Plane Crash in Timbuktu, Mali By: Boris Leonau

The Essential Question: How can we as CMS students demonstrate how to solve food challenges in our local and global communities?

Learning Target: I can demonstrate how to solve food challenges in our local and global communities through subsistence farming.

Overview: 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”

The Story: Imagine, you are flying to Africa with your family and friends, then BOOM! Your plane crashes on the coordinates of 16.766589 North Latitude and -3.002561 West Longitude a.k.a Timbuktu, Mali into the Sahara desert. Thankfully, you and your family are alive, but not for long if you don't start planting crops to survive.

You have landed in Timbuktu, Mali. You can access the Niger River for water, to help you drink and water your plants.
The hottest and biggest desert in the world. You have landed here and must find a way to survive.
In this area, native people mostly grow crops such as rice, millet, sorghum and maize.
However, since you crash landed here, you will have to make with other crops. Some helpful plants that you may find that you can eat or plant are:
Thyme. Thyme is a herb that grows in areas of North Africa, mostly Egypt, but has also spread to areas such as Mali. Thyme can be used as a type of medicine, ranging from thyme oils to compounds. It can heal small cuts and wounds. Thyme may also be used as food, if you chew and suck on it, but don;t swallow it, it will act like food. It retaining its flavor and nutritional value in any climate. This herb is really good for your situation, because it prefers to grow in sandy and dry environments that don't have water (a.k.a the Sahara Desert) and it grows fully in the matter of 14 to 28 days. It is available year round and can participate in crop rotation, as it is a herb. The only hardship that you may face is desertification. The hot temperature might kill the seed, so you will need to find a way to the cool the seed down without watering it too much, because it doesn't like water. Planting the seed in shade would be a good idea.
Eggplants. Eggplants are a species of nightshade that are grown as edible fruit. They grow in areas of North Africa, especially Egypt, but have also spread to Mali. They are good plants to be grown in the desert because they love high temperatures and can grow in desert- like ground. This plant is great for eating, because it has lots nutritional value, having 10% fiber and high percentages of other vitamins. The eggplants grow in the quick span of 16 to 24 weeks and are harvested in the summer. These crops can participate in crop rotation, because it is a part of a different family than the others. The hardship that you face is water scarcity, because eggplants need water.
You might think that crop rotation is a good idea, but it's not. Since the soil is always dusty and sandy, not retaining any nutrients. Also, if you think that it will be easy getting water from the Niger River, then you're wrong. The Niger River is polluted by oil industries and factories, which will cause your crops to die. So, will have to face the hardship of water pollution and water scarcity with your plants.
Figs. Figs are another plant that is good for your plane crash. Figs are sweet and chewy fruit that grow off of a large shrubs or small trees. Different varieties of figs can be found all throughout the world, and of course there is a variety that grows throughout Africa and of course, Mali. Figs are fruits that prefer lots of sunlight and well drained soil, so this would be perfect for your situation. They are, however, lengthy to grow, figs take about 4 to 5 years to grow fully. So, this will be a crop you will need to grow for a while. Figs are a great source of food because they keep a very good nutritional value, obtaining 6% of fiber value, and many other nutrients, such as potassium. This crop can be available all year, but is mostly harvested during June and late summer. If you find a way to implement Crop Rotation, then this crop will not be able to work. It takes a lot longer than your other crops to grow and it is the same fruit family as the eggplant. This will cause problems. You could try to implement crop rotation, but you will most likely bad results. The hardship that you may face with this crop, is desertification or deforestation, because both of those take away the nutritional value of the soil, your figs might not be healthy enough and die, because figs require a lot of nutrition. You will have to make sure to plant them in a nutritional area.
If you are in Timbuktu, Mali, you might come across some people of different ethnic groups. Those could be:
Arabs. Arabs are mostly Islamic believing people that try to spread Islam. They can be spread into Shia Muslims or Sunni Muslims. Shias believe that the interpretation of islamic teaching should only come from relatives or ancestors of Mohamed. Sunnis, however, believe that the muslim community can pick anyone to be their leader. They speak Arabic and live pretty much all over the world.
The Songhai. The Songhai are sedentary, farmers and fishermen. Their original capital was Kukya, on the Niger river. They were the original founders of the Songhai Empire. The Songhai people brought lots of prosperity and reputation to the black people of their time. They spread Islam in West Africa and were noble warriors. The Songhai Empire was the most democratic social entity of its time.
The image shows a area view of the garden for math.

The Math Summary:

In math class, we were doing all of the math parts of our PBL project and based our gardens on our garden near the school. We launched our project by measuring all of our planter boxes in our garden to figure out how much radishes could fit into them and just knowing the measurements to figure out how much materials it would take to build another one like it.

Then we started the PBL Packet. The first part of the packet was all about: area of planters and pots; sizes, heights, and diameters of the planters; and the volume of the planters. The second part of the the packet was all about finding unit costs; finding how much is one cubic foot and how much it would cost; how much radish pots could fit into one planter and then the entire garden; then finding out how much those seeds would cost. Then finding how much materials we would need and how much those materials would cost by unit and end result. In the end of the packet, we found out how big the garden would be, how much seeds would fit in that garden, how much dirt the garden would require, how much lumber it would require, how many nails it would require, and how much the materials would cost and how much the whole, entire garden would cost all together. We also found out how much it would cost in Sudan's currency.

During that whole time, we were doing many sorts of different math problems, such as making proportions to find out the cost of a "x" number of materials, or using multi step problems like: using division to divide the price of materials by the number of materials and then multiplying that unit price by the number of materials needed to find out the price of the needed materials. Also, using dilation to find out how the garden to fit and change if needed by size. For example, in our diagram that we drew of how the garden would look, we added different dilations in green and blue, this shows how the garden would be able to maintain the same look and materials, but be smaller or bigger.

During this process I discovered how much work, planning, and especially money goes into making something as simple as a garden. Also, during the process I learned how math is incorporated into many aspects and how you can use proportion or any other math technique to find the thing you want. Another thing is, I found out how, even a garden like the one we planned out, could grow lots of crops and support many families, plus through math, this garden can be replicated into different environments.

My Suggested Solution for Solving Food Challenges Worldwide

My suggested solution on how to solve food challenges in local and global communities is, plant lots of public food gardens. That way, the community could care for it, add to it and take from it. Think about it, if your going through a hard time that you can't afford food, you don't have to worry. Just go to the public garden and take a reasonable amount of food for you, and then re plant the seeds there so the plant would grow back. Gardens don't take up a lot of materials and don't cost a lot of money, they are flexible, meaning they can adjust to any space and or environment, and they have a on going cycle; you eat the food, then you replant it. However, in some places like Mali, the soil quality is really poor so it would be very difficult for the people to grow the community garden. However, I have a solution for that too. People could fill up plastic containers with good and fertile soil and plant the garden in those containers. That would make it much easier to grow the garden. So if you want to help your local community, plant a local food garden for you and your community.

The Graph in Science that shows the growth of the radish and the Dates.

The Science Summary

In science, we started the PBL project with growing the radishes under different colors of light. However, before that, some people were assigned "stars'' and received better soil to see if that would help our plants survive. I was one of those "star" people. So, we started our PBL with the radish experiment, we were to plant a radish seed into a 4x4 pot and look up techniques on how to grow the radish. Our class was also assigned a blue colored light, while other classes got colors from green to orange. My group chose to water our plant every day with 18.7 mL of water. All of this was done to see under which colored light and overall, under which conditions the radish plants would grow best. Along the way our group had a few challenges such as: forgetting to water the plant daily (causing our experiment to go a little off), having holidays (for example we were on thanksgiving break during the time and other people watered our plant with a wild amount of water and that was never recorded), and other people sabotaging our plant. (some people thought it would be funny if they ripped out someone's plant, that plant happened to be ours, so it had no chance of survival). However, I can't say that it was either hard or easy to grow the radish, because some parts were easy, like watering the plant, I could easily water the plant equally all over the soil. However, watering it daily was hard, things always prevented our group from watering daily. Of course, this project had a lot to do with solving food challenges worldwide because we could, at the end, see the optimal soil, light color, and watering technique. This could help people grow crops easily in communities worldwide and help solve food challenges at least a little bit.

Photosynthesis is important to plants because through photosynthesis, plants take in sunlight and turn it into food. Without photosynthesis, plants just couldn't survive and the more sunlight plants take in, the more food they produce, the faster they start to grow. Another important thing is the light color, for example plants grow well in some colors but die in green. So the link between plant growth and light color is, is that plants absorb red and blue light better than other colors of light, this means that photosynthesis occurs faster and growth increases. We can increase the rate of plant growth by providing plants with good, fertile soil, give them a reasonable amount of water, and most importantly, grow them in red or blue light. Plants grow best in all of these conditions, meaning that photosynthesis will occur faster and the plants will grow faster as well.

Thank You For Your Time!

Created By
Boris Leonau


Created with images by softcodex - "aubergine sicily italy" • vauvau - "Bowl of figs" • 9kurt - "kuwait_2"

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