“How long would it take my family of four to save enough urine to fertilize our hayfield?” I ask fellow alumnus Abe Noe-Hays ’00. He raises his eyebrows. “It’s five acres, you said? You’re going to need some friends.”
From December 2016 to March 2017, nine students from eight countries joined education faculty member Bonnie Tai in Taiwan. For the first three weeks, Suzanne Morse, botany faculty member, was with the class, called Human Ecology Abroad in Taiwan, or HEAT. Students studied Mandarin, explored local food systems, participated in several forms of intercultural education, including a primary school of the indigenous Rukai community, wrote travel essays and epistolary poetry, and interviewed residents about the Japanese occupation, among other independent studies.
As we delve into issues of food sourcing in the 21st century, we often overlook the concept of developing resilient and abundant seed networks, which would allow us to breed regionally adapted plant varieties.