Hello faithful readers! I am writing today to ask for your help on a project that's very important to me. As I've written about in past posts, I work in a project devoted to researching ancient crops used by the Muisca of central Colombia before the Spanish arrived, and still used today in our zone. One of these crops is achira (Canna indica). It is native to the Andes, widely used for cellophane noodles in Vietnam, and has the potential to at once give the farmer a commercial product (starch flour extracted from the rhizomes), a source of home-produced food for household subsistence (the rhizome, cleaned and cooked whole), and a source of animal feed (the leaves and the waste products of starch processing), all while requiring very little care and few if any purchased chemical inputs to grow. In short, it's got a lot of potential for use in a diversified agroecological system, but few researchers have done serious work on the crop. That lack of basic agronomic knowledge is part of what we hope to address with our project.
Our experiment is nearing its end, and we will soon proceed to final collection and analysis of data. But some of the data we mean to collect requires expensive laboratory tests to analyze the nutritional value of fresh rhizomes and extracted starch flour, and we need help to finance these tests. Please check out the link below to learn more about the project, and to donate whatever you can to get us down this home stretch.