Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Inter-cropping


Inter-cropping
Originally uploaded by how3ird.

More photos on Flickr - this one is dear to me not for the green or the beauty or the perspective, but for a more selfish reason. My second year in the Peace Corps, 1976-77, my job was to make slide-tape shows to teach rubber tree smallholders (owners of small plantations) how to grow other crops between the rows of juvenile rubber trees while they waited out the 7 years for the rubber trees to start to produce.

More than that, Malaysia had just developed a new strain which would produce 10 times as much as what was currently being harvested. The Thai government was giving away free seedlings to any farmer who would commit to digging up 1/8 of his plantation per year, and re-plant their entire holding with the new strain over an 8-year period. So they would have some cash coming in, we were teaching them inter-cropping, planting other crops in the spaces between the trees. Rubber trees have the be grown far apart so their big canopies don't collide when they are mature.

We would go to provincial fairs and play the slide shows for anyone who was interested. My boss was an advertising genius - we set up a TV and a videotape player and started our presentation by playing the 15-round Ali heavyweight fight. That would gather a crowd - Thais are enormous boxing fans - and at the end of each round we would play a couple of minutes of the slide show.

I guess it worked, because 30 years later, here's a scene which could have been right out of my photo set.

Tags: photography, thailand
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