Sometimes it's good to be cautious--and other times it's better to go with your gut. People told us not to visit Madagascar, that political conflict made the country unsafe for tourists. But we decided to go anyway because if we had listened to those voices, we'd never have gone to Nairobi, Kampala, or Kigali. We are cautious when we travel, but aware that our best and most eye-opening experiences are places well off the beaten path. And, Anantanrivo, Madagascar's capital city, is a place we fell in love with. The narrow streets, alleyways, cobblestone roads, and historic buildings remind you, at times, of parts of Western Europe.
I grew up on a farm and have continued to raise plants for most of my life. Anyone who does this usually learns about insects that prey upon plants. The smart ones also learn about the balance of nature.
I have seen cut worms, aphids, mites and hoppers destroy crops and the plants that produce them. I have seen how practising mono culture, that is growing huge, unbroken areas of a single crop, has facilitated terrible infestations by providing and almost endless feast of a favoured plant for a pest.
I have seen pest control that did more harm than good by killing not only the targeted pest, but directly or indirectly also many benificial organisms. Collateral damage, so to speak.
"In the next 60 seconds, 10 children will die of hunger," says a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) online video. It continues, "For the first time in humanity, over 1 billion people are chronically hungry."
The WFP launched the Billion for a Billion campaign this week, urging the 1 billion people who use the Internet to help the billion who are hungry. But if you think that hunger is far from our shores, here is some food for thought ... and action: The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report Monday stating that in 2008 one in six households in the U.S. was "food insecure," the highest number since the figures were first gathered in 1995.
Between the Lines and the Stephen Bulger Gallery invite you to celebrate the launch of Vincenzo Pietropaolo's new book of photography, Harvest Pilgrims: Mexican and Caribbean Migrant Farm Workers in Canada.
Harvest Pilgrims tells the little-known story of Canada's migrant workers. The photographs in the "Harvest Pilgrims" collection have been highly acclaimed internationally through many publications and exhibitions, including a travelling show curated by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography that opened in Mexico City. Vincenzo Pietropaolo will present a slideshow of his work on the subject, and talk about the project, which has been 20 years in the making.