Paul Polak On Small-Scale Garden Solutions

I heard a great interview with Paul Polak on Fresh Air last night, relevant to home gardeners because he helps farmers in the developing world by focusing on those working "tiny" plots, who he says are the vast majority of the world's farmers.

Polak said that 90% of the world's engineers are developing farming tools for 10% of the world's farms, that modern drip irrigation supplies were designed for giant tracts of land, and that small farmers (and thus gardeners) need totally different solutions if they want their application of technology to be cost-efficient - foot-operated water pumps, cheaper hoses for low-pressure drip irrigation, and so on. This is something Wendell Berry talked about a lot in his wonderful book of essays The Gift of Good Land, but Polak seems to have more practical examples and solutions under his belt.

Polak runs a multi-million-dollar international development foundation and has a book out, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail.

You can listen to the podcast here.


paul polak said...

hi jeremiah,

i'm happy you enjoyed what you heard in the interview. thank you for encouraging people to become a part of the design revolution.

if you'd like to sign up on my email list, shoot me an email at whatworks@paulpolak.com.

paul polak