Food Security – Temperate Foods in the Tropics – Encore

So we want our own bread baskets to better Feed Ourselves here in the Caribbean.

This is normal and natural! According to this Bible scripture …

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. – The Bible – Genesis 1:28 KJV

… having dominion over the earth should mean being able to employ the arts and sciences of agriculture to harvest the food that we need, want and deserve.

While this is true, we still must contend with the reality of the seasons and weather. Or we do?

If it doesn’t rain, we can still water our crops through irrigation and plumbing.
If it is too cold, we can warm up the crops – greenhouses – to guarantee a warmer temperature.

Surely, if its too warm, then we can cool our crops to dictate a colder climate.

Surely?! This reflects “dominion” over the earth.

This is the continuation of the teaching series for December 2019, from the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean. This is entry 2 of 5 in this series considering Food Security and Bread Baskets for the Caribbean. Again, the goal here is not to just list the problems, but rather to focus on solutions for a better Food Supply for our region. The full catalog of this series is as follows:

  1. Food Security – Bread Baskets on Land and Sea
  2. Food Security – Temperate Foods in the Tropics
  3. Food Security – Opportunity: 1 County in Iowa raises all the Beef for a Cruise Line
  4. Food Security – FTAA: A Lesson in History
  5. Food Security – Big Chicken

This talk of bread baskets reminds us of the thought and thesis presented in a previous blog-commentary on February 8, 2017, from the movement behind this book Go Lean book. It is only apropos to Encore that previous submission here-now:

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Go Lean Commentary – Science of Sustenance – Temperate Foods

The “bread basket” of _________ …

CU Blog - Science of Sustenance - Temperate Foods - Photo 0You can fill in the blanks with difbferent regions around the world:

  • “Central Valley”, the bread basket of California
  • “Kansas”, the bread basket of America
  • “Alberta”, the bread basket of Canada
  • “Ukraine”, the bread basket of Eastern Europe

So who or where is the bread basket of the Caribbean?

Do we have an answer? Do we have a bread basket? Do we even have an organized region so as to collaborate on the responsibility of feeding our people?

No, No, and No!

This commentary is important for the Caribbean to contemplate. Every human in every land must arrange for the delivery of basic needs – “we gotta eat” and so food supply is paramount. Scientific developments have always been a major consideration for food supply, ever since the days of hunting-and gathering. Modern society is built on the premise that we would employ scientific best practices to harvest our food, or trade with people who employ these best practices.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean declares “enough already” with the trade; it is time to produce our own.

This was the original motivation for the publishing of this Go Lean book: to optimize the 30 Caribbean member-states into a Single Market so that we can be structured to do better in providing our basic needs. That structure would be the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The opening pages of the book feature this quotation (Page 3):

The CU should better provide for the region’s basic needs (food, clothing, energy and shelter), and then be in position to help supply the rest of the world. Previous Caribbean societies lived off the land and the sea; but today, the region depends extensively on imports, even acquiring large quantities of seafood, despite the 1,063,000 square miles of  the Caribbean Sea.

The CU Trade Federation is a technocracy, empowered to reboot the economic engines of the member-states, by fostering new industries (new “purse”) across the entire region and deploying solutions to better exploit the opportunities of the global trade market.

The Caribbean is in crisis for their dysfunctions in  delivering their own basic needs. This is the focus of this commentary; it is 2 of 4 in a series on the modern advances in science for delivering basic needs: energy, food, clothing and shelter. It is possible to deliver all these basic needs without science. But for our modern world, the advances of science make a positive impact on daily life. So the full series for our consideration follows this pattern:

  1.    Science of Sustenance: Energy
  2.    Science of Sustenance: Food
  3.    Science of Sustenance: Clothing
  4.    Science of Sustenance: Shelter

The book Go Lean…Caribbean asserts that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. We must use our inadequate disposition to motivate stakeholders to forge change on our society; to implement the food supply solutions to do better at facilitating our own needs.

We are in the tropics…

… but science and technology allows us to deliver agricultural solutions for temperate produce (fruit and vegetables). Think:

  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Greens (Mustard, Collard, Kale, etc.)

Temperate produce need cooler temperatures to thrive. So the key is utilization of greenhouses, climate-controlled greenhouses. These allow for consistent temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees lower than the outside atmosphere. See a reference article on this subject here:

ARTICLE Grower 101: Using Evaporative Cooling, Part I
By John W. Bartok, Jr.
Find out what to use to keep your greenhouse ventilated and cool in the hot, humid summer.

On a bright, sunny summer day, a 30- x 100-foot greenhouse will gather about 32 million British Thermal Units (Btus) of heat. This is equivalent to burning 32 gallons of fuel oil or 320 therms of natural gas. If the greenhouse is full of plants, about one-half of this heat is used for transpiration and evaporation. The remainder of the cooling has to be conducted through ventilation. If the greenhouse is empty and closed, the temperature can exceed 150° F.

Understanding the basics
Shade on the outside of the greenhouse will keep some of the heat out. Shade on the inside, if it contains aluminum foil, will reflect some of the heat back out. Ventilation, either natural or fan, will remove a considerable amount of the heat that is collected. Still, on summer days, the temperature may exceed the desired level that promotes good plant growth by 10-20ºF. Excessive temperature results in delayed flowering and internode stretching. Evaporative cooling may be the best choice under these conditions.

Evaporative cooling, which uses the heat in the air to evaporate water from leaves and other wetted surfaces, can cool the greenhouse to 10-20° F below outside temperature. It takes one Btu of heat to raise the temperature of one pound of water 1° F, but it takes 1,060 Btus of heat to change the same amount of water to a vapor.

With an evaporated cooling system, humid air containing the heat that it picked up within the greenhouse is exhausted out through the vents or fans, and cooler, drier air is brought in. Evaporative cooling works best when the humidity of the outside air is low. For example, in Reno, Nev., the average summer dry bulb temperature is 96º F and the wet bulb is 61ºF. With an evaporative cooler having an efficiency of 80 percent, the temperature would be cooled to about 68° F. These conditions are most common in the dry Southwest, but even in the more humid sections of the United States, significant evaporative cooling can occur most days in the summer. In humid New Orleans, where the average summer dry bulb temperature is 93° F and the wet bulb is 78° F, the cooled air would be about 81° F, acceptable for the production of most plants.

Fan and pad system
Several evaporative cooling systems work well in commercial greenhouses. The most common is the fan and pad system. It contains a cellulose pad, overhead water supply pipe, gutter to collect excess water, a sump tank, pump, piping and control.

The 4- or 6-inch-thick pad is treated with anti-rot salts and stiffening and wetting agents. Pads are normally installed continuously along the side or end of the wall opposite the fans. The amount of pad area needed is calcuis the utillated by multiplying the floor area by 8 feet and dividing by 250 for a 4-inch pad or 400 for a 6-inch pad. For example, a 30- x 100-foot greenhouse with a 4-inch pad would require 96 sq. ft. of pads (30 x 100 x 8÷ 250 = 96 sq. ft.)

The overhead water supply pipe should distribute the water so the pad is wet uniformly. The minimum water flow rate is 0.5 gpm per sq. ft. for a 4-inch pad and 0.8 gpm per sq. ft. for a 6-inch pad.

Excess water is collected below the pad in a gutter and piped to a sump tank. Tank capacity needs to be 0.8 gallon per sq. ft. of pad for 4-inch pads and 1.0 gallon per sq. ft. for 6-inch pads. Water returning to the sump should be filtered to remove any debris. A make-up water supply and float valve keep the water level constant. In areas having water with a high mineral content, it is advisable to bleed 3-5 percent of the water to minimize salt buildup. Algae growth in the re-circulated water can be controlled with abiocide.

Modular pad systems of 5 and 6 feet are now available. These are self-contained and come completely assembled and ready to bolt to the wall. Installation time is reduced considerably. Only water and electrical connections have to be attached.

Next month, find out about swamp coolers, mist and fog systems and fan-generated fog and how they can work for you.

Source: Posted March 2003 from trade journal Greenhouse Product News; retrieved February 8, 2017 from: http://www.gpnmag.com/article/grower-101-using-evaporative-cooling-part-i/

CU Blog - Science of Sustenance - Temperate Foods - Photo 2

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VIDEO # 1 Best Thermal Cooled Greenhouse – https://youtu.be/HWXJ1ukEXa0

His Thermal Cooled Greenhouse in 1985 ran for 7 years, cooled itself day and night with 3 small Aquarium pumps, no fans or blowers; 14′ X 36′ ran on pennies a day – this worked!!! Now building a larger 24′ X 54′ Thermal Cooled Greenhouse. This works DAY OR NIGHT. Watch VIDEO !!!

  • Category – Science & Technology
  • License – Standard YouTube License

The science of greenhouses allows for temperate foods (fruit and vegetables) to be grown in a tropical zone – cold adds sweetness. This is what we want, what we need to fulfill our own basic needs. Other communities are doing this and we can as well. We have the role model of countries with colder climates supplying tropical fruit. Surely the reverse can be deployed as well, with strategic and tactical greenhouses.

Greenhouses allow for greater control over the growing environment of plants. Depending upon the technical specification of a greenhouse, key factors which may be controlled include temperature, levels of light and shade, irrigation, fertilizer application, and atmospheric humidity. Greenhouses may be used to overcome shortcomings in the growing qualities of a piece of land, such as a short growing season or poor light levels, and they can thereby improve food production in marginal environments. Greenhouses in hot, dry climates used specifically to provide shade are sometimes called “shadehouses”.[42][43]

As they may enable certain crops to be grown throughout the year, greenhouses are increasingly important in the food supply of high-latitude countries. One of the largest complexes in the world is in Almería, Andalucía, Spain, where greenhouses cover almost 49,000 acres.
Source:
Retrieved February 8, 2017 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse
CU Blog - Science of Sustenance - Temperate Foods - Photo 3

The Caribbean is in crisis … we are not able to feed ourselves from the current food supply systems. We therefore have to expend foreign reserves to acquire food from foreign locations. This applies to food that, with the proper empowerments, can be grown locally in the Caribbean region.

This Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The goal is that the CU would adopt these food supply best practices to better delivery this basic need for the region. In fact, the prime directives of the CU are described as:

  • Optimize the economic engines – including food supply solutions – to elevate the regional economy to grow to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establish a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean roadmap calls for the immediate adoption of best practices in food supply science (agriculture) and infrastructure. We do not have to re-invent the wheel in this quest; other communities are doing it already. Consider the photos here of giant greenhouses in The Netherlands:

CU Blog - Science of Sustenance - Temperate Foods - Photo 1

CU Blog - Science of Sustenance - Temperate Foods - Photo 1d

CU Blog - Science of Sustenance - Temperate Foods - Photo 1c

CU Blog - Science of Sustenance - Temperate Foods - Photo 1b

This vision of temperature controlled greenhouses in the Caribbean assumes a supply of energy for cooling and ventilation. See more here on ventilation:

Ventilation is one of the most important components in a successful greenhouse, specially in hot and humid tropical climate condition.[18] If there is no proper ventilation, greenhouses and their growing plants can become prone to problems. The main purposes of ventilation are to regulate the temperature, humidity and vapor pressure deficit [19] to the optimal level, and to ensure movement of air and thus prevent build-up of plant pathogens (such as Botrytis cinerea) that prefer still air conditions. Ventilation also ensures a supply of fresh air for photosynthesis and plant respiration, and may enable important pollinators to access the greenhouse crop.

Ventilation can be achieved via use of vents – often controlled automatically via a computer – and recirculation fans.
Source: Retrieved February 8, 2017 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse

All in all, the Go Lean book declares that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. This siren call is for the establishment of a regional technocracy to facilitate the delivery of the region’s basic needs.  According to the foregoing articles/references, we can grow temperate foods in the tropical zone without exhausting foreign currency.

The vision here of climate-controlled greenhouses requires heavy-lifting on the part of Caribbean stakeholders (governments and business communities). We need this heavy-lifting. A lot is at stake: our ability to feed our populations. The Go Lean roadmap calls for a separation-of-powers between CU federal agencies and the member-state governments. The CU presents Cabinet departments for Agriculture, Fisheries and Health (Food/Nutrition). These departments will have to collaborate with parallel departments at the member-state level.

This was the original motivation of the Go Lean roadmap, an interdependence of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean to offset the effects of globalization. This was pronounced early in the book in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14), with this statement:

xxx. Whereas the effects of globalization can be felt in every aspect of Caribbean life, from the acquisition of food and clothing, to the ubiquity of ICT, the region cannot only consume, it is imperative that our lands also produce and add to the international community, even if doing so requires some sacrifice and subsidy.

The roadmap also calls for the installations of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and Self-Governing Entities (SGE) that operate in controlled bordered territories like campuses, industrial parks, research labs and industrial plants. These can be a target for the climate-controlled greenhouses.

The Go Lean book declares that we must adopt a community ethos, the appropriate attitude/spirit to forge change in our region; then details the executions of the following strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to better impact the region’s preparation for food resources. See this sample here:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices / Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 24
Community Ethos – Non-Government Organizations Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederating 30 Member-States into a Single Market Page 45
Strategy – Vision – Foster Local Economic Engines Food, Clothing & Shelter Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Prepare for Natural Disasters Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Exploit the Benefits and Opportunities of Globalization Page 46
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Separation of Powers – Food & Nutritional Administration Page 87
Separation of Powers – Agriculture and Fisheries Department Page 88
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Start-up Benefits from the EEZ Page 104
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities Page 105
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Food Page 162
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Natural Disasters Page 184
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Fisheries Page 210
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Rural Living – Agricultural eco-systems Page 235

There are a lot of models of agricultural and infrastructural delivery that the Caribbean can learn from foreign shores. Previous Go Lean blog-commentaries have cited these models, samples and examples:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8982 GraceKennedy: A Caribbean Transnational tackles Food Supply
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6867 How to address high consumer prices
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6819 Supplying Foods for ‘Western’ Diets – We can do better!
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6016 Hotter than July – An Appeal for Cooperative Refrigeration
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5098 Forging Change in Society Through Food
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3594 Lessons Learned from Queen Conch – A Caribbean Food
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2276 Climate Change May Affect Food Supply Within a Decade

Who or where will be the bread basket of the Caribbean? With the empowerments in this commentary, it could be all 30 member-states.

Change has come to the world of agricultural systems and sciences and change must come to the Caribbean region; we must be able to feed ourselves. We need to convene, collaborate and cooperate to satisfy our most basic needs. Yes, we can …

… come together to make the Caribbean a better homeland to live, work and play.

The people and institutions of the region are hereby urged to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap, to embrace the empowerments to reboot and turn-around our region. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

 

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