Today is an episode of TSP Rewind, commercial free versions of past podcast episodes.
Today’s episode was originally Episode-711- Lessons from The Man Who Stopped the Desert and was originally and was first published on July, 27th, 2011.
I have to point out that I had forgotten about doing this episode all the way back in 2011, it has after all been about 7 years. Recently though someone posted information about Yacouba’s work to the RegenAg group on facebook.
I thought about how many more people listen to TSP today than did back in 2011 and when the opportunity for a rewind came up, I decided it was past time to revisit this topic.
Also since this documentary first came out there is a ton more documentation on Zai farming, specs, depths, results, etc. Check the links below as I have added several great PDF documents on this technique.
The following are the original show notes from that episode…
Yacouba Sawadogo, can not write, he was never classically educated, he received no help from any government programs but this one man has done more for the people in the ‘Sahel’ region of Africa than any other person or group of people combined.
How? In some real ways, simply by digging holes! He uses a method of growing called a zai.
Soil is essential to life on earth. But much of the world’s soil has become degraded and useless. As the global demand for food grows, millions of pounds and the latest technological advances have been invested in attempts to improve soil quality.
Leading scientists and agriculturalists from around the world strive against growing world hunger to find the means to bring exhausted soils back into production. They have had limited success in some areas and outright failures in others.
Yet it seems that a peasant farmer from one of the poorest countries on earth has finally achieved what these experts dreamt of; halting the desert.
Join me today as we discuss…
- Who is Yacouba Sawadogo
- Some remarkable similarities he has to Bill Mollison
- Why problems we think are unique to us are not
- Resistance to new ideas
- Hostility when they begin to work
- The trials of “imminent domain”
- Food is our greatest need
- The Zai and how it works
- 5000 – 10000 holes per acre
- Incorporate organic matter – compost – manure
- Create low rock walls on contour
- Prep in the dry season
- Grow crops but grow forest as well
- Utilizes termites
- Ways I think it can be improved
- Incorporate equipment
- Practice more poly culture
- Increase depth
- Utilize mulch
- Incorporate true swales
- Great wisdom about survival From Yacoba
- Noting makes people nasty faster than insecurity
- You can’t preserve your wealth by running away
- We must solve the food problem first
- If you cut 10 trees a day and plant none in a year you are doomed
- Leaders are shaped by circumstance and choice
- Food sovereignty saves societies
Additional Resources for Today’s Show
- Members Support Brigade
- Join Our Forum
- The Man Who Stopped the Desert from 1080 Films
- 12 Permaculture Principals – How many do you seen in Yacouba’s work
- Some Info on Zai farming
- More on Zai Farming
- PDF with Size Specs on Zais
- Detailed PDF with Tons on Zai Farming
- Another VERY Detailed PDF on Zai Farming
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