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Regrowth in a Tropical Rainforest
A Florida orange-grower would turn gray if he had confronting him the problems which face anyone who attempts to grow fruit in Panama.

The grass problem alone is enough to stagger the heart of the bravest planter. Think of your own vegetable garden in midsummer, when the days are steaming hot and the weeds are growing about as fast as you can pull them out; project these conditions indefinitely, for there is never any winter to check them, and you will get the endless vista of weeding that confronts the tropical planter.

Grass is certainly the curse of agriculture in the rainy tropics, and he who imagines tractor-work or the use of any of the ordinary tools of our northern agriculture in use on tropical farms should never lose sight of the grass.

There is really nothing so hopeless-looking to a northern fruit-grower as a little orchard in a clearing in a tropical jungle. The great forest insists on taking back the little clearing to itself, and it is one continual fight with a machete to keep it from doing so.

When I was shown what looked from the deck of a launch like a virgin forest, with great trees covered with creeping lianas, and was told that it had all grown up in eight years from cleared land, and when I recollected how fungus and insect pests haunt a clearing, I could better comprehend the feeling that, after all, for the individual of small means, there really is no other way to farm than to cut down and burn, plant and get a crop or two; then, when the plants and weeds of the returning forest drive you out, move on. It is the way of the native everywhere; clear a spot, rush in, rush out again, and let the land grow up in trees. (Fairchild, 1922, pp. 140-141).

[ Slash & Burn Agriculture ] [ From the Seat of the Bulldozer ] [ Regrowth in a Tropical Rainforest ]
[ Data Collection in the Amazon ] [ Colonization of the Rainforest ] [ Loving the Rainforest to Death ]
[ Frogs in the Rainforest ] [ Tropical Deforestation & Habitat Destruction ]
[ The Importance of Forests & the Perils of Deforestation ] [ Hamburgers in the Rainforest ]
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