National Geographic : 2003 Nov
L. i olding a jutia, Javier Moriche (above) has reason to smile: There's protein for dinner. In a land where meat and money are scarce, some Cubans dispatch dogs to hunt these largely tree-dwelling rodents, ten species of which live in Cuba. Most are threatened or endangered, but some are plen tiful, especially in sparsely populated highlands like those near Moriche's home in the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve. Here the family earns extra cash by burning invasive tree species for charcoal and replanting native pine, part of a government-paid program of reforestation. Across Cuba a quiet revolution of organic gardening has taken root. With scant funds for pesticides and tractors, farmers near San Andres (below) use natural methods to control bugs and tend fields. Today small plots yield a bounty of fresh vegetables, a success in the struggle for sustainable agriculture.