Iowa – the Land of Farm, Heirloom Seeds and Hope for Food Security

We are not only growing plants, but we also grow good health for people too“, said Scott at Grow Johnson County

———————–I am still hearing the voice of the sentence above—————————–

It is undeniable the fact that we cannot trigger the time back, but all moments in Dubuque have become unforgettable experience. The third week has gone, this mean we will be here only one more week. Anyway, in week three, I have been kept learning in the subject area of environmental sustainability with mainly focusing on farming, food security and compost.

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With respect to farmland, I was able to gain more knowledge about farming in the Northern USA with restrictions related to weather and seasons here that made me more desirable because it is quite different from farming in my nation in the tropical zone. I saw high intention of farms’ owners in carefully carrying on growing their plants in various processes through the use of different types of machine in the farm. and they have to work to compete with the seasonal time. Thus, I gained more knowledge and approaches how to start planting, looking after and harvesting. More importantly, they have made more efforts to avoid using agrochemicals. This means they are aware of not only environmentally friendly, but sustainable food chains.62288

As for food security, I got an opportunity to visit Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, North-East Iowa. It is a non-profit agency to built a movement, not a seed company. Hence, they have been growing, saving, and sharing heirloom seeds since 1975. It seems to be only one organisation in the US in conserving valuable and rare seeds. This can reflect that this organisation give importance to fight the threats to biodiversity seriously. They showed a variety of activities in operating their tasks such as planting, storing seeds and a market center. I do appreciate their work very much because they maintain ”a collection of more than 20,000 heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable, herb, and plant varieties, including over 1,000 varieties of heritage apple trees”. This can obviously indicate how important food security is and how can they give a good answer to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In my view, it is a good role model in terms of sustainability to be ready to cope with climate change.

 

In terms of compost, this landfill is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there is a diverse of activities in managing a ton of waste in any kinds. In this point, I was stunned with the large compost portion that was operated by using the machine to differentiate the small and big compost size. The big one was sent to the process to make small again. This compost will be sold for a cultivation sector because it is appropriate for growing plants. More specifically, there is an effective system to monitor and evaluate the landfill to ensure that there is no residual substance to be harmful to the environment. It is confident that compost used in the farm is safe for plants, vegetable and people health.62301

This week passed by fast, but I had more knowledge about farming, conserving plants and compost for using in planting. Although the time is almost running out, I still keep studying and acquiring new knowledge as much as I can do.

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Sarawut Peakhunthod,

Environmental Official, Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand

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