The Indha people of Inle Lake, Burma, are traditionally fishermen by trade. About 25 years ago, they began converting to a primarily agriculture-based economy. But they live in the middle of a lake—and there aren’t roads, sidewalks, or even islands connecting their villages. To farm, they’ve created an extensive system of floating gardens, and export their crops to major hubs like Mandalay and Yangon.
Often referred to as the “gypsies of India,” the Banjara people of Karnataka abandoned a nomadic lifestyle and founded settlements about sixty years ago. Sitaramtanda is one of these.
The people of Sitramtanda own about 10,000 acres of farmland which they farm traditionally, using locally-made tools of wood and metal. They grow sunflowers, teak, mangos, cotton, palm, peanuts, and rice, among other things. Landowner Naryan Naik showed us around.
Hanuman Thappa is a fisherman on the Hampi River in India. Fishing isn’t a commercial enterprise in this slow-moving small town, and it’s done the same way today that men have been fishing for years.
We visited Huaca Huasi with Adrian from Terra Quechua Tours out of Cusco, Peru (terraquechuaperu.com/). At nearly 4,000 meters in the Andes, the community subsists primarily on the only crop that will grow: potatoes. About 80 percent of men from Huaca Huasi work in the fields, and labor rules are strictly determined by gender.
Let it be known—a potato grown without the aid of chemicals, pesticides, or even modern tools is just about the best potato we’ve ever tried. And just about the most difficult farming we’ve ever seen.
Not all coffee farms are created equal. Pedro Lorenzo Burgos Grajales and his wife Maryori grow coffee in a different way, and for reasons other than distribution. This is their story.
German Soto talks about cultivation in the indigenous Moseten community, located downriver from Rurrenabaque in the Bolivian Amazon. The community’s methods of farming are about as organic and local as it gets, but they farm this way because it’s tradition—not a revolution.
There are several significant differences between a farmer’s market in the States and one in South America—the least of which is organization.