Friday, September 28, 2012

ECHO East Africa Meets ECHO Southeast Asia

The ECHO Asia Regional Office was honored to host Erwin Kinsey, Director of ECHO's East Africa Regional Impact Center, for a week-long exchange visit. 

In addition to sharing ideas about key RIC activities, such as technical response and regional /country workshops and other training events, Erwin spent two days at the ECHO Asia Seed Bank for exposure to operations there.  Additionally, ideas regarding RIC cooperation in research and training were discussed.  Here, Erwin is pictured participating in a seed germination check at the seed bank.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Caveman Club Gourd

During a seed fair in Thailand's Chiang Rai province in 2011, the ECHO Asia Seed Bank came across a number of interesting crops grown by hilltribe farmers.  But it was not until the current 2012 growing season that one of these crops caught our full attention.  Although we knew gourd seeds had been obtained at the fair, we had no idea that they were seeds from the unique Caveman Club gourd.   

In fact, this was the first time that we had come across this particular variety.  Obviously, the crop can be grown for novelty or ornamental purposes.  When mature, the gourd will turn brown while retaining its characteristic texture.  And like our other common gourd varieties, both the young fruit and shoots are edible.  

FYI, seeds are currently being prepared for distribution.