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

Off to Haiti, 2015

I am once again privileged to be able to take a month to spend in Haiti.

Children’s Lifeline, http://www.childrenslifeline.com/, has asked me to do agricultural education with the local community. I am currently thinking about using a 3 square model – composting, trees and vegetables being the 3 components.

Covering the soil with mulch or compost in tropical climates helps reduce the effect of intense sunshine. This improves the microbial life and the soils fertility.

Thanks for your interest in reducing poverty, disease and improving food security. I hope my postings have helped you thrive.

Take a little ride up the road to Children’s Lifeline compound – hang on!!!

Kind Regards, Tim

Moringa trees thrive in arid Haiti

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The photo above shows the moringa trees planted in early May, 2014 as they thrive against all odds in the hostile Haitian climate.

These trees, when they are mature, will produce a strain of seeds which contain a tendency toward drought resistance. Successive generations of plants produced under the same conditions with the seed from the aforementioned trees, will create an excellent strain for direct seeding on the hillside gardens where irrigation is not available.

Another Haitian success story!!

Many thanks to Touch Marketing for making this good news story available.

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

Haiti Agricultural Program

Wow, two weeks have flashed by and the agricultural (ag) program at Mission Lifeline in Arachaie, Haiti has begun.

Adam and Jordani are the two capable Haitian men who will care for the gardens – both natural men of the soil who love plants and feel responsible for the project and its outcome.

The clearing of the land, rounding up the stones, subduing those small cactus plants with the barbed thorns, cutting back the euphorbia curalis trees which we named burning milk trees because the copious quantity of milky sap they ooze when cut or bent burns ones skin, and the sweating by the bucketful, were all part of the experience. The result was about half an acre of fertile land that will yield well with the addition of a little seed, water, mulch and local fertilizer ie well rotted manure. With temperatures in the mid thirties, the photo below shows the dramatic results of moringa seedlings started at the garden. Moringa is the second fastest growing tree in the world and provides a complete compliment of amino acids and vitamin C – a complete diet in one simple package!!

Mission Lifeline has done a tremendous job of developing personnel who are on time at the airport, understand our needs as guests, cook the most amazing food and kept our accommodation clean and tidy. The facilities were second to none, with beautiful tiled rooms and showers, ensuite kitchenette, screened windows for insect control and full laundry services.

The cultural angle included roosters crowing and dogs barking in the wee hours and the ladies from the kitchen who gather for prayer and worship at 4.30am prior to starting work at 5, Monday through Friday. Early to bed, greeting the sunrise and taking a siesta seemed to work well.

At our closing meeting, we determined that the risk factor to the garden was the persistent goats. Grazing animals represent a considerable deterant to agricultural development in many countries. Let’s hope the thorny fences hold up well.!

Off to Haiti!!

The time has come to put to practice the hard won knowledge of moringa and other tropical agricultural interventions.

On January 28, my friend Chester Venhuisen and I will depart Pearson airport for Haiti, where we will work with Children’s Lifeline in Arcahaie (about 1 hours drive north of Porte au Prince). The mission has one couple from the USA on site, employs over 150 people from the surrounding area and feeds 3,000 children per day. Our mission, should we choose to accept it (which we have!!), is to create an agricultural program. This program will produce food for the mission as well as teach the local people how to use moringa and a variety of other crops to improve their own health outcomes. Very exciting for people like myself with a green thumb and passion for improving people lives. We will be introducing the concept of tree based agriculture as a component in food security. Trees can be used to create micro climates where more tender vegetable crops can thrive.

I was reading some technical notes about moringa today which say that under intense culture, moringa can produce 650 tons of vegetables per hectare. Is global hunger really necessary? Considering that people can and like to use this this veggie as a dried additive to soups and stews. I would say there a lot of moringa powder benefits , which is why I own moringapowderbenefits.ca.

We will also be promoting the use of vetiver grass for erosion control, contouring hillsides, mulching and soil reclamation. There are great youtube videos on this subject.

There is also a construction education component in which we will be teaching the building trades. Such as carpentry, masonry, concrete work and other construction techniques.

Keep an eye open for my online sales of moringa powder, a product of Haiti. This will be a product which gives twice – benefits your health and the Haitian economy. Is this the new model for global development?


Thanks for your support of this venture. Keep an eye on my blogs!! Which will be available, technology permitting!!

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