February Followup – Haiti

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

Following are several photos and explanations

DSC_0259

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.

DSC_0277

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.

DSC_0258

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

DSC_0256

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.

DSC_0293

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

Top 10 reasons to embrace Moringa

Top 10 reasons to embrace Moringa

1. Food – moringa contains all 9 essential amino acids plus vitamin C making it a complete food. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals. The flowers, pods, leaves and roots are edible. Harvesting can begin 4 months after planting. One in seven people go to bed hungry in our world today. I am 5 feet 10 inches and 150 pounds (slight build) and getting hungry is difficult for me.
2. Medicine – moringa treats over 300 diseases. It boosts the immune system. The root is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Great for aching baby boomers.
3. Developing country medical needs – over 30 million people living with HIV/AIDS have no access to free medications. Moringa and artemisia annua can treat these people for pennies per day – not $1-6 for conventional treatment options. Plants have no resistance or rising cost issues! Agricultural societies are given self determination.
4. Water – 1.8 million people die annually from “bad” water. Moringa acts as a floculant and water purifier. Flocullants coagulate the water borne particles, causing bacteria laced dirt to settle out. The resulting “sludge” is an environmentally friendly compost, unlike aluminum sulphate laced sludge. Moringa contains a protein which kills harmful viruses and bacteria.
5. Carbon capture – moringa is the second fastest growing plant on the planet after bamboo. It can grow up to 4 meters per year. In Hawaii, people are harvesting 280,000 pounds of leaves per acre per year!!
6. Drought resistance – moringa thrives in hot climates. It will not tolerate freezing. It will start to grow at the end of the dry season, before the rains start. This is the hungry season in countries with this seasonal weather pattern. It even grows in sand.
7. Environment – the biggest agricultural issue on the planet is erosion. Trees help with this by stabilizing the soil with their roots. Leaves break the energy of rain drops as they plummet to earth. (Many grasses, including vetiver, have a big role to play here).
8. Food security – planting annual crops such as corn, beans, wheat, barley, oats and peas carries the risk of crop failure from adverse weather patterns at critical times in the cropping cycle. Trees are much less susceptible to such issues. Many trees are destroyed in cyclones and heavy weather conditions. If you cut off a moringa tree at ground level, or freeze the above ground portion, it readily regrows from the stump or roots. Energy balance in agriculture – the law of diminishing returns states there is a point at which inputs are not returned by increased output. Trees require minimal input as they do not require the same levels of soil tillage. Their deep rooted nature means they require less water.
9. Business opportunity – dried moringa leaves store very well are a wonderful source of concentrated nutrients. A few grams of leaves contains enough vitamin A to prevent blindness. Over 500,000 people annually go blind from lack of vitamin A.
10. Enjoyment – people are stressed from over work. Moringa’s vitamin B complex helps tremendously with this. Need a low calorie quick meal? Moringa drink is great!! Hospitals which had patients looking at the color green had improved healing rates. Let’s turn our world green and reap the benefits. Believe it or not, people in hot climates tell me they would rather go hungry than pick the leaves off their trees. I think they can have both.

What do you think about this tree and it’s benefits? Loads of great resources/youtube videos exist.

%d bloggers like this: