Green Beginnings

Anita Roddick introduces 5 stories on approaches to improve the environment, ranging from educational initiatives, soil improvement techniques, supporting indigenous crops, and innovative pest control measures.

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New Plot – Kenya

New Plot reviews the Gardens for Life project which brings together students from across three continents in an exciting project sharing their experiences of gardening. Not only is their curriculum enriched, but students are gaining a better understanding of global issues.

Highland Harvest – Scotland

Land in the Scottish Highlands is usually regarded as being too poor for farming anything other than sheep. A trial project based at the Sustainable Ecological Earth Regeneration (SEER) Centre is demonstrating a technique using rock dust to bring fertility back to the soil – with dramatic results.

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Miracle Clay – Thailand

Degraded soil is a serious problem facing farmers in the developing world. Years of intensive farming have reduced the fertility of the soil, leading to declining yields. Researchers in Thailand are exploring a new approach to rejuvenating soils by using bentonite clays to increase their structural stability and water-holding capacity.

Back to their Roots – Bolivia

In the Andean mountains of Bolivia, potatoes are a staple crop for rural communities. Local, culturally rich varieties abound. However, these varieties are increasingly under pressure as standardised, mass-produced varieties take the agricultural world by storm. With the help of agricultural research institutions, the rural communities of Bolivia are re-introducing local varieties, which not only restore their cultural heritage, but also provide economic benefits.

Turning the Worm – Tanzania

Plagues of African armyworm erupt in Tanzania with the start of each rainy season. These voracious caterpillars, multiply rapidly to such large numbers that both cereal crops and pastures are devastated. A novel biological control technique using basic equipment has been devised to combat this threat.