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close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
Open this folder and view contents5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
Open this folder and view contents12: Seeds and germplasm
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
close this folder28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
View the documentA few alternate seed sources that we commonly use
View the documentAmaranth - grain and vegetable
Open this folder and view contentsArid region farming primer
View the documentCitrus propagation and rootstocks
Open this folder and view contentsCucurbit seeds
close this folderDry farming
View the documentFundamental principles
View the documentRequirements
View the documentI. Increase water absorption
View the documentII. Reducing the loss of soil moisture
View the documentIII. Dry farming practices
View the documentMuscovy ducks for png villages
View the documentFruit crops
View the documentFruit vegetables
View the documentGrain crops
View the documentGround covers and green manures
View the documentGreen manure crops
View the documentIndustrial crops
View the documentThe lablab bean as green manure
View the documentLeafy vegetables
View the documentLeguminous vegetables
View the documentThe moringa tree
View the documentRecipes to learn to eat moringa
View the documentMiscellaneous vegetables
View the documentThe poor man's plow
View the documentPulses (grain legumes)
View the documentRabbit raising in the tropics
View the documentLetter from fremont regier, mennonite central committee, Botswana (and earlier in Zaire)
View the documentRoots and tubers
View the documentSunnhemp as a green manure
View the documentThe sweet potato
View the documentTropical pasture and feed crops
View the documentThe velvet bean as green manure
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm
 

I. Increase water absorption

A. PREVENT A WATER SEAL AT SURFACE. Probably the greatest deterrent to a high rate of water absorbtion is the tendency for soils to puddle at the surface and form a seal against water intake. The beating action of raindrops tends to break down cloddiness and disperse the soil.

1. By tillage, create a rough, cloddy surface which lengthens the time necessary for the rain to break down the clods and seal the surface. For seed bed preparation in general, small seeds should have a finer, mellower bed than large seeds.

2. After harvest, create a stubble mulch on the surface. Such material not only prevents raindrops from inpinging directly on the soil, but impedes the flow of water down the slope, increasing absorbtion time.

B. REDUCE THE RUNOFF OF WATER. To the extent that waterlogging is not a problem, the runoff of water and its attendant erosion must be stopped.

1. Cropland should be as level as possible.

2. All tillage and plantings must run across (or perpendicular to) the slope of the land. Such ridges will impede the downward movement of water.

3. For every two feet of vertical drop or 250 feet of horizontal run, the field should either have bunds or contour strips (details of these practices are discussed later).

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