OK, enough riddles. I'm no longer on the BSPP board (left some time ago, in fact) so I think it's time for someone to (not) take over. There were no eager hands when last it was suggested that someone blog for BSPP. I'll gently fade out over the next month or so since this is the first time I've officially mentioned stepping down.
In fact I'm not going to step down. Just step over. I've started another blog which I'm going to share with colleagues and you can see the first posts here. Jeff Bentley has written a lateral account of Machu Pichu with a great line about tourists not going there to see agriculture but it's included anyway. I liked the idea: wander around with your eyes and senses tuned to something else. You never know, you might become intrigued by something and discover ... agriculture! The world's oldest and probably under- and dis-regarded 'culture'. OK, that's maybe a bit strong, but I'm a BIG fan of the whys and wherefores of growing plants.
It first started with Crops and Man by Jack Harlan. Then I read The Living Fields before reminding myself that it really all started with the inestimable and wonderful Ernest Charles Large. Yes, read The Advance of the Fungi. I've suggested it several times and I'm doing it again. Start getting to grips with diseases and crops and people.
And while you're pondering this plea, have a look at some videos. There are now 57 on the globalplantclinic site and few more on ericboa. Sierra Leone features in the latest batch, including cocoa growers, the magnificent Shamie and Braima, a farmer with strangely eroded teeth in Bo. What has he been eating? Learn about Georgian plant clinics in Matviska, Tsnori. Sam Ajanga explains to a surprised farmer that he can eat maize smut. OK, he's in Kenya, not Mexico, where it's more usual practice. Kililil Self Help and Jagopen Waste MAnagement are starting clinics near Kitale and an exciting pilot clinic at Kamakuywa. Beware - this place has at least three different spellings.
Lastly, listen to the newly trained plant doctors from Kitale and the commitments they express to running clinics. This is part of the 'research' we do - finding ways to enable change that doesn't depend on having a project. Lastly, lastly, many congratulations to Solveig and Paula for having a paper on quality control accepted by the IJAS. Big step forward.