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Permaculture in Haiti

Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
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In Permaculture Magazine, (No. 64, Summer 2010), the article, “Permaculture Initiatives Making a Difference in Haiti” talks about post-earthquake recovery becoming more sustainable and long-lasting. Compost toilets are reducing the spread of infections, which, after the quake, have been especially important around orphanages and hospitals. People are working to restore soil quality, improve food diversity, practice no-till, and generally restore the ecology in the area. Due to extreme forestation and torrential rains, topsoil has become precious, and people have been setting up swales to harvest water and stop sheet flow rom taking away soil nutrients. Nathanial Mulcahy has been teaching Haitians to build pyrolictic cook stoves, which are “extremely efficient, create little air pollution, and produce carbon rich biochar from biomass fuels.” The biochar, along with compost, will boost soil fertility.

Posts: 41
Location: Missouri
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So glad this is happening.  Especially in Haiti, my first thought is, that they basically have a 12 month growing season, it doesn't make sense that they would go hungry.  What are aid groups doing over there that they can't teach them how to produce their own food?  Then I walk out the door and look at the huge expanses of green lawn in my own neighborhood and Kansas City and hear on the local station that food banks are being over-run and I do a face-palm. 
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This group is doing great work in Haiti.
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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The need for firewood and charcoal have been the chief contributors to Hatian deforestation. Sustainable cooking methods are therefore key to environmental restoration. Check out this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VypiS5X31aA ---Rocket Kitchen--- This guy has built a whole kitchen out of cob and bricks. He has been involved in aid work in Haiti. The first few minutes deal with a rocket powered oven, followed by the whole kitchen.

Respiratory disorders are common amongst poor women who cook over dirty open fires and often these people spend much of their day in search of fuel. The adoption of this sort of cooking technology would help greatly in terms of health, time management and forest restoration.
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