The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels

“THAT spark of dormant life may be hidden and hard to measure, but mother plants will do almost anything to protect it,” writes conservation biologist Thor Hansen, describing the marvels that are seeds.

Ranging from the human-head-sized coconut to the dust-fine contents of the vanilla orchid pod, we see how seeds are far more than lumps of plant tissue, waiting around for watering before they spring into action. They are a plant’s babies, lifeboats of genetic succession cast off into the sea of an uncertain future.

via The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels – life – 19 April 2015 – New Scientist.

via The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels.

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Russia’s Small-Scale Organic Agriculture Model May Hold the Key to Feeding the World

Most food in Russia comes from backyard gardens.

Back in 1999, it was estimated that 35 million small family plots throughout Russia, operated by 105 million people, or 71 percent of the Russian population, were producing about 50 percent of the nation’s milk supply, 60 percent of its meat supply, 87 percent of its berry and fruit supply, 77 percent of its vegetable supply, and an astounding 92 percent of its potato supply. The average Russian citizen, in other words, is fully empowered under this model to grow his or her own food, and meet the needs of their family and local community.

“Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the U.S., for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today; however, the area taken up by lawns in the U.S. is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.”

The backyard gardening model is so effective throughout Russia that total output represents more than 50 percent of the nation’s entire agricultural output. Based on 2004 figures, the collective value of all the backyard produce grown in Russia is $14 billion, or 2.3 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) – and this number will only continue to increase as more and more Russians join the eco-village movement.

via Russia’s Small-Scale Organic Agriculture Model May Hold the Key to Feeding the World | P2P Foundation.

via Russia’s Small-Scale Organic Agriculture Model May Hold the Key to Feeding the World.