To begin this blog entry, I wanted to share this video containing the different projects and activities my dad and I were part of during our trip to Haiti. I thought it would be a nice introduction by showing you an overview of our trip before displaying our individual projects.
My trip to Haiti with my dad, John Mann, was an incredible experience where I was able to share knowledge, but also learn much while spending time with the people of Haiti. Our trip was April 28 – May 4. One of the activities I worked on during our trip was an agriculture project. I worked on the project for 3 days with pastor Josue Jean and some of the men who assist him. They have already established a productive garden, so I was able to share with them sustainable gardening techniques and new ideas they can apply in their existing garden.
Recycling is a important tool when applying permaculture techniques. The definition of permaculture is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.
Pastor Josue is preparing one of the beds which will be used in planting lemon grass. The concrete blocks surrounding the bed is one of many materials that can be used when establishing raised beds. For those that enjoy studying herbs, Lemon grass is useful for medicinal application when dealing with colds, flu, and fever. It also has value as an essential oil which makes a nice addition to handmade soaps.
We planted hundreds of seeds in the plastic water bottles. We planted eggplant, tomato, arugula, and bib lettuce. Haitians love lettuce so my new friends were excited to start growing this new variety of lettuce.
The sun is very hot in Haiti so screening is needed when wanting to protect seedlings.
Seeds such as beans and sunflower prefer direct planting, so they were planted in their own raised bed. We also planted Chaya cuttings which we ordered through Echo. http://www.echonet.org/ Chaya leaves are high in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin A. Raw leaves are toxic and must be cooked before consumption! Do some research before attempting to eat these leaves.
We used boards and twine to build a trellis in the raised bed for the cucumbers to grow up.
The water bottles also came in handy for the creation of plant labels. When traveling to another country, it is best to use the resources that our readily available.
This large beet is ready to be cooked. Bon appetit!
This large water storage tank is connected to the drip irrigation system that runs through the garden rows.
Chicken was on the menu for the dinner we had with Pastor Josue Jean.
Our dinner was amazing! It is so exciting to eat food fresh from the garden. This is a very important element when desiring to live a more environmentally responsible life style. We had lettuce, cooked spinach, beets (my favorite), cooked radishes, chicken, watermelon, and rice. This was a great way to end the day.
Thank you, Pastor Josue, for the incredible experience of working in your garden. I look forward to returning to Haiti and continuing this project with you.