserved a bit of that heritage in a collection of seven buildings that keep a family farm alive. Giles House, the oldest in town, is the only building moved here all of the others have been part of this working farm for over a century. The farm has a blacksmith shop, a main barn, a market barn once used as a weekly farmer's market, a crib barn, carriage shed and a main house with a tea shop on the veranda. Gardens demonstrate techniques used by farmers to get produce to market before their competition. A path through a former pasture leads to a marsh and a pond with a boardwalk and other trails lead into wooded parkland.

Moments A Gourmet Garden Party

On the first Sunday of each month (weather permitting), the Brook Lodge Hotel (see below) hosts a gourmet market on its grounds, selling everything you need to put together a delicious picnic and join Ireland's chicest garden party. Grab one of the tables or lay your blanket on the grass, then kick back and enjoy the live music, open-air art exhibitions, and bevy of farmyard animals roaming around for children to play with. There are stalls selling wonderful homemade breads, delectable farmhouse cheeses, champagne and smoothies, frittatas, tape-nades and chutneys, organic ice cream, and many other epicurean delights. It's a fabulous way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Mary Ardens House Shakespeare Countryside Museum

For more than 200 years, Palmers Farm, a Tudor farmstead with an old stone dovecote and outbuildings, was identified as the girlhood home of Mary Arden, Shakespeare's mother. Recent evidence revealed, however, that Mary Arden actually lived in the house next door, at Glebe Farm. In 2000, the house at Glebe Farm was officially designated the Mary Arden House. Dating from 1514, this house contains country furniture and domestic utensils in the barns, stable, cowshed, and farmyard, you can see an extensive collection of farm implements illustrating life and work in the local countryside from Shakespeare's time to the present.

Kids Especially for Kids

Kiwi & Birdlife Parktfp (see above) gives kids a good introduction to conservation and New Zealand birdlife. The Skyline Luge ftfp (see Outdoor Pursuits, below) is great fun for all ages, as is Real Journey's Walter Peak Farm Excursion (see Lake Cruises below), which includes a steamship cruise and a farmyard tour where children can help feed the animals. Family Adventures (& 03 442-8836 fax 03 441-8327), specializes in 4x4 and rafting trips on a safe, slow portion of the Shotover River without risk.

National Parks Reserves

The Parco Naturale Regionale delle Madonie was established in 1989 to protect a vast area of mountainous woodland east of the capital (see p 139). It is the only reserve on the island where people actually live, in small towns dotted throughout the hills. Further east is the Parco Regionale dei Nebrodi (see pi42), where San Fratello horses can be found roaming free along with all kinds of farmyard animals including sheep, pigs and cattle.

Recommended Route

II Go through the gate behind the centre and left In front of the farmhouse. Exit the farmyard by the gate and turn right towards an isolated barn. After 50 metres turn right again to a stile on the right of the barn, Ignoring the stile ahead. Turn left and keep to the wall. The next stile Is 40 metres along the opposite wall. Cross the moor back to Balderhead Reservoir.

The Civil War Its Aftermath

Later, these same slaves were able to purchase land with the money they had earned in their country's service. General Ormsby Mitchel, a Union commander who would die of malaria in 1862, had the foresight to establish, in the same year, the nation's first freedman's town, appropriately named Mitchelville. Home, at one time, to over 1,500 people, it slowly disappeared after the Federal troops departed. The island remained home, however, to small communities of former slaves. In fact, Special Field Order Number 15, issued by General William Tecumseh Sherman on January 15, 1865, granted the Sea Islands territories, from the Carolinas to northern Florida, to the now freed slaves and prohibited whites from settling there. The inhabitants survived on what they could raise from their small farms, and by hunting and fishing. And because they remained in a communal environment with little or no influence from American culture, these peoples, who have come to be called the Gullah,...

Tourism in the Caucasus Countries

Georgia and Armenia are working hard to promote tourism as an engine of economic revival (and Azerbaijan is just waking up to its potential). You'll be helping these countries' economies just by being there. Most development so far is refreshingly small-scale and locally owned. If you stay in guesthouses or homestays, your cash is going direcdy to your host family, while most of the region's midrange hotels belong to companies that are at most medium-sized. Such businesses have a way of spreading the tourism income out around their communities, by putting visitors in contact with local guides, drivers and the like. Most of the food you'll eat will be locally grown and quite likely organic, because that's how most food is in the Caucasus - grown in gardens or on small farms, and sold at local markets. Watch out for the meat of rare species like bears turning up as a treat at barbecues, though.

Visiting The Wine Villages

THE WINES While the wines of Chianti and other Tuscan regions are on the top of the list for many oenologically minded travelers, the wines of Piedmont are often less heralded among non-Italians, and unjustifiably so. Most are of exceptional quality and usually made with grapes grown only in the Piedmont and often on tiny family plots, making the region a lovely patchwork of vineyards and small farms. Here are some wines you are likely to encounter again and again as you explore the area.

Community Tourism Spotlight St Marys Mazinde

While St Mary's is still dependent on outside contributions to make ends meet (write to PO Box 90, Lushoto if you'd like to help), strong emphasis is placed on achieving sustainability. The principal and all of the teachers are Tanzanians, and most are women. Students are taught ecologically sound farming methods and help out on the school farm, which supplies about 80 of the food needs in the compound. The school grows timber, which is used in the construction of new buildings, raises livestock and maintains fruit trees as cash crops.

Hiking In The Uluguru Mountains

The best contact for organising hiking guides is Chilunga Cultural Tourism (p275) in Morogoro. Come prepared with a jacket, as it can rain at any time of year. The shortest route from Morogoro is to Morningside, an old German mountain hut to the south of town at about 1000m. The path, which can easily be done in half a day return, starts at the regional administration buildings about 3km south of Morogoro at the end of Boma Rd. From here, a track leads uphill and then curves to the right through small farm plots and degraded forest before reaching the Morningside hut. It's possible to camp at Morningside with your own tent and supplies there's a small waterfall nearby. Once at Morningside, it takes another 40 minutes or so to reach the border of the Uluguru North Forest Reserve. It's generally not permitted to continue beyond here because of sensitivities about the Bondwe Peak communications tower higher up the slopes. There has been a spate of muggings on this route recently,...

The Ring of Fire and the Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ring Fire Volcanoes

Merapi in Java is one of Indonesia's most active and dangerous volcanoes. The steep-sided stratovolcano dominates the landscape of one of Java's major cities, Yogyakarta. Merapi's eruptions have caused many fatalities and devastated agricultural land. This type of volcano, part of the Earth's Ring of Fire, is best visited while in repose. (Photograph courtesy of Vincent Realmuto.) Fig. 1.3. Merapi in Java is one of Indonesia's most active and dangerous volcanoes. The steep-sided stratovolcano dominates the landscape of one of Java's major cities, Yogyakarta. Merapi's eruptions have caused many fatalities and devastated agricultural land. This type of volcano, part of the Earth's Ring of Fire, is best visited while in repose. (Photograph courtesy of Vincent Realmuto.)

Cavaillon Travel Blog

In the architectural pecking order of Provence, the mas comes just above the oustau, or small farm. The mas is or was originally a more substantial affair, a collection of agricultural buildings joined together a low, rectangular farmhouse with stables, a covered sheep pen, barns, storerooms, a dormitory for doves, a cocoonery for silkworms, and a cellar. Normally, the mas faced south or was angled toward the east to keep its back to the mistral. There were no windows on the north side, and trees were used for climate control. To the north, closely planted rows of cypresses formed a buffer against the wind to the south, plane trees provided shade. The interior was stone and tile. In those winters before central heating, it must have been deeply uncomfortable, like living in a massive refrigerator. No wonder the fireplaces were built with sufficient space on either side of the fire for the farmer and his family to sit and defrost themselves.

History of the Railroad

By the mid-19th century, Russia was slipping from the ranks of Europe's great powers. In 1857, Tsar Alexander II issued a Railway Decree, by which the state determined to reinvigorate the economy's preindustrial infrastructure with modern railway routes. Between 1860 and 1890, Russia constructed more kilometres of track than any other country except the USA. Railroads connected the central industrial region to the raw materials of the Urals and the agricultural products of the Black Earth region. Moscow became the hub of Russia's rail system, the terminus of nine different lines. This spurt of construction was mostly confined to European Russia. Fear of British encroachment from the Indian subcontinent prompted a Trans-Caspian line, which penetrated deep into Central Asia in the 1880s. Siberia, however, continued to remain a distant and undeveloped land.

Hawaii Calendar Of Events

Call & 808 521-6905. Late July. Hawaii State Farm Fair, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Oahu. The annual state fair is a great one It features displays of Hawaii agricultural products (including orchids), educational and cultural exhibits, entertainment, and local-style food. Call & 808 6825767 or visit www.ekfernandez.com. Late July or early August.

The Peoples of East Africa

For the Twa, the Hadzabe and other communities, loss of land and forest means loss of the only resource base that they have. Over the past decades, the rise of commercial logging, the ongoing clearing of forests in favour of agricultural land, and the establishment of parks and conservation areas have combined to dramatically decrease the forest resources and wildlife on which these people depend for their existence. Additional pressures come from hunting and poaching, and from nomadic pastoralists - many of whom in turn have been evicted from their own traditional areas - seeking grazing lands for their cattle. The Hadzabe say that the once plentiful wildlife in their traditional hunting areas is now gone, and that many days they return empty-handed from their daily search for meat. Others lament the fact that once-prized skills such as animal tracking and knowledge of local plants are being relegated to irrelevance.

Peter the Great the Spurned Capital

The city developed in concentric rings outward from this centre. Outside the Kremlin walls, the city's inhabitants were mostly clergy, merchants, artisans and labourers. Moscow was ringed by noble estates, monastery holdings and small farms. A 16km earthen rampart was also built around the city to establish a forward line of defence. The town recovered quickly from fire, famine and fighting its population topped 100,000 and then 200,000. In the early 17th century, Moscow was the largest city in the world.

The Heathland Centre At Lygra

The Heathland Centre is a visitors centre spotlighting Europe's Atlantic coast heathlands. This cultural landscape type has existed for 5.000 years but is now in danger of disappearing all over Europe. Visitors can experience authentical heathlands managed by traditional farming methods, including burning, haymaking as well as grazing by the ancient breed of Norse sheep. Exhibition, film and cafeteria. Guided walks. Family-friendly walking on well-maintained gravel pathways. Awarded the UNESCO Cultural Landscape Prize 2001.

Especially for Kids

The very impressive privately operated Attica Zoological Park & 210 663-4724 atticapark internet.gr), Spata, is home to more than 2,000 birds from some 320 species, a butterfly garden, and a small farm the zoo, which plans to add more exhibits, is open daily from 10am to 7pm and charges 8 admission (4 for children). The zoo is not far from the new airport at Spata given the state of most airports in the summer, the zoo might seem an oasis of tranquility.

Volunteering

Websites like www.volunteerabroad.com and www.transitionsabroad.com throw up a colourful selection of volunteering opportunities in France helping out on a family farm in the Alps, restoring an historic monument in Provence or participating in a summertime archaeological excavation are but some of the golden opportunities awaiting those keen to volunteer their skills and services. Rempart (Map pp126-7 01 42 71 9655 www.rempart .com 1 rue des Guillemites, 4e, Paris) Brings together 170 organisations countrywide committed to preserving France's religious, military, civil, industrial and natural heritage. Volunteers for Peace ( 802-259-2759 www.vfp .org 1034 Tiffany Rd, Belmont, Vermont 05730 USA) Can link you up with a voluntary service project dealing with social work, the environment, education or the arts. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF www.wwoof.org & www.wwoof.fr) Work on a small farm or other organic venture (harvesting chestnuts, renovating an abandoned olive...

The Hammock Swingers

A few things seemed to happen all at once. Spanish purchase of Puerto Rican goods nearly ground to a halt. The United States, newly free of English rule, had money to spend. And a slave uprising in western Hispaniola (now Haiti) threw that island's lucrative sugar and rum industry into disarray and caused many plantation owners to flee to Puerto Rico. During the 19th century, the Puerto Rican economy began, slowly, to bloom, thanks in large part to growing trade with the United States, especially in sugar, tobacco and coffee. Immigrants poured in from other Caribbean islands and former Spanish colonies, and the agricultural production depended less on slavery (though the practice did exist in its most despicable form, and wasn't abolished until 1872) than on the labor of free men from across the racial spectrum. An 1830 Spanish census put the island population at roughly 325,000, with 34,000 slaves and 127,000 free people of (all types of) color. Most of the island countryside was...

Boom Crash

Regional cities, especially those near the goldfields, such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Beechworth also reaped the rewards of sudden prosperity, leaving a legacy of magnificent Victorian architecture. 'Selection Acts' enabled many settlers to take up small farm lots (selections). Although a seemingly reformist, democratic move, these farms were often too small to forge a real living from and life in the bush proved tough. Grinding poverty and the heavy hand of the law led to some young men turning to bushranging (see the boxed text 'Our Ned' on above).

Green Prague

When it comes to large-scale recycling, sustainable energy and organic farming, the Czech Republic still lags far behind Germany, the UK and Scandinavia. All the same, Czech industry has cleaned up its act considerably since the fall of communism, with the annual production of greenhouse gases falling to a fraction of pre-1989 levels.

Zarcero

Today the trippy topiary is certainly the town's top sight, but space-age trees aren't the only thing growing in Zarcero - this is a center for Costa Rica's organic-farming movement. You can find unusual varieties of pesticide-free goodies all over town, and the surrounding mountains are just perfect for an afternoon picnic.

Volunteer Work

Proyecto Mosaico Guatemala ( fax 7932 0955 www.promosaico.org Casa de Mito, 3a Av Norte 3 h 2-4pm Mon-Fri) This is a nonprofit organization providing volunteers and resources to over 60 projects in Guatemala. Its resource center in the Casa de Mito has information on these projects and matches up volunteers with projects. It's very interested in people with medical experience but there's work for periods from one week to one year doing things as varied as carpentry, teaching, environmental protection, helping HIV-positive kids, and organic farming. You need to be at least 18 and fit.

Accommodation Food

It's simple to pick up local produce in Poland - most towns and cities have market days where farmers from the surrounding areas sell their homegrown fruit, vegetables and flowers. Unless it's certified organic there's no guarantee it's free of chemical sprays, but there's a good chance it is. Under communism, most farmers were unable to afford chemical pesticides or fertilisers so were inadvertently organic producers, and there has been a major increase in organic farming in the past few years.

Courses

In terms of more class-based courses, Scandinavia's unique folkehojskole, literally 'folk high school' (the 'high' denotes an institute of higher learning), provides a liberal education within a communal living environment. Folk high schools got their start in Denmark, inspired by philosopher Nikolai Grundtvig's concept of 'enlightenment for life'. The curriculum includes such things as drama, peace studies and organic farming.

Family

When it comes to gastronomic delights, Maine offers up the best of both worlds fertile fields where organic farming dominates, and 5,000 miles of Atlantic Coast, with an abundance of cold water seafood. Appreciate the bounty at annual events, such as the Clam Festival in Yarmouth (July) and the Lobster Festival in Rockland (August). But, even if you miss these jamborees, be sure to order lobster - in a no-frills ocean-side lobster 'shack' or in an award-winning restaurant. Two of Gourmet magazine's Top 50 Restaurants are in Maine. In Ogunquit, Arrows is in an 18th-century farmhouse, whose kitchen garden inspires a menu of Middle Eastern, Thai and local New England specialties. At Fore Street restaurant in Portland, the very best ingredients, from Maine flounder to island-raised lamb, are served up in the hip city atmosphere of a restored warehouse.

Children

If your interests are more cerebral, you can enrol in courses in Western Europe on anything from language to alternative medicine to organic farming. Language courses are available to foreigners through universities or private schools, and are justifiably popular since the best way to learn a language is in the country where it's spoken. The individual country chapters in this book give pointers on where to start looking for courses. In general, the best sources of detailed information are the cultural institutes maintained by many European countries around the world failing that, try the national tourist offices or embassies. Student exchange organisations, student travel agencies and organisations such as the YMCA YWCA and HI can also put you on the right track. Ask about special holiday packages that include a course.

The sprat tin view

And less sweet sauces, the recipe for Tallinn sprats is unique and inimitable. Their taste, which is the result of a dozen or so spices, has remained the same for hundreds of years, and cannot be found anywhere else. This very spicy and salty little fish gives a wonderful flavour to the other components of a mild dish. An unsuspecting foreigner could even be shocked by the taste of a sprat all on its own. But if one is eating sprat without potatoes, one can accompany it with black bread (another unbeatable Estonian classic ) and wash it down with a big glass of rich Estonian milk. This leads to thoughts of organic farming, which is developing very successfully here - and arises as if spontaneously from the country person's mentality and diligence (and suspicion of all kinds of doubtful chemicals).

Nueva Guinea

In 1984 Prica decided to transform the region into a 'Cradle of Nicaraguan Alternative Agriculture' and started La Esperanzita, a teaching finca where unconventional crops, organic agriculture and alternative technologies were researched and taught to area campesinos. It has been joined by a handful of other alternative agriculture experiments, and Nueva Guinea also offers rather difficult access to surrounding natural reserves founded to protect the remaining wilderness.

Environment The Land

In short, Albania is quickly turning into an environmental disaster zone, with little hope for improvement in sight. One organisation trying to make a difference is the Organic Agriculture Association ( 04-250 575 www.organic.org .al). It successfully campaigned to stop US 'aid' shipments of genetically modified maize and soy, and its members have been involved in a campaign to prevent a US company building an oil pipeline straight through the beautiful Bay of Vlora.

Bioman

After 10 years' hard labour, he now runs a successful organic farm that's all but self-sufficient. He gestures to the dinner table, groaning with sausages, fat and thin, cylindrical Tomme cheeses, tiny P lardons and stout nameless ones furry with mould, p t s, honey, jams and a wonderful concoction of beans, chestnuts and yet more sausages. 'Only the wine isn't mine,' he grins.

The Real Alternative

Eco Retreats comprise four North-American-Indian tepees and one Mongolian-style yurt in the middle of the Dyfi Forest. It's a low-fi experience with compost toilet blocks and cold-water showers (although solar-powered showers are mooted), but it is truly green all waste products go back to nourish the earth and the land is leased from a local organic farm. 'Listen,' says ChaNan Bonser, therapist and sometime tepee dweller. 'Nothing,' she breaks into a smile. 'No mobiles, no electricity - we're away from everything.'

Joshua Samuel Brown

Joshua Samuel Brown is a writer and photojournalist who has tramped the globe since late adolescence, writing features articles for publications both illustrious and obscure. An on-again off-again expatriate, Joshua has been coming to Singapore since the late '90s. He currently divides his time between Asia and North America, with occasional forays into Central America. When not writing for Lonely Planet, Joshua lives with his wife, four dogs and six cats on an organic farm in rural Texas, where he writes political essays, short stories and endless emails, trying in vain to avoid manual labour. His blog, Snarky Tofu, is erudite, opinionated, bizarre and online at www.josambro.blogspot.com. Offering tales of betel-nut beauties and tips on avoiding jail time by impersonating a Mormon, his first solo book is Vignettes of Taiwan. Joshua wrote the Neighbourhoods, Drinking & Nightlife, Arts & Leisure, Sleeping and Excursions chapters and the Arts section of the Background chapter.

Windward Road

Past Goodwood, you'll see signs for Rainbow Nature Resort ( 660-4755 www.mckennas-rainbow .com Lure Estate, Goldsborough tour TT 50). The signs will lead you down a rough dirt road past a big organic farm for 15 minutes by car. The resort charges a bit much for the small, darkish rooms (US 70 to US 120), but it offers two-hour tours to waterfalls, around the organic farm, and through the forest. Rainbow Waterfall is a 25-minute hike from here, and the Two Rivers Waterfall is a 90-minute hike down a rough dirt road.

The Authors

Reared in the dread lock-heavy island of Staten (New York City), Joshua has long been interested in the cultures of both Central America and the Caribbean. A series of strange events brought him first to Taiwan, then to Hong Kong and China before blowing his sails to Belize. There he spent three months living on an organic farm surrounded by Maya villages and ruins, the base from which he explored the country's length and breadth. A prolific traveler and writer, his features have appeared in an eclectic variety of publications around the globe. Belize is his second book for Lonely Planet. Read more of his work at www.josambro.com and www.josambro.blogspot.com.

Hessaraghatta

Learn how to drive a bullock cart and how to milk a cow at Our Native Village ( 9880999924 www.ournativevillage.com Survey 72, Kodihalli, Madurai Hobli s d incl full board Rs 3750 4500 S), an ecofriendly organic farm and resort. The resort generates its own power, harvests rainwater, and processes and reuses all its waste.

Ayurveda Yoga

Set on a 30-acre organic farm, Soukya ( 7945001 www.soukya.com Soukya Rd, Samethanahalli, Whitefield S 6am-8.30pm) is an internationally renowned place offering a variety of holistic health programmes, including Ayurvedic treatments and yoga. Packages for two days and one night start at Rs 8900 13,800 for a single double.

Growing Money

The produce and goods grown can be found in all of Bali's markets - from diet staples such aa tomatoes and carrots to cash crops including coffee and vanilla. But until recently, there's been no added value, as a marketer would say. Enter a bunch of American hippies, old- and post-. John Hardy came to Bali in 1975 and in three decades has created an international jewellery empire (wwwjohnhardy.com). But still remembering his hippy roots even as the millions rolled in and his pony tail got cut off, Hardy wanted an organic farm to supply wholesome food to his workers at his jewellery factory north of Denpasar. Enter Ben and Blair Ripple. Fleeing a rainy and muddy organic farm near Seattle, these post-hippy hippies found themselves warming up and warming to Bali. One thing led to another, they met Hardy, he hired them for his dream farm, and the rest is, well, history.

Sentosa Island

Set in the wonderfully peaceful Bollywood Veggies organic farm, Poison Ivy Bistro (Map pp46-7 6898 5001 100 Neo Tiew Cres dishes from 4 S 9am-6pm Wed-Sun taxi) is the perfect place to stop after a visit to the other farms in the area, or Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (p88). The food, using veggies from the farm, is nothing to write home about, but the rural location makes it special.

Isla De Ometepe

It seems unsullied, and spectacularly so, protected from so many of the world's follies, including a lot of tourist infrastructure, by a cool, clean moat. But it's most certainly worth roughing it a bit to see primary forests trade off with organic farms in the folds of the volcanoes' fertile skirts, teeming with howler monkeys and parrots, and hiding a wealth of archaeological treasures.

Tours Travel Agents

Trips, mostly with a specific area of interest, such as the brand-new Raggle-Taggle tour, which focuses on Gypsy culture. The company offers different travel and flight options, so you can match trips to your budget, and accommodations range from top hotels to stays on organic farms. DiscoveRomania ** (Str. Paul Richter 1 1, 500025 Bra ov, Romania & 0722-74-6262 www.discoveromania.ro) is another excellent tour company that is also a founder member of the Association of Eco-Tourism in Romania (www.eco-romania.ro) hands-on owner Laura Vesa has a range of interesting and varied packages for travelers keen to discover the real Romania. To this end accommodations are generally with local families in small villages, and Laura can plan your visit around special festivals and events to deepen the experience. Nature lovers should inquire after the tour that combines 3 days animal tracking in the Carpathian Mountains with a night in a Moldavian wine-producing village and 2 nights in the...

Around Madikeri

Hiil'IM Rainforest Retreat ( fax08272-265636 www.rainforestours.com s d from Rs 1500 2500 S Oct-end of May) is hard to beat for nature immersion. These ecochic cottages are located on an organic plantation surrounded by forest, and the friendly owners Sujata (a botanist) and Anurag (a molecular biologist) are a fount of knowledge about the region. The trekking is excellent, or you can just lie in a hammock and watch the birds. All proceeds go to the couple's NGO, which promotes environmental awareness and sustainable agriculture. It's 10km west of Madikeri near Gallibedu call to arrange transport.

Wildlife

So severe are Australia's problems that it will take a revolution before they can be overcome, for sustainable practices need to be implemented in every arena of life - from farms to suburbs and city centres. Renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and water use lie at the heart of these changes, and Australians are only now developing the road map to sustainability that they so desperately need if they are to have a long-term future on the continent.

Mission Improbable

The Jesuits may have meant well in converting the peninsula's indigenous inhabitants to Christianity and in instructing them in farming techniques and various crafts, but their altruistic intentions backfired. Along with God, grapes and greener pastures, the missionaries also brought an invisible evil -European microbes to which native peoples had no natural defenses. Epi-Loreto, in Baja California demics decimated the indigenous population and several revolts against Sur, was the first capital missionization caused further loss of life. By the end of the Jesuit period of the Californias. (1767), the indigenous population had dwindled to only about 8000.

Celebrations

In rural areas, the Agricultural & Pastoral associations showcase farming practices and display their best animals at local showgrounds on a special day each year. These fun days are full of competitions and events, although the food offered tends to be basic pies, hamburgers, barbecued sausages and hot dogs. Hearty but hardly gourmet fare

Santa Cruz Nicoya

For tourists, the cities of Santa Cruz and Nicoya are central gateways to the beaches of western and southern Nicoya Peninsula. But for Costa Ri-cans, these cities are traditional farming and cattle ranching centers for the surrounding agricultural areas. Santa Cruz is a sunny and hot small town known euphemistically as the National Folklore City, although that seems to be a somewhat optimistic label. In the center of town, the zocal is a shady, sleepy park great for watching the slow Guanacaste life pass by. Across the street, a colonial-era tower houses a large clock from the original church destroyed in an earthquake.

Climate Change

Elevated monsoon rainfall has caused widespread flooding and destruction, including the devastating Gujarat and Maharashtra floods in 2005. In the mountain deserts of Ladakh, increased rainfall is changing traditional farming patterns and threatening traditional mud-brick architecture. Conversely, other areas are experiencing reduced rainfall, causing drought and riots over access to water supplies. Offshore, several islands in the Lakshadweep group have been inundated by rising sea levels.

Izmaylovo

The royal estate (Map ppl26-7) is on a small, moated island. Tsar Alexey had an experimental farm here in the 17th century, where Western farming methods and cottage industries were sampled. It was on the farm ponds that his son Peter learnt to sail in a littie boat, a boat that came to be called the Grandfather of the Russian Navy.

Seeing The Sights

Wohnmuseum Lindwurm, Understadt 18 (& 052 741-25-12), lies in an old, 19th-century burgerhaus (community center). With exhibits and artifacts, it re-creates life here in that century. You learn how the townspeople and their servants lived, and something about their farming methods. It's open March to October, Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 5pm, charging 5F ( 3.25) for adults and 3F ( 1.95) for children.

Touring The Estate

After leaving the house, you can tour the outbuildings the kitchen, slave quarters, storeroom, smokehouse, overseer's quarters, coach house, and stables. A 4-acre exhibit area called George Washington, Pioneer Farmer includes a replica of Washington's 16-sided barn and fields of crops that he grew (corn, wheat, oats, and so forth). Docents in period costumes demonstrate 18th-century farming methods. At its peak, Mount Vernon was an 8,000-acre working farm, reminding us that, more than anything, Washington considered himself first and foremost a farmer.

Arts

Farming methods adopted after WWII saw the swift demolition of much of Britain's archetypal patchwork landscape, replacing stone walls, ancient wetlands and centuries-old hedgerows with vast, open fields. These hedgerows - knotty shrubs and bushes that sheltered some of Britain's most vulnerable flowers, insects and small mammals - have almost disappeared in some regions, taking their rare flora and fauna with them.

Ciudad Constitucin

Having grown dramatically with the Llano de Magdalena's rapid expansion of commercial agriculture, Ciudad Constituci n bears all the marks of a 'progressive' city broad, paved streets (at least in the center), banks and even city theater. However, most travelers find little of interest here except for the faraway feeling of hanging around the main drag (the Transpeninsular) watching people shop, sell, eat tacos, hawk newspapers, cruise and dodge the little maniacs whizzing around on skateboards and bikes. Its main draw is its proximity to the whale-watching centers of Puerto San Carlos and Puerto L pez Mateos.

Lake Victoria

The best way to explore the lake region is as part of a larger loop combining Uganda and or Kenya with Tanzania's northern circuit via the western Serengeti, although you'll need time, and a tolerance for rough roads. While most accommodation is no-frills, there are a few idyllic getaways - notably on Rubondo and Lukuba Islands, and near Mwanza. Most locals you'll meet rely on fishing and small-scale farming for their living, although industry and commercial agriculture - especially coffee and cotton - are increasingly important.

Maharashtra

Based near Phaltan, the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute ( 02166-222396 http nariphaltan .virtualave.net Phaltan-Lonand Rd, Tambmal, Phaltan) has a focus on sustainable development, animal husbandry and renewable energy. Volunteer internships lasting two to six months are available for agriculture, engineering and science graduates to assist with the research.

Matanuska Glacier

The origin of this herd goes to Greenland a bunch of musk oxen were taken from there to the Alaskan island of Nunivak, in the Bering Sea. In 1964, the Nunivak herd was fairly well established, so an expedition, sponsored by the University of Alaska and the Institute of Northern Agricultural Research, was sent out to round a few of the animals up. This was all under the charge of John Teal, whom Peter Matthiessen, in his book about the expedition, Oomingmak, calls friend of the musk ox.

Environment Planning

Polders were created on a massive scale in the 20th century, huge portions of the former Zuiderzee (now the IJsselmeer, a lake closed off from the sea by a dyke) were surrounded by dykes and the water was pumped out to create vast swaths of flat and fertile agricultural land. Opened in 1986, the province of Flevoland, northeast of Amsterdam, would be the last province to be reclaimed from the sea.

Around The Island

Around Tongatapu's flat landscape are notable natural caves, blowholes, a natural limestone archway and impressive coral reefs, as well as some of the most extensive and well-excavated archaeological sites in the Pacific. Much of the island's interior is composed of agricultural land and rural villages, with a high church-to-home ratio.

Exmoor National Park

Running along the northwestern coastline of Somerset into Devon, this tiny national park is a hiker's haven and a twitcher's dream come true. With its idyllic landscape of emerald-green meadows, wooded combes and crumbling cliffs, Exmoor is a more pastoral place than its sister national park on the opposite coast, Dartmoor. It's also home to some of Britain's oldest agricultural land some of its farms date back to the Domesday Book and beyond, and ancient herds of horned sheep, Exmoor ponies and wild red deer roam its fields and bridleways.

Italian Apartheid

Thousands of locals were evicted from their houses and resettled in reservations far from where the Italians lived. The best agricultural land was seized, rent for town houses was not paid and there were continual abuses of law locals were punished, fined and even killed without cause.

Conservation Issues

Rainforests are one of the richest habitats on earth - a single hectare of tropical rainforest may contain more than 600 species of trees - but also one of the most threatened. Over half of the rainforests of the Congo basin are under commercial-logging leases. It's not just rainforest that's under threat pockets of temperate forest are getting the chop all over Africa, not only for timber, but also for firewood and to be cleared for agricultural land.

The Citadel

Probably first constructed under the Mauryan empire in the 3rd century BC, the site shows evidence of various Hindu empires, and Buddhist and Muslim occupations (though it's doubtful the helipad dates back that far). The Citadel fell into disuse around the time of the Mughal invasions. Most of the visible brickwork dates from the 8th century, apart from that added during restoration. Nowadays there isn't a lot left to see aside from the edge of the exterior walls and various unidentifiable grassy mounds. However, it's a perfect place for a walk and a picnic. The Citadel's interior is used as both agricultural land and a leisure area, with cricket matches taking place in the cool evening light. If cricket isn't your cup of tea then there will be plenty of other people around (some with flasks of tea) who will be keen to pass the time of day with you.

Grande Comore

Aside from being the largest island at 60km by 20km, Grande Comore is also the most economically developed of the three independent islands that make up the Union des Comores. Grande Comore (known as Ngazidja by the Comorians) wields the most political power of the three islands from the seat of its handsome main town, Moroni. The island is fringed by solidified lava and sandy beaches of various hues, where brilliant white meets dark volcanic grey and molten black. What litde agricultural land is still available is found in the south, where there are banana, breadfruit, cassava, vanilla, ylang-ylang and coconut plantations. Most of the island's population and activity is concentrated on the west coast. The sparsely populated and dramatically beautiful east coast remains quiet and traditional, with only a few tiny thatched-hut villages. Couples looking for a simple but romantic holiday away from everyone else will like it here.

Activities Boating

Trekking through the mountains and forests of Laos is the best way to experience what is one of the most untouched environments in Southeast Asia. Indeed, trekking has become so popular it's almost a mandatory part of any visit to Laos. And thanks to several projects aimed at getting money into poor communities, there are now more than 10 areas you can choose from for a full rundown, see Where To Trek (p70). Each organised trek is different, but most involve walking through a mix of forest and agricultural land and staying in homes or community guesthouses in remote villages. Prices, including all food, guides, transport, accommodation and park fees, start at about US 20 a day. In most cases you can trek with as few as two people, with per person costs falling the larger the group.

Masbate

Though geographically smack in the middle of the Philippine archipelago, this hilly island province is as far as can be from the consciousness of the economic, political and cultural movers and shakers in the nation s capital, Manila currents of change are as likely to reach Masbate (mas-6aA-teh) as a boat connection from the island is likely to depart on schedule. A poor island-province even by Philippine standards, Masbate has long been known for the ruth-lessness of its local politics. As is the case with plantations on other islands in the Philippines, Masbate s vast cattle ranches are owned by a handful of wealthy families while the majority of the population struggles to make the most of its marine and agricultural resources. A ray of progress in all this is the provincial government s Fishery Development Program, which is at aimed at improving Masbate s fishing industry through sustainable technology, conservation, tougher fishing laws and loans for local cooperatives.

Eritrea Today

The economy is in tatters, with food and oil shortages. Mass conscription has deprived many industries of manpower and there is no longer a private sector. In January 2005 the government introduced a currency declaration form to control all transactions, deterring foreign investments. Remittances from diaspora Eritreans is virtually the only source of income. As if that was not enough, for the four consecutive years to 2006, drought wreaked havoc on agricultural resources.

Women In Honduras

Honduran women enjoy the same legal rights and status as men - they can vote, own property, and are represented in government. But the majority are afforded a distinctly lower social and economic status, mainly because of institutional barriers and age-old prejudice. Professional and wage-earning women receive less pay for performing the same jobs as men, if they are allowed equal access to those occupations in the first place. In rural Honduras, women are the driving economic force, producing an estimated 60 to 80 of agricultural products consumed in Honduras, not to mention their contribution in the form of domestic work and artesan a production. And yet, Honduran women in general live in greater poverty than men and have a higher mortality rate. Breast, ovarian and cervical cancers are leading killers, and nearly 22 of women's deaths between ages 18 and 44 are associated with childbirth, mostly due to poor access to healthcare.

Customs

Entering or leaving Northern Cyprus, the limit is 200 cigarettes and 1L of spirits or wine. The importation of agricultural products, including dried nuts, seeds, bulbs and cuttings, fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and so on, are subject to strict quarantine control, and requires prior approval by the Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources.

San Pedro Sula

San Pedro Sula may be second to Tegucigalpa in size, but it is the alpha male in most other respects Honduras' booming export industry is based here, the majority of agricultural products pass through here, the airport is larger and more modern, even the nightlife is better. It is also the capital of Honduras in some less-appealing aspects, including HIV infection and gang violence.

Handicrafts Fashion

Woven from pandanus leaves that have been split into very narrow widths, ie toga (fine mats) take months of painstaking work to complete. When finished they can have the look and feel of fine linen or silk. Nowadays they are only made in Samoa, and a few may be on sale in the market. They're never used as mats ie toga are a traditional currency, and along with other woven mats, siapo and oils, make up the most important component of the 'gifts of the women' that must be exchanged at every fa'alavelave. Agricultural products comprise the 'gifts of the men'.

Location and History

The Apostle Paul traveled through the city around 49-50 c.e. Christianity eventually became a major force in Amphipolis, and the city became home to at least five impressive churches in the 5th and 6th centuries and the seat of a bishopric, evidence of the continuing importance of the city. With the invasion of the Slavs in the 8th and 9th centuries, Amphipolis was apparently destroyed. A new city, Chrysopolis, was established at the mouth of the Strymon River. The location of Amphipolis, however, was still strategically important during the late Byzantine period, as seen by the two towers, one on each side of the Strymon River, built in 1367 by two brothers, Alexius and Ioannes, who were Byzantine generals. These two brothers were also the founders of the Monastery of the Pantocrator on Mt. Athos, and the towers of Amphipolis belonged to the monastery. The towers were possibly used for storing agricultural products in the area, as well as for controlling the river crossing.

Todos Santos

From the north as well-heeled New Mexico artists, organic farmers and even some Hollywood types have snapped up property and put down roots. Locals and tourists alike all say, 'I'm lucky I got to see this place two years ago.' Change is happening that fast, and environmental protection laws mean little when so much money can change hands. The sea turtle and surfing beach Los Cerritos has been slated for development hotels, houses, condos and bars are already going up and it's unlikely anyone will turn off the lights each spring during egg-laying season.

London Life

Other bugbears have also been sorted London has undergone a food revolution in the past decade and nowhere is this more obvious than at the organic farmers' markets and cutting-edge restaurants of the capital. Add to this newly liberalised ch inking laws, a roundly welcomed smoking ban and a fantastic music scene and London makes for one of the best places for a night out on the planet. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and prepare to fall in love with the British capital.

Dealing With Dongas

Throughout Lesotho you may spot massive gullies or ravines stemming from the tops of hills and snaking all the way to the bottom of a valley. Known as dongas, these eroded areas developed primarily from the use of steel ploughs and an increase in arable farming during the latter part of the 19th century. The unstable duplex soils were quickly disturbed by the heavy summer storms. Increasingly, local people are reclaiming the dongas by building rock dams (or terraces) to capture silt and detritus. As the area above the dam wall or terrace fills, another dam is built lower down, until the gully is refilled with fertile soils, grasses or stabilising tree species. You can visit a successful donga reclamation at the Musi family farm at Malealea (see left).

Sharp On The Tongue

Marie Sharp got into the hot-sauce business in 1981. One season she and her husband found themselves with a surplus of habanero chili peppers at their family farm near Dangriga. Hating to see them wasted, Marie experimented with sauce recipes in her own kitchen. She felt that other bottled hot sauces were often watery and sometimes too hot to be flavorful. She wanted one that would complement Belizean cuisine and would not have artificial ingredients. She tried out some of her blends on her friends and family, and by far the favorite was one that used carrots as a thickener and blended the peppers with onions and garlic.

Sautour

Tel. +32(0)71.61.58.58 email info baladanes.be Website www.baladanes.be 12 donkeys for rides lasting half-a-day or several days, staying overnight in a tent or a B& B. Also has a magnificent orchard and market-garden full of old-fashioned varieties of fruit and vegetables with almost-forgotten flavours. Old-fashioned farmyard with goats, geese and cows. Fishing lessons available. Green Sundays every first Sunday of the month from April to October.

Tralee After Dark

Siamsa Tire, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, is at Town Park (& 066 712-3055 www.siamsatire.com). Founded in 1974, Siamsa (pronounced Sheem-sha) offers a mixture of music, dance, and mime. Its programs focus on three themes Fado Fado The Long Ago Sean Agus Nua Myth and Motion and Ding Dong Dedero Forging the Dance. The scenes depict old folk tales and farmyard activities, such as thatching a cottage roof, flailing sheaves of corn, and twisting a sugan (straw) rope.

On The Buses

The bus itself might be a relic that's so bad it makes an otherwise flat road feel like a pot-holed monster. In the course of researching this book we had several flat tires, a bus without windows driving through a storm, a bus that stopped beside Rte 13 and picked up more than 100 50kg sacks of rice from a local mill (each labelled 'Produce of Thailand') and laid them in the aisle, under the seats, and anywhere else they would fit. Funnily enough, the bus seemed to go better after that. The music might be as loud as it is bad, and you might be sharing the bus with a menagerie of farmyard animals. Things break, too. As Justine found on a remote road in Phongsali Province, attempted fixes might be as imaginative, and useless, as putting a condom into the motor.

Wycliffe Well

The well referred to in the name dates from 1872 and the Overland Telegraph Line, although the water quality was not all that flash. In the 1930s a bore was sunk to provide good water on the North-South Stock Route. During WWII a 2-hectare army vegetable farm was established to supply the troops further up the Stuart Hwy.

Isle Of Anglesey

Fertile Anglesey provides north Wales with much of its wheat and catde, and has a long history of habitation. Good farming probably played a role in attracting a considerable early population, while the island was holy to the Celts. Often referred to as Mam Cymru -Mother of Wales - it was the last outpost to fall to the Romans.

Environment

The other main islands are Pulau Tekong, which is a military area, the largely rural U Pulau Ubin, and Sentosa, Singapore's rapidly developing pleasure isle. Around half the a island is built up, and the rest is given over to parkland, reservoirs, some small farms, S large military areas and a few remaining pockets of jungle. Altogether, less than 3 of the R country is farmland. N

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