In 1845, a water mold known as “late blight,” decimated Irish potato fields. At the time, largely due to an injustice of land distribution, about one-third of Ireland’s population was completely dependent on a single variety of potato, the “Irish Lumper,” for food calories. The disease wiped out half the Lumper crop in the first … Continue reading Bananas, Panama Disease, and the Irish Potato Famine
Posts by Joel Johnson
Water is life. In every language and culture, the longest-tenured agrarians retell some version of this simple truth. Though it seems impossible to forget, for those who do not regularly work their own land or are distanced from the ecological connections that yield the food on their table, it can be easy to take for … Continue reading Agroecological Adaptations Provide Resilience During Colombia’s El Niño Droughts
In the 1940’s, British colonizers planted teak seedlings across thousands of hectares of South Sudan. The better part of a century later, in 2007, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimated that sustainably harvesting the timber, now some of the world’s largest stands of the prized hardwood, could produce as much as $100 million a … Continue reading Logging in South Sudan Highlights Need for Responsible Teak
Passion fruit has long been a highlight of Colombia’s agriculture. In 2016, the South American country produced 150,000 metric tons of passion fruit varieties. Yet of that quantity, only 6,000 metric tons were exported to foreign markets. The tendency of Colombia’s harvest to stay local mirrored that of nearby Brazil: the world’s largest producer of … Continue reading Colombia’s Passion Fruit Production Continues to Rise
Ten years ago, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cast its gaze forward, projecting what the US and global agricultural markets would look like in the futuristic year 2019. 2019 has arrived, and it’s time to repeat the exercise. The USDA just released their latest report, which reveals emerging economies are expected to drive … Continue reading As the USDA Looks Forward to 2028, Emerging Economies Drive Agricultural Consumption
In 2017, global pineapple production weighed in at over 27.4 million metric tons. The fruit is prized for its flavor, sweetness, and health benefits—attributes that often capture our attention at Farmfolio. What many of us don’t consider is the massive quantity of pineapple leaves that every plantation produces. It was these leaves, and the strong … Continue reading Piñatex —Producing Textiles from Pineapple Waste?