Maize is arguably the single most important crop in the world and is rivalled only by soybeans in terms of versatility. That said, it is, along with sugar cane and palm oil, among the most controversial crops, proving particularly so to critics of industrial agriculture. Although maize is usually associated with the Western world, it has played a prominent role in Asia for a long time, and, in recent decades, its importance in Asia has soared. For better or worse, or more likely for better and worse, its role in Asia seems to be following the Western script. Continue reading
Thanks to National Public Radio (USA) and the folks at the salt for raising our awareness of another corn-influenced culture we knew nothing about until just now:
by Angus Chen
About a 15-minute drive east of St. Louis is a complex of earthen mounds that once supported a prehistoric city of thousands. For a couple of hundred years, the city, called Cahokia, and several smaller city-states like it flourished in the Mississippi River Valley. But by the time European colonizers set foot on American soil in the 15th century, these cities were already empty. Continue reading
We’ve lived in India a year now (more on that in another post) and for much of this time I’ve wanted to visit Munnar, the iconic tea-laden hill station in the Western Ghats. Most of our mountain excursions have been to Thekkady, a place we’ve grown to love for its proximity to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, and the team we work with at Cardamom County.
This weekend we had the best reason for a change of route–to scout a prospective organic farm that might join our portfolio of properties under management–so I was looking forward to also discovering the differences between these two hill stations. I did in fact find something different in Munnar, but not in the way I was expecting it. Continue reading