Princípios da Agroecologia

Agricultura sustentável tem que considerar aspectos socioeconômicos e culturais dos grupos sociais implicados. Não basta proteger e melhorar o solo ou a produtividade agrícola se não resulta em melhorias nas condições de vida das pessoas envolvidas. Portanto, agricultura sustentável é um conceito que implica aspectos políticos e ideológicos que tem a ver com o conceito de cidadania e libertação dos esquemas de dominação impostos por setores de nossa própria sociedade e por interesses econômicos de grandes grupos, de modo que não se pode abordar o tema reduzindo outra vez as questões técnicas.

Francisco Roberto Caporal


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quarta-feira, 4 de julho de 2012

Plantas e Humanos

Nikitsky Botanical Garden researchers on the secrets of relationships between plants and humans

By Mykola SEMENA, 
The Day, Yalta-Simferopol, 
photos by the author

Cacti are unique plants. Firstly, they are succulents, i.e., leafless plants in which the stem itself produces chlorophyll. Secondly, a particular structure allows them to save a lot of moisture and be able to survive in a most severe drought. Thirdly, contrary to a widespread erroneous opinion, cacti can bloom every year, which, however, requires special conditions.

“For cacti to be able to bloom, there should be two – objective and subjective – conditions,” Olha Goncharova, in charge of the Nikitsky Botanical Garden’s cactus hothouse, told The Day. “Firstly, it is wrong to care for the cacti in the same way all year round and constantly water them.

To blossom in the spring, cacti need a period of peace: in other words, you should stop watering cactus pots altogether from November until March and keep them in a rather cool and, if possible, dark place. Secondly, which is a subjective condition, for cacti to bloom annually, you should love and speak to them, share your mood with and consult them because they, like any other living being, can perceive the surrounding world, feel the aura of humans, and respond to both good and evil.

It sometimes happens that somebody buys a cactus from us, but it perishes some time later, even though I don’t know what Herculean effort one must make to kill a cactus! The plant just feels the owner’s evil aura and hostile attitude to the world and ‘decides’ not to live any longer in a world like this.”

It is not a joke. Goncharova says that a shaman once came to the garden from Mexico and told the researchers that Mexicans are sure that cacti react to changes in human energy – moreover, they can influence its formation and, therefore, can be used in medicine and pharmacology.

The Nikitsky Botanical Garden (popularly known as Nikita) has been growing cacti and other succulents since 1826, when the first thorny plants were brought here from Mexico, Goncharova says. As more and more plants were being delivered, cactus growing began to be treated as a separate and quite important branch of the garden.

Cactus growing received a powerful impetus at the Nikita in the 1960s, when new hothouses were built for succulents. At the time, the Nikita conducted extensive research into these plants, quite in the spirit of Soviet science.

The result was that by the mid- and late 1990s Nikita researchers had developed various methods of using cacti in the industry and at home – they served as raw material for candied fruits, tequila, dry and fortified wines, liqueurs, marmalade, jam, etc.

There was even such a dish as dried prickly pears! On one of the late 1990s New Year eves, the Nikita had even organized a special public sampling of the delicious foodstuffs that could be made from cacti.

What is more, some of the research topics were kept secret: scientists tested the behavior of cacti in outer space and in the conditions of weightlessness, measured the consumption and release of gases, explored survivability, productiveness, and the possibility of using cacti for healing wounds and burns, etc.

This research into the use of cacti is still going on, and scientist hope it will continue. Now the collection of succulents at the Nikita consists of up to 1,500 species, including about 1,000 species of various cacti.

So far, they are extensively used for decorative purposes only, such as adorning winter gardens, flowerbeds, rock gardens, and “green nooks.

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Assine o Abaixo-Assinado virtual que pede o banimento dos agrotóxicos já proibidos em outros países do mundo e que circulam livremente no Brasil.

A Campanha tem o objetivo de alertar a população sobre os perigos dos agrotóxicos, pressionar governos e propor um modelo de agricultura saudável para todas e todos, baseado na agroecologia.

Assine já, pelo banimento dos banidos! Entre no link abaixo.