Sustain-Able 余 : ♥

….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….

A simple question about hunger, a difficult answer (Willem Van Cotthem)

I enjoy Willem Van Cotthem’s growing strategies, and even appreciate his sentiment about proverbs allegedly from my culture. But what I cannot agree with is his premise that the 3rd world requires the teaching of the Developed world to Grow their own food! That is an ethnocentric and eurocentric view that I have seen carried over from White Colonialism.

The very notion that growing is something foreign to the Developing world is so incredible ethnocentric….it is like saying that the 1st world invented the Monetary system (which it did not, by a long stretch).

This notion over-rides many simple social inequity introduced by the very Developed world that Willem speak of. It overlooks Trade embargos, deliberate introduction of Aparthied, colonial imperialism of land, deliberate manipulation of monetary systems to disadvantage under-developed notions while profession to “solve” the problems of the third world in the style of the IMF.

I take objections to this kind of Euro-centric simplification of the world food crisis. It absolves Western corporations from their role in controlling seed grains commodification and sales; it absolves Monsanto of genetic manipulation.

Quite frankly, growing things in Buckets, will not help those in Africa who has been systematically screwed by Europe’s manipulative policies and centuries of abuse! Get some perspective, mate!

To all those in Africa and the Underdeveloped world, as a Chinese person I want to say, take a look at the richness of our traditions and stop listening to 1st world Know-it-alls!

His bucket growing idea is very nice and I support that but it is not his place to “teach the world” since his own culture created the food crisis to begin with! Take a look at this Hanging Temple and the Garden attached to it!

hanging garden datong china

It is probably along the Silk Road and its tradition that China, Tibet, Bhutan, India have these hanging temples…..the Silk Road history we share is not something that is owned by one country or another (no matter what the government at any time says)…it is created by the mass efforts of all those along the Silk Roads, in our willingness to exchange ideas and cultures and trade…from Chang’an (the Southern Chinese capital) all the way to Constantinople in Turkey!Let us not pretend that we, in the far East and Middle East have anything missing in our culture that requires agencies like the top-down WTO to teach us about International trading! Images like these are a great reminder!

To Willem, it is very nice that you think positive thoughts about growing and try to show the way…but I strongly recommend that you consider what you are saying about Macro-economics before deciding that somehow the Underdeveloped world just lack the knowledge of your incredible expertise. That is nonsensical and so eurocentric, I am surprised you are prepared to write something like that! Get some real historic context to what you are saying before making comments that detracts from the good intention you wish to promote!

I like your ideas about encouraging people to grow their own food, but I call you out on your Ethnocentricity!

However, in support of your ideas, I want to share that:

We are starting a Community Urban Art Project Garden ….and going for fundings for public art, so I find some of this vertical growing very interesting, considering, we spent last Thursday, growing Cherry Trees, Lavender and Sage plants as a local community! Nice! 🙂

cherry tree


WITH ALL MY HEART / Met mijn hele hart :

A simple question about hunger, a difficult answer

Today, all over the developed world, important parts of the population are combating the economic crisis and in particular the food crisis by switching to production of fresh food. Produced at home, even in the smallest quantities, this “own fresh food” plays a considerable  role in the well-being of families, in particular of children.  Container gardening, vertical gardening, bottle towers, gardening on risers, balconies or windowsills, hydroponics, aquaponics, gardening in self-watering buckets, bags, sacks, crates, boxes, pots, guerilla gardening, edible forests, …, it are all different initiatives taken to alleviate  hunger and malnutrition problems.


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