Wednesday, December 15, 2010

4th Edition of the Vegetable Growers Bible critiques.


There were a few mistakes, needed editing and proof reading some said, in fact most said. The scarce now OUT OF PRINT EDITION succeeded in it´s purpose. In soft cover from Angelus Press in San Ignacio ( they have no desktop publishing equipment for self publishing ). One comment was that the information was solid, but the presentation not what they expected. Considering the book cost me $700 to produce about three dozen copies and most were given away FREE, I can take the complaints. It was a needed item in the development of Belize. The Agriculture Department at the time,was stuck, in a TIME WARP of colonialism thinking. There was no money to develop agriculture and our TRUST, the BELIZE DEVELOPMENT TRUST thought it a good way to break the logjam in thinking. What you would call TRANSFORMATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS today. We sent copies to organizations like the FAO of the UN. UNESCO and such, TAIWAN Embassy and to the Prime Minister. The edition was lowest cost possible. Printed on my computer, cut and paste and then done with the photo copy machine at Angelus Press for the pages and joined by a big long stapler.
The important thing from my viewpoint was to get the information out. It reviewed three years experimental work in vegetable growing in the Belize tropics. We broke ground in almost every chapter. Our development research work is by EXAMPLE. Not by talk. I´m a doer, not a useless salaried articulate chatterbox. Particularly watering and irrigation, green houses, and various seasons and ways of succeeding with different temperate zone vegetables in the tropics. The book is still in local libraries in Western Belize. Those that critiqued the quality of the book on the forums didn´t offer to donate any money to produce a better quality book. The Research Department of the Agriculture Department talked about it, but NEVER actually came across with any money. That $700 out of pocket hurt me financially. Not even counting the greenhouse materials I bought and built and worked with for those three experimental years, all alone, except for donations of seeds from volunteers mostly in the USA, from the Belize Culture Listserve. As a development project it was successful. That´s what counts!
The Agriculture Department has since got millions of dollars in development from the UN FAO and also from TAIWAN to duplicate and advance the work I did. Greenhouse materials were also sent on GRANTS. Experts have come in for changing soil, by worm farming, long plastic pipe root irrigation, water pump systems. Our goal was to break the mold of bureaucratic thinking and political policies from the CABINET of the government. It worked tremendously well. We at the Belize Development Trust call this development by embarrassment, in the bureaucratic and political sense. Just do the work and publish it on the internet, in the media and in paperback and embarass the heck out of those paid to do this, but don´t.
That particular project ended with that 4th edition. There were only about 3 dozen copies made and distributed. I printed 4 editions of discoveries as I went along. The mission goals for our Development Trust were met. Nowadays there is a Commercial glossy excellent quarterly publication called the Belize Ag Report published with the same purpose, but as a paid commercial publication. It has taken up the role of leader in things development wise for Agriculture.
Still I liked that one critique on the chat forum, that said, the information is SOLID, even if the presentation in a paperback, cheap photo copied stapled edition. What they didn´t know, was that the information at that time in Belizean history was revolutionary. At least in Belize. I think I sold four copies all told, the rest were distributed FREE, where I thought it would do the most good, to change the colonial mentality in the politics and the bureaucracy. From my viewpoint, I´m very happy and proud of how our development project worked out.
Keep watch, we are 1 1/2 years into developing a HEDGE FUND trading OPTIONS on CASH INDEX DERIVATIVES in the international markets. Thats our project right now! Been trying to get the Prime Minister to pay for two trainee apprentices for two years to learn the ropes. We are not SINGAPORE yet in Belize, but the possibilities are there. So far we are going it alone, as usual. Bucking the lethargy of government. This is stuff they should be doing, but don´t know how!

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