In the 21st century there are several individuals in communities and globally that struggle to have a hot meal every day. In a community, financial challenges may allow individuals not to have a meal, while on a global basis environmental issues such as deforestation, desertification, lack of water and water pollution may also be a challenge for the citizens of a country in growing crops for food. Lack of food can result in malnutrition that can finally lead to death. It is said "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".
When landing in a foreign place, the ideal choice is to find a source of food first which will sustain my family. Because I landed in Andraharo, Antananarivo, Madagascar which is a tropical rain forest, there are a variety of different fruits and vegetables. The specific coordinates that I landed in was -18.879190 and 47.507905.
Obviously, I would not be the only person on that island. More than half the population in Madagascar are Malagasy, and those people are divided into twenty different ethnic groups. One major one is called Merina, and they aren't located in just one area of the island. Malagasy is also a language which is widely spoken in Madagascar. The ethnic groups there mostly Christians or they practice their traditional religions. A major crop the groups grow is rice.
Growing crops in the actual forest itself is difficult especially in Madagascar. The soil is very low in nutrients and minerals. It's also very acidic which is not ideal when trying to grow a crop. Most of the nutrients are actually in the plants itself, so when they die and decompose, the nutrients get back in the soil. The problem with that is the rain forest in Madagascar is currently facing deforestation. If the nutrients in the trees do not get returned back in the soil, then over time, the soil quality will worsen. When the soil is too poor, my crops would not be able to grow.
Mangoes are a crop that would be good to sustain me. They have twenty different kinds of vitamins and minerals. Eating mangoes would also boost your overall energy. Since I am in the rain forest, the temperatures can get quite high, but mangoes can help against the heat. The energy from the sun can burn out your muscles and can possibly harm your kidneys during that process. During the time I am in the rain forest, this fruit would also keep my immune system well intact. Mangoes would best be harvested during the times of December through April. Some difficulties of growing mangoes is that since there is so much wildlife in the rain forest, there is risk of the crop getting eaten by the animals there. Since it's sweet, insects would be attracted to them which makes it even harder for the mango to fully grow to be harvested.
Corn has many benefits to my health. It is high in fiber which is why it has digestive benefits. Once eaten, the corn can work together with the helpful bacteria by strengthening the growth of them. Corn contains a variety of different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Eating corn has the ability to boost the health of my heart which is another good reason why I should grow corn. It is also high in calories which helps to fill me up and to prevent myself from starving more quickly. They are available to harvest from September to November. Planting corn does have some hardships. They do grow above ground which makes it difficult because they need high maintenance to ensure their leaves don't eaten which is a problem in the rain forest since rain forests have such a diverse environment of organisms. Getting the seeds from the corn itself is also difficult. The reason why is because you actually eat the seeds during the process of eating it, so getting the seeds from the corn to grow more would be a challenge.
Radishes would be the final crop that I would grow. The first reason why I would grow radishes is because it's a good detoxifier. It is able to get rid of all the toxins and waste in my body as well as helping decontaminate my blood. It also has the ability to maintain moisture levels in my skin as well. Eating radishes weekly helps improve my blood circulation, boost metabolism, and gives me more potassium. These would be in season during June, July, and August. Because the crops do grow in different times of the year, I'm able to have food year-long. The timing of growing and harvesting the crops is a beneficial part in determine which crop would be the best to harvest. You have to harvest radishes at the right time because if you leave them in the soil for too long, they start to become woody. Sometimes the actual root of the plant don't form properly, and they need to be harvested right away to avoid cracking.
We started the math portion of my project by measuring the planters outside my school. During the process of measuring them, I filled out a packet which were all the measurements of the planters. After, we got prices of seeds, woods, nails, and soil which is needed is build a garden. We were given a scenario that we had to plant a 24 by 24 foot planter with four different types of crops. We needed to find the unit prices of everything and calculate those prices by the amount we needed to build the new planter. This showed us the process of actually setting up a planter in order to start growing crops.
For the science portion of my project, I grew a radish under blue light. The reason why we chose a colored light instead of natural sunlight was because we wanted to see if the light color affects the rate of photosynthesis. Some challenges were that I actually had to research how to effectively grow radishes. I had to make sure to I didn't over water or under water the radish. Honestly, growing just one radish was difficult. I've never had any gardening background, so this was a big learning process. The first mistake I made was that I didn't water the seed enough, so it sprouted about two weeks later than it was supposed to. Also, many groups over watered their radish causing the plant's vacuole to swell up and burst. This can be connected to world wide situations because many places don't place their plants under any cover. Whenever it rains, their plants could become over watered especially in very tropical climates where there's constant rain and water. If you live in a climate that doesn't get enough water like the desert, then your plant will dry out and slowly die.
During our experiment with the different lights, I found out that the color affects the growth drastically. For example, the radishes that grew under green light, all wilted and died. Plants absorb the colors of different of light except for green which is why plants appear green to us. Because it reflects green light, the radishes weren't able to take in the actual light, so they couldn't go through photosynthesis. On the other hand, a group with white light had the best results. The radish seemed to take in the white light the most, so out of all the plants, those grew the most and developed the most.
After doing this experiment, I found some effective ways to increase the plant growth. One extremely important factor is the amount of water. More than 50% of the radishes that grew got over watered, and they all started to wilt and die. Water is really crucial to ensure the successful growth of the plant. The amount of time of the plant spent under light was also another factor as well. One group of radishes were under white light for 24 hours. Those all died. Going through photosynthesis takes up energy, and at some point, they need a break. Those are two main factors that will help increase of plant growth.
Photosynthesis is the most important process that plants go through. Without it, plants wouldn't be able to create energy to create food. During the process of photosynthesis, glucose is created. That then goes to the mitochondria which is the cell organelle that creates ATP energy. Once that kind of energy is created, the plant can use it to perform its daily activities.
The whole point of doing this process was to demonstrate how to solve food challenges. Because I was given the scenario of landing in Madagascar, I came up with ideas to solve any food shortage or problems in that specific area. Since Madagascar is an island and a rain forest, their economy is good. They are surrounded by water making it easy to trade. They also have many resources due their biome. They could take some money to improve and build better farming habits to be able to grow food quickly and efficiently.
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