By Rady Ananda
Food Freedom News
Alternative Crops for Drylands: Proactively Adapting to Climate Change and Water Shortages, by Scott O’Bar, delves into Earth’s smorgasbord of under-appreciated edible plants that evolved in often-waterless regions.
“Research and development should be poured into these plants now, before climate change contributes further to the worldwide spread of deserts,” says author O’Bar, a sun–soaked native of Santa Barbara‚ California.
Food Freedom News has affiliated with O’Bar to encourage sales of this important volume, targeting our drought-ridden readers who responded so favorably to Six things to know about rainwater harvesting in the desert.
No stranger to vegetable gardening, O’Bar later studied Environmental Horticulture and is now certified in permaculture design‚ a practice which led him to alternative methods of food production. His concern over mismanagement of the world’s freshwater led him to scour the botanical world for key edible species that require little irrigation‚ compared to today’s major crop species.
A proponent of food forestry‚ and a self–described rare and edible plant enthusiast, Scott has spent years researching alternative systems of food production‚ which require little energy and few external inputs.
“I hope to foster more firsthand research involving drought–tolerant edible plants‚” he says. “This will ease the burden of drought–afflicted regions throughout the world by installing multi–species agroforests that simultaneously heal the land and produce food with minimal irrigation.”
Here’s more from Scott:
The growing global water crisis has contributed to the depletion of ancient water reserves known as aquifers, dried up rivers and lakes, and to 1.1 billion people not having access to safe drinking water. Worldwide, irrigation accounts for about 70% of freshwater usage.
In order to drastically reduce water consumption, the global food supply will need to become much more water-wise. Improved cultivation techniques and technologies are central to this end.
Yet, the development of new crop species taken from the wild is equally as important. Certain wild plants such as the South African Marula tree, for example, may yield multiple tons of a nut crop and fruit crop from the same tree in a single year, while requiring no irrigation.
The purpose of Alternative Crops for Drylands is to provide a botanical arsenal for combating deforestation & desertification, healing parched landscapes, and simultaneously creating fecund, edible oases in place of today’s degraded landscapes. As such, the book highlights about 70 useful plant species, and discusses their cultural and climatic requirements, native habitats, uses, nutrition, and even propagation requirements.
At 324 pages, Alternative Crops for Drylands is a unique and useful reference book presented with over 80 full color photographs illustrating the book’s featured plants. The book is technical enough to interest professionals, yet is not too complex for the home gardener.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will help Scott establish an experimental farm in central Mexico for the purpose of improving the nutrition of the local population and introducing novel, water-wise crop species to North America.
Once you’ve paid thru WePay.com, be sure to send FFN your mailing address, and let us know if you want the book or PDF.
More at Crops for Drylands