"...they [small farmers] are experimental and adaptive - they cannot afford not to be. they need, it is now realized, not messages but methods, not precepts but principles, not a package of practices but a basket of choice, not a fixed menu - table d'hote, but a choice - a la carte, not instruction on what to adopt, but ideas about what to try with support for their own trials and experimentation"
"what we are looking for are local fertilizers that farmers could go down the road and mine with their pick and shovel"
"no technology that treats the farmer as the last link in a hierachically oriented, expert-dominated chain of transmitted wisdom has a chance of succeeding. the extension service model of bringing the word from the smart scientist to the yokel is outmoded and should be scrapped."
"the rich and diverse stock of ethnoveterinary knowledge is an invaluable resource. ethnoveterinary medicine incorporates many effective home remedies and techniques; because these are culturally adapted, locally available , and often cheaper that comparable western methods, development planners and practitioners should consider them as important alternatives to western technologies."
"what were once considered separate issues- cultural survival, agricultural stability and diversity, and wildlands preservation- now seem to be tightly intertwined. let us keep these three strands wrapped together in a rope that we can climb to rise above the currents of extinction. let us weave that rope into nets by which we can rescue the cultural, natural, and agricultural resources that are threatened by the floods below."
"despite the artistice pretensions, sophistication and many accomplishments of humankind, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsiol and the fact that it rains."
"sustainable agriculture has emerged as a key issue of farming systems research and development, and the concept of sustainability includes the notion of conservation of natural resources. farming practices tend to degrade the natural resource base and the challenge for modern agriculture is to minimize this degradation while increasing agricultural productionl. this cahnllenge, in the milieu of the semi-arid tropics of developing countries, has a different dimension, as here one is dealing with low-input technology and resource-poor farmers, working in an unpredictable agroclimate and on a highly variable and low quality resource base."
On the dry island of Hierro in the Canary Islands, there is a legend of the rain tree: a giant 'Til' tree (Ocotea foetens), "...the leaves of which condensed the mountain mists and caused water to drip into two large cisterns which were placed beneath. the tree was destroyed in a storm in 1612 a.d. but the site is known, and the remnants of the cistern preserved...[this one tree] distilled sufficient water from the sea mists to meet the needs of all the inhabitants."