looks good enough to eat!
Agroecology at Iracambi
This exciting project at Iracambi combines three things: producing seeds for green manure, cultivating and selling organic fruits and vegetables, and creating a line of natural cosmetics. As an added bonus, we’re reforesting stream banks with trees native to the Atlantic Forest in an area that was formerly degraded pasture. And we’re managing the whole system sustainably.
And the result? Producing natural cosmetics and organic foodstuff with the least possible impact on the environment. Creating and sharing a sustainable model that will generate income for rural communities. Giving field days and writing academic papers in order to share our experiences with the wider public.
The current model of conventional agriculture has not served the rural community well – either economically or environmentally. This is evidenced by degraded lands, stressed water resources, and the rural exodus. Family agriculture urgently needs to develop alternative models that enable rural families to remain on the land and care for the environment.
History of the area
Our agroecology plot was formerly a cattle pasture. Sugar cane had also been planted for the cattle, and the areas bordering the river have occasionally been flooded – although rarely. The area is 2.5 acres.
Development of the project
The Agroecology plot has been in existence for three months.
- While the trees are growing, we have interplanted maize, manioc, and leguminous species for green manure, in order to increase soil fertility and produce seeds.
- Simultaneously we are developing our range of natural cosmetics, and are currently testing a range of soaps.
- We’ve strengthened our ties with the Natural Plants Working Group of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil’s premier research center. We are also developing partnerships with universities and technical institutes to work together on techniques of agroecological production.
- The next stage will be to hold field days to work with local producers on best practice organic food production and creating natural cosmetics using low impact techniques that provide an economic return for low income rural families
Your part in this!
With your help we’re raising rural living standards and helping smallholder farm families live better and more healthily than they do under conventional agricultural systems. Producing organic food and natural cosmetics is good for people, and good for the land. It’s a way of transforming lives. Thank you for being a part of it!
Good looking field!
planting with love