A Woman Farmer Aspires to Produce Sustainable Food in Cuba


According to experts, it is a creative response to the environmental crisis

Farmer Ivonne Moreno / Jorge Luis Baños / IPS

14ymedio biggerIPS (via 14ymedio), Havana, 6 June 2024 — Farmer Ivonne Moreno sees permaculture, in addition to a philosophy of life, as a sustainable model to produce food, reduce the environmental footprint and project sustainable communities in urban and rural areas of Cuba. These and other principles have guided the planting of dozens of species of fruit trees, vegetables, tubers, aromatic and medicinal plants, in addition to shrubs and woody trees on her La Luisa farm, located in El Cotorro, one of the 15 municipalities that make up the Cuban capital.

Her food forest, as she calls it, provides fruits, seeds, flowers, roots, leaves, condiments, medicinal products and firewood, among other inputs, in addition to serving as a habitat for birds, insects and other animal species that enrich the land and enhance biodiversity.

“When I hear about an endangered fruit, I look for its seed and sow it. I don’t remove the dead leaves in order to preserve the microorganisms in the soil. I also use organic fertilizers from the manure that they throw away in a nearby dairy, along with shells and other waste,” Moreno explained to IPS during a visit to her farm.

Farmer Ivonne Moreno sees permaculture, in addition to a philosophy of life, as a sustainable model for producing food

However, “we have not been able to fully implement the food forest, because there are also animals that must run loose and whose food cannot compete with that of people. You have to design it properly,” said the 51-year-old farmer, married and the mother of two daughters.

Moreno’s connection with La Luisa began from childhood when she spent her holidays on the 0.7-hectare farm acquired by her great-great-grandfather in 1878.

After residing in a populous area of the capital, in 2010 she decided to settle definitively in those lands where “the connection with nature is direct.”

And, without knowing it, “I began to do permaculture. I assumed it as an ideology of life, with an awareness of taking care of the environment and generating as little waste as possible.”

It is, she added, “a way of living whether you are on a plot in the countryside or in an apartment in the city.”

Permaculture is a concept that has evolved, from “permanent agriculture” in its beginnings, to a more contemporary one related to “permaculture.”

As a design tool, with principles, practices and attitudes, it conceives of sustainable human settlements

As a design tool, with principles, practices and attitudes, it conceives of sustainable human settlements in which people coexist harmoniously with other animal and plant species, and the environmental impact is mitigated.

The principle of sustainable agriculture can also be applied to the construction of ecological housing, as well as to a greater use of natural resources and clean energy sources. It has political, economic and social connotations.

According to experts, permaculture is a creative response to the environmental crisis, in a world where energy availability and resources become

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