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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
close this folder1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contentsBackground in agricultural development
close this folderSelecting suitable tropical crops
Open this folder and view contentsTechnical note: selecting the right crop for your location in the tropics or in the subtropics
View the documentTechnical note: Comparison charts of tropical crops
View the documentWhat seed would you take to an uninhabited tropical island?
View the documentHow can I garden in the hot humid tropics?
View the documentResource centers for 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
Open this folder and view contents28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm
 

What seed would you take to an uninhabited tropical island?

Dr. Frank Martin is the author of several books and articles on tropical subsistence farming and a frequent consultant to ECHO. We received from him the following interesting note:

"If I were to go to an uninhabited island in the hot, humid tropics, taking with me the seeds with which I think I could best provide myself food, I think I would take the following.

Roots and Tubers: (1) sweet potatoes-the variety 'Gem' (orange-fleshed) and some white-fleshed types, (2) yams-Dioscorea alata and D. esculenta, selected varieties, (3) cassava-some true seed to start my own, (4) Queensland arrowroot (Canna edulis), very easy to grow and productive.

Grains: (1) corn, (2) okra, for edible seed and well as green fruit, (3) wax gourd (Benincasa hispida) for edible seed as well as squash-like fruit.

Legumes: (1) Catjang cowpeas (climbing, disease resistant forms), (2) winged bean, (3) Dolichos lablab beans, (4) asparagus beans.

Leafy Vegetables: (1) chaya, (2) sunset hibiscus, (3) Tahitian taro (Xanthosoma brasiliensis), (4) Tropical or Indian lettuce (Lactuca indica).

Fruit Vegetables :(1) tropical pumpkin, (2) okra, (3) small-fruited, indeterminate tomatoes, (4) hot pepper, (5) ensalada pepper, selected for its edible leaves.

Trees :(1) bananas, (2) breadfruit, (3) limes (West Indian, from seed), (4) tamarind, (5) papaya, (6) mangoes (from seed, turpentine type but selected)."

Several of Dr. Martin's publications (co-authored by Ruth Ruberté) are available from ECHO. We are reprinting their book Edible Leaves of the Tropics (see chapter on Tropical Vegetables). Techniques and Plants for the Tropical Subsistence Farm (see below) is an excellent introduction to a wide variety of food plants adapted to hot, humid regions.

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