November 7, 2013
Earth Givers’ 4th Trip to Haiti
November 22, 2012
Our goal this trip was to teach the women to work with bio-dynamic to help rebuild the soil in their gardens, teach grafting, and travel to their communities to see their tree nurseries. The biodynamic part of the workshop was lots of fun – the women danced while they stirred and there was a lot of laughing. We sprayed Jane’s new strawberry garden and will watch the work of the biodynamic treatment.
We also introduced the women to Jane’s new composting toilet, which we hope will ease the transition and acceptance for making use of one in each village. We had our first volunteer, Mary DiMattio, from Olympia’s Burnt Ridge Nursery and Master Gardener. She did a terrific job teach grafting to 200 women, men, and children. It was a big hit with the people and will allow them to graft good tasty fruit grafts onto their present rootstock.
We walked 3 hours to get to one village up and down and across narrow and rocky ledges. It was worth it as we were able to visit with them in their own village. They served us tea and bread made from roots.
We continue to introduce organic ways of planting which is taking some time as the people are so used to using fertilizers and pesticides on their soils which leads to depletion of the healthy soil organisms. Only one young women composted and surprised everyone with her yields of almost 6 to 1! Yeah! At least we have an example of successful organic farming.
We planted oyster mushrooms our last visit and thought they died or were eaten by the chickens but found that mycellium has been growing and spreading. Yeah!
Our next trip will be in April when the women will plant their trees in each village. Sure would be great to find a permaculture expert to bring their expertise to Haiti.