On growing potatoes and outdoor education

Loynes, Christopher (2008) On growing potatoes and outdoor education. Horizons, 41 . pp. 4-6.

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Abstract

If you have visited the Andes mountains you may have seen piles of small potatoes of all colours and hues from yellow and orange to blue and black. They are left to dry stacked outside farms under the eaves where the chickens scratch through them and they glow in the evening sun. People have been growing potatoes on the old Inca terraces for hundreds of years. Each field has its unique characteristics of altitude, aspect, soil type, drainage, distance from the farm and many more. The farmers are intimately aware of these subtleties in their fields learned from their fathers and mothers and gained from many years experience of working the land themselves. They know how each field will respond in different seasons and in the variations of weather from year to year. They know which pests will appear and where and how to tackle them. They know what variety of seed to plant and what harvest to expect. Time, to them, is a cycle of seasons. But they also understand time as a spiral of steady improvement in each field, as a response to long term patterns of climate change and as a reaction to population changes and needs. They experiment constantly to adapt their practices to achieve the best results they can with the resources they have. They have a detailed, almost invisible, lay knowledge of their work.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Horizons
Publisher: Institute for Outdoor Learning
ISSN: 1462-0677
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 13:10
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2018 21:00
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3706

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