Friday, December 19, 2008

Brace yourself 2

Al Akhbar has a dossier today about the returnees from Dubai. A woman who lost her job in Dubai says in Rana Hayek's article: «إيه، ماكسيموم منرجع عالضيعة نزرع بندورة وخيار، المهم بس الإسرائيلية يرحمونا من الجهة التانية كمان»: "worst case, we will go back to the village and grow tomatoes and cucumber, but we'll need the Israelis to leave us in peace..."

2 comments:

Leila said...

Lebanese don't need my advice, not when they have Rami, but...

For survival folks will need to grow calorically dense foods, not just tomatoes and cucumbers.

http://casaubonsbook.blogspot.com/2007/09/vegeculture-further-rethinking-how-we.html

"our farms will have to grow more calorically dense foods, suited to our particular climates. ...we simply can't go around with all Americans eating the same basic diet of french fries and soda. Not only do our diets have to become more nutritious, and not only do they have to be produced more locally, but they have to reflect local conditions, and produce as much food as possible in as small a space as possible. ...

"Traditional West African gardeners, growing food in hot, dry areas of comparatively low fertility emphasized perennial vegetable crops as their base food crops, as have many Latin American farmers. Indeed, despite their tendency to rely on grain crops, Northern Europe made much of its agricultural prosperity on the turnip, and later, the potato. Large scale root cultivation enabled the milk culture of northern Europe, and there is archaeological evidence that in areas where turnips were cultivated, people grew taller and healthier than in areas where wheat and barley were emphasized. Root crops were higher yielding than grain crops, particularly when grown on a small scale. Hot weather root crops like sweet potatoes were tremendously drought tolerant and could be grown on ground of low fertility."

Again, Rami is the authority on these matters. I just find this woman's argument compelling and interesting.

Is it possible that in very hard times, people with small plots of land might need to grow potatoes and squashes and cabbages as well as cucumbers? I guess lentils and chickpeas, too. Rami, your thoughts?

Rami Zurayk said...

I agree with you, of course! For subsistence, a variety of crops are required.