New Sites – New Hope

As a last ditch attempt to save planet Earth I have decided to concentrate my efforts through my own web sites and new blogs… To this aims I have re-uploaded the Persephone Habitat and Soil Management Site (if I hadn’t you couldn’t read this) so all my old posts are now back up and available to read. I will in time revise the site so that it continues to serve it’s original purpose: to provide free information and advise on building sustainability. I will also use it to continue to blog on environmental issues and developments. I have similarly set up several sub-domains which I will use to both blog and share detailed news on relevant projects I am involved with. These include: my Photo-Blog Here I will post short light-hearted posts supported by images and photo galleries. The site will act as a main repository for all my images which are available for personal use subject to correct attribution and linking back to the site and for purchase of higher quality prints (copyright and re-use) click to register with the site I have also created a site for Nepal . This site will concentrate on the projects I am working on that are related to Nepal. In addition to myself there are currently three other contributors but as projects progress I hope to increase the contributors so that a network is created that integrates the projects and shares information and resourses in a cooperative capacity. Click here if you want to contribute I will similarly be creating new pages for the Persephone project, I originally created a sub-domain but until there is more than just me working on it it doesn’t need it’s own site. It’s purpose is to promote the data ecosystem I believe can be contribute to tackling climate change on a global scale. Through the Persephone Project I hope to build a network and connect with people who have the web and app development skills to build the data ecosystem I envisage. One that can provide subsistence farmers with access to critical knowledge and to similarly act as a means to build a data cooperative so that those farmers can share resources, plan and market their produce collectively. Subsistence farmers number some 600 million people world wide (UNFAO), add in the family and that number jumps to over 3 Billion (half the worlds population). It is also within this group that the greatest population growth is occurring, the UN estimates between now and 2050 Africa will account for 50% of the worlds population growth. So it is with the poor that the greatest amount of work needs to be done and it is with the poor that the Persephone Project will concentrate its efforts. If you have web, app, database, distributed network or blockchain skills and think you can help then contact me  here. I will, when time permits revive my old blog conceptual-reflections. It was originally created to provide me with a place to vent my frustrations and keep my red flag waving antics off phasm. Age hasn’t subdued that need so I still need it but feel the above sites are not the right place for an ‘angry old man’ to spout venom. I will provide links once it has been revived. As a one man band who would rather be growing vegetables and chasing butterflies it is though a slow process. Building the sites and writing the posts as well as trying to phyisically build projects takes time and effort and there is only 24 hours in a day, six of them I need for sleeping. But we march on regardless, we continue to try to save ourselves from ourselves for failure is not the absence of success but giving up, and I haven’t yet reached that point. As long as one flower remains, there is hope. and I will cling to that hope regardless of how futile others think it is. Thanks for reading and please leave a positive comment or better still registered with any or all the sites above and (once I’ve set up the newsletters) you will get notifications of new posts. Regards Malcolm McEwen (aka Greenman-23)

Site News and Cameroon Rains

Well I promised that I would get the Le Blog Global going by the end of the month and for this it’s first post I have News about the site and News from Cameroon.

Phasm in Green Mavern

With regard to phasm we applied several weeks ago for inclusion in the GreenMavern.com web directory. A Human complied search engine GreenMaven has been operating since 2006 and claims to be the world’s largest Green Search Engine. How it helps us we don’t know yet but we don’t currently see it doing any harm and have added links to the GreenMavern web pages in the top and footer widget bars. We will hopefully add more links to other organisations as when any reply to our emails!

News from Cameroon

Earlier this Month Edwin sent me the first of his reports from Cameroon, advising that:

The rains have come earlier than expected. This is usually a bad sign and signifies an inevitable short period of drought between early April and May. This is not good for it happens at the time of flowering for all biennials. Often crops like beans are seriously affected and more than half of the flowers are shed off. This alone does a great deal of damage since this particular food crop is of great economic importance that farmers cannot do without. Unlike all other food crops, its yield per unit area is the lowest but the value overrides that of all other food crops.

Poor access to water leading to drought stress has always been a problem with Legumes (Beans) which respond, as Edwin notes by dropping their flowers. Where it isn’t possible to irrigate steps to mulch the surface and reduce water loses from evaporation can help, as can the development of soil water conservation programs by increasing the organic matter content. In time we hope to look at and help Edwin to develop strategies to do just this but until such time as we find sponsorship we are left with only being able to report on issues that could be tackled and steps taken to reduce the problem. Edwin goes on to note that:

The growth of all the essential crops is adversely affected with early rains encouraging excessive aerial growth at the expense of root development. If this is followed by early drought then the growth and yield of these essential crops is adversely affected. In particular Irish potatoes, a crop of significant economic importance to the rural farmers suffers resulting in smaller tuber production. Other root crops like cocoa-yams, sweet potatoes, cassava etc suffer the same effect.

Since we cannot control the weather the solution here is to develop water conservation strategies. However as with everything we need some funding in order to make this a reality.

Well its a short sweet and simple report for our first true entry in La Blog Global. We hope though it isn’t our last and that it will as we hope develop into an interesting global news feature written and compiled by the very people it is about.