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[greenyes] Integrated Farming Systems a way of recycling organics on site, producing decentralized energy, and improving people's lives
From: Mary Appelhof

Professor George C. Chan, has given me permission to share his paper, Integrated Farming Systems through my free monthly newsletter available at the above address.

I met George last year at Picuris Pueblo, nearly 7000 feet high in the mountains about 30 miles south of Taos, New Mexico. Now retired, George was born and worked in the island state of Mauritius, having graduated as a civil engineer from the Imperial College of London. He spent five years in China learning about and working with their extensive fish farming systems. He is totally committed to designing systems that will bring to people in poverty lives that have good, nutritious food, diversity in their work, and freedom from the economic stress that reliance on fossil fuels for fertilizer, heat, and energy require. George hopes to help the people of Picuris solve their problem of a sewage lagoon near-to-capacity above the Rio Pueblo by incorporating each element in his integrated farming system. This project will be a model that can be emulated all over the world, giving hope and meaning to millions who deserve the dignity that satisfying, productive lives can give. And it will be beautifully sustainable.

George Chan's systems run human wastes and animal manure through a biodigester that produces biogas (methane) for energy. The effluent moves through shallow basins, then oxidation basis where millions of microorganisms and plankton put oxygen back into the water. Six to eight species of fish live in deep ponds, feeding off the plankton and the grasses around the edges of the ponds. The fish more fully incorporate the nutrients in the system and provide a protein food source. Mushrooms and earthworms grow on sludge substrates, producing higher quality feeds, mushrooms for the people, earthworms for livestock and fish. The nutrient-rich water is used to irrigate adjacent lands for higher quality crops. Eventually the system becomes so efficient at producing crops and products with few external inputs that not having enough wastes becomes a limiting factor. Instead of being concerned about wastes polluting the land, George says, "I want your waste." Let him tell you about Integrated Farming Systems in his own words.

The first of three installments of his paper appears in my WormEzine (Issue 2-8, September 2003) downloadable as a PDF file from my website at

You are welcome to subscribe to this free newsletter by following the WormEzine link at

Mary Appelhof

Mary Appelhof, Author of "Worms Eat My Garbage"
Flowerfield Enterprises,10332 Shaver Road,Kalamazoo, MI 49024 USA
PLEASE NOTE NEW AREA CODE: PH:269-327-0108  FAX 269-327-7009

"Changing the way the world thinks about garbage"

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