February Followup – Haiti

The month in Haiti was fantastic – and too short!!

Following are several photos and explanations

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Those moringa trees behind the guys were planted 14 months previous and are over 20 feet tall. These trees provide a good supply of seeds. Some of the original trees were kept pruned at 6 feet, forming a hedge, which provides the sprouts that people like to eat – below you see them on the table. This table is in the Children’s Lifeline canteen where about 2,800 meals are prepared – daily!!

Children's Lifeline Canteen

Children’s Lifeline Canteen

The new developments during this visit included a terracing demonstration – great way to reduce erosion – the number one agricultural issue on the globe! Haiti does not lack rocks for this intervention.

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We created a moringa leaf drier. A product for local consumption and medical intervention for malnourished children can be generated in this drier. The sloping frontal section faces south, creating the heat and draft required to dry the product.

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This view of the back shows the shelves where leaves are dried.

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I experimented, successfully, using cardboard boxes as mulch to reduce moisture loss from the soil surface while seeds sprouted and trees were established. The boxes were simply torn to remove the ground cover where the trees sprouted – thus providing light for the seedling and ongoing mulch and moisture retention while trees continued to develop. Very good technology!! Rats – no photos.

Erosion in mountainous areas has been identified as an international issue. These braced cardboard dams will hold soil and water, creating a level area behind. The green foliage you see will root, creating a living wall. Nature provides many low cost options to improve soil retention and agricultural outcomes.

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During my last visit I spoke with Dr Carmel about people using papaya leaves and leaf tea to reduce stomach aches and stomach worms. She told me she has suggested it to many of her clients. These people have reported positive results. See my posts on this topic. Nature provides a ready, ongoing supply of remedies to every day health issues.

Any questions or feedback?? Look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards, Tim

Great News from Haiti

Wow, it’s been a while!! About a month ago I got home from an exhilarating trip to Haiti where we started hillside terracing for tree based agriculture – specifically moringa trees. This due to the many benefits of same. These trees will be used by Children’s Lifeline in their feeding program and to develop an export business of dried leaves.

The great news is that the rains have been regular since I left and the trees are thriving. I planted about 500 seeds which will yield a good number of trees.

Terracing in tropical, hilly places is a very powerful way to conserve rainfall and redevelop the ground water resources. The rain water, which would normally just flow off the hill causing erosion, is collected in trenches which are specially designed to follow the contours of the hill, which means the water can pool and generally finds its way into the soil. Particularly in Haiti where the soils are sandy and light.

Erosion is the number one agricultural problem in the world.

Wanted to share this great news! On another note, my Ugandan friend and his family are living in a banana fiber house, which is a bummer. I have contacted Habitat to see if they can help. Any ideas out there for a way to help them get better accommodation?

Cheers, Tim

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