In Papua New Guinea they were having problems with cannibalism. Whenever a tribal war was won, the winning tribe would eat the losing tribe. People were getting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (the human version of mad-cow disease-allegedly contracted from eating the brains of a member your species) which causes dimentia, speech impairment, jerky movements (myoclonus), balance and coordination dysfunction (ataxia), changes in gait, rigid posture, and seizures. Usually people will die within weeks to months of getting it and there is no known cure. The Australian military came in and put a stop to the cannibalism, but then the people needed a new primary source of food. They sustained their tribes on sweet potatoes, but not well. In the area that Jacob Mittleider visited, the hospital and school were about to be shut down because they couldn't feed the people the necessary 5lbs of potatoes per day. After Mittleider came and showed them how to garden his way, their sweet potatoes were 5 times as large as they used to be and were grown quicker and so yeilded more crops per year. They were able to sell and barter their sweet potatoes and thrived as farmers. One boy who was taught this method, Sir Silas Atopare, grew to become President of Papua New Guinea from 1997-2003.
AMAZING???? I know!
So, with that being said, I am going to continue into my first installment of "Gardening with Mittleider." At the free seminar, we were given a handout that I will share with you about how the rows are supposed to look and how this method differs from traditional gardening.
If you want me to email you these notes so they're easier to read, just let me know. Also, if you click on them they will become a tiny bit larger.
Here is a little bit about the Method from Jim Kennard:
Here is my garden planning vid:
Sorry about that weird little bit about the Frankenstein corn dog. I'm such a freak.
PS- If you're a gardener, here is a Gardening Journal from FFE foundation you might appreciate