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.!

%d bloggers like this: