Promoting YOUR food plants

Food plants from your home place

When you see the food plants from your home place promoted and celebrated, how does that make you feel?  Does it create confusion, joy, or wonder?

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  • Some people clearly known their local food plants are best
  • Others have looked for exotic food plants as a sign of privilege, and overlook local plants
  • Some have not thought about it
  • Some people are far away from their home place and are learning about new food plants

Ways of promotion & celebration:

  • Household meals together
  • Community feasts
  • Generational stories shared through gardening
  • Community workshops or education material
  • Posters in health clinics, schools or churches
  • What ways have you promoted and celebrated your local food plants????

 

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Right Plants in the Right Place

The right plants, in the right places, grown the right way makes good ecological sense and can “Help the hungry feed themselves!” 

(Mr Bruce French, FPI)

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The work of Food Plants International is vital because:

“Malnutrition is a complex issue, but it is the main cause of death and disease in the world,” according to Dr Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2019)

https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/world-food-day-2019-malnutrition-world-health-crisis/en/

 

 

 

Global Targets for nutrition 2025

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It is wonderful to have multiple agencies, community groups, non-government organisations and households focusing on improved nutrition for mothers, infants and children.  Food Plants International can help resource, empower and promote nutritious local food plants as a key part of this strategy.

According to the World Heath Organisation: “The impacts of malnutrition on development, society, health and well-being are serious and lasting, for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries.”  Finding creative solutions to address these problems is vital.  We can all play our part.

Global Targets to improve maternal, infant and child nutrition

 

Diverse Diets protect us

“Biologically diverse diets are more likely to be nutritionally replete,
and also contain intrinsic protective factors.  There are an increasing
number of initiatives promoting dietary diversity for improved child
nutrition and protection against chronic diseases such as obesity,
diabetes, and cancer.”

K. Gold, RPH McBurney, M. Ouma. Conservation of plant biodiversity for
sustainable diets, FAO 2012

Canva - Smiling Woman Carrying Baby and Holding Green Leafy Vegetable

Photo by Elina Sazonova

Home Gardens

“Worldwide, home gardens are a communitys most adaptable and accessible land resource and are an important component in reducing vulnerability and ensuring food security.   One way to reduce vulnerability or avoid risk is the diversification of accessible resources, such as useful plants.  Diversification not only serves as insurance against unexpected or disruptive events, but also provides many components that facilitate adaptive renewal following a disturbance.”

Buchmann, C., 2009, Cuban Home Gardens and Their Role in Social-Ecological Resilience.   Human Ecology 37:705-721

variety of vegetables

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

What can you grow at home?

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Feeding yourself and your family can become critical when the food supply systems are disrupted or external factors impact you.

Now is the best time to learn how to grow a diverse range of local plants:

  • Green leafy vegetables (in pots, containers, sacks, garden beds)
  • Herbs for nutrition and flavour
  • Fruit, nut or seed trees to be prepared for the future (e.g. moringa, avocado, nut, fruit tree)
  • Look ahead to consider planting any traditional or local staple crops (cassava, millet, traditional rice, sweet potato, bananas, teff, or choclo)

How can you help yourself by growing and eating a range of local food plants?

Look in the Food Plants International Database if you are not sure what can grow in your country, region or ecological zone (31000 plant species): www.foodplantsinternational.com

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Growing strong

When the economy of a country is dysfunctional, how can people feed themselves? Do people know what food is edible?  When everything is sailing along, this information seems irrelevant.  When things are tough, it is essential.

It is important knowledge for us all – especially our children and grandchildren.

In Mbwerenga (low rainfall area of Zimbabwe), there is enough nutritious food to last three seasons.  Courage + Conservation agriculture + small grains + hard work has seen a harvest worth celebrating.

What food plants grow well in your area?  Let’s keep learning and celebrating.