Birhor women have traditionally collected the leaves from saal trees in northeastern India to use as dinner plates for their families, but they have recently been trained to also fabricate them into commercial products. Ratan Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner for the Lohardaga District of Jharkhand state, is taking credit for initiating the training project among […]

Ben Riehl, an Amish farmer in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, operates his farm, installs solar panels for extra income in his spare time, and has opened his home near the town of Intercourse as a bed and breakfast establishment. According to an article last week in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Riehl’s Beacon Hollow Farm B & […]

The Hindu, a leading newspaper in India, recently reported on alcohol problems among the Kadar. The same paper last week published two more articles about them, the first of which focused on their new venture—the cultivation of pepper. The reporter indicates that the Kadar of Pokalapara, located in the Vazhachal Forest District of Kerala, decided […]

A couple Hutterite colonies in Montana are hoping to make some profits from a new agricultural business that has the virtue of being, they feel, both sustainable and environmentally sensitive. It appears from a news report as if environmental considerations are very important to the colony. The Miller Colony near Bynum, Montana, and the East […]

The government of India, a research foundation, and a volunteer organization have teamed up to help an impoverished Yanadi community begin an eco-friendly, low-input crab farming operation. According to a news report in The Hindu on Friday, the new project, fostered by the cooperating agencies, is located in the village of Sorlagondi, near Nagayalanka, in […]

It may be hard for non-Amish Pennsylvanians to appreciate the fact that their peaceful, hard-working Amish neighbors may have other things to do than spend money on consumer goods. The Amish disinterest in consumer spending, combined with their habit of working hard, may be starting to sour some attitudes toward them in the Philadelphia suburbs […]

While the pacifist beliefs of Canadian Hutterites have been controversial in the past, so have their communal living patterns, especially when they appear to pose problems for non-Hutterites. Last week, the CBC reported that some Canadian business people have been complaining about the colonies, which they feel are allowed unfair competitive advantages by the provincial […]

A front page story in Monday’s Wall Street Journal describes in glowing terms the success of a new Wal-Mart in the Zapotec city of Juchitán, near the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca. The author, John Lyons, sets the tone for his story in the opening sentence: “For as long as anyone can remember, shopping for many […]