Seeds for Honduras

For several years I used to be able to get left over seeds from garden stores to take to Honduras. Now the stores are required to send them back to the seed companies. I hope that some of you will send me your left over seeds. I will take them to Honduras for planting next year. Message me if you need my address.

The people’s diet consists of rice, beans and corn. The malnutrition stems from the fact that they are not eating enough vegetables and fruits with micro-nutrients. Right now we have people teaching others to plant, grow, harvest and cook nutritious vegetables. This is a opportunity for you to partner with us. Message me and I will send you my address.

Curiosity through Composting

For some parents a week with the children home probably feels like a month already.  On-line classes are good and the technology involved is probably more of a learning experience for parents than for children.  I talked to a physics teacher yesterday and he believes that Google Classroom is a useful tool.

But in my opinion science learned through practical application can be fun and it sticks.  How many people do you know that say, “I hate science”?  That makes sense too because right now in the United States not much of the Federal executive decision making is based on science.  I guess they didn’t pay attention in class.

There is a lot of science in garbage.  We all know that trash is expensive to get rid of, single stream recycling is no longer cost effective, reusable is in and manufacturers have a lazy eye when it comes to packaging.   Our learning curve needs to accelerate.

The children in Honduras are an inspiration when it comes to composting and gardening.   Food security is not a given for them.  When Kathy and I do horticulture / science projects in their classrooms, they are attentive and curious.  They helped me define a composting area behind the school.  The little children were caring cement blocks that may have weighed more than what they weigh.

Michael Imhoff the horticulture teacher at Quincy High School shared the following video with me which is excellent.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4JssQPTYF8.

Please be mindful that a perfect compost pile is not easy to develop.  But, “Just Do It”.  Get started and learn some science along the way.

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Super Food

Moringa is now found in health food stores.  The nutrition comes from the leaves, flowers and roots.  It has 7 times the vitamin C of an orange and 4 times the vitamin A of milk.  For the poor villagers of Honduras, moringa is a supplement that came be grown, harvested and infused into people’s diets.

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The students at the Honduras Hope Dormitory are growing moringa to be shared with people who have deficient food sources.  We distributed 150 seeds in January with an incentive to give the plants away in April and instruct others how to maintain, harvest and cook moringa.

You might want to visit your local health foods store and inquire amount the nutritional value of moringa.

Like Talking to Bricks

When it comes to organic gardening I often feel that the key for success is our children.  They are open, enthusiastic and have fun growing things.  We are teaching math, science and technology through horticulture in Honduras.

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The two pictures are almost identical.  One picture shows the best pepper crop that I have ever grown.  I use worm casting and the children at our Honduras Hope Dorm use worm castings.  The gardening technique is called Square Foot Gardening.  We are headed back to Honduras in November and our next project at the Dorm will be growing and the distribution organic Moringa.

Moringa – Honduras Hope

“A Path Appears” by Kristof and WuDunn states that “vitamin A deficiency leads to some 670,000 child deaths annually and is also the most common reason for child blindness”. Doris, the young woman in the photo, was instrumental in developing Square Foot Gardens at the dorm in Yoro that supports middle school and high school students. I am confident that Doris will help us grow moringa plants which has four times the vitamin A as milk.

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Zika – Mosquito Control

In Yoro, Honduras as well as a home we are trying to control mosquitoes using plants that are natural repellents.

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http://www.ecosnippets.com/gardening/plants-to-keep-mosquitoes-away/

The url above shares with us the plants that can make a difference in our lives as well as in the lives of others in countries where the zika virus is a real threat to especially unborn children.

Students at the Honduras Hope sponsored dormitory are propagating plants which will be shared with people whose homes are one room buildings without screens.  Our goal is to turn the land adjacent to the dormitory buildings into a place to propagate these plants.  The students are already growing food there.  With their skills they will be able to  grow useful  mosquito repellent plants to distribute to people in other under served communities.  The target homes will be those of expectant mothers.

Venezuela -Starvation

Why should you set an example?  The story in this link tells an interesting story.

http://thegrownetwork.com/long-take-grow-food/DormGarden2.jpg

That is why we are teaching the children in Honduras to grow organically.  I often tell people that trying to convince adults about scientific gardening is like talking to a brick wall.  We are all vulnerable based on drought, GMOs and conflict.  Where does you food really come from and how far does it need to travel in time?

Zika Virus – Garlic

Recently I have read that spraying liquid garlic in the yard will keep mosquitoes away for thirty days.  Articles state that mosquitoes have a sensory mechanism that is ten thousand times more sensitive than that of humans.  A gallon of liquid garlic sells for $ 84.00 on Amazon.

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People in Central and South America are currently vulnerable to the Zika virus.  Our students in Honduras will have an opportunity to grow garlic and place the plants in their houses at night.  Once we have stems on the garlic plants, we will be able to grind them up and produce a liquid which may help protect the people from mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus.

If anyone has more insight into this subject it would be helpful for me to better understand the potential of various techniques.

 

Just Grow It

One Square Foot at a Time has been designed to influence you, school children and the people of Honduras.  There are many worthy organizations that help people in developing countries to grow food that is more nutritious and provides greater quantities of vegetables and fruit.  Most of the organizations that I have heard of, try to use organic methods.  However there are many challenges in these countries and if the only solution to save a crop is pesticides, I too would use them.  It is a no brainer to use chemicals and pesticides when life depends on each harvest.

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What I have read concerning agricultural groups that go into developing countries is that they help farmers understand seed saving, using organic methods and conservation in order to increase yields.  All of that provides investments in the people and lends itself to good health.  My interest however is to teach the children.

The students served by Honduras Hope are eager and hard working.  They show their appreciation while working with us and I believe they are learning science and math as we work with them.  Some of these children have brought these techniques to their mountain villages and there is interest from those communities.  In January we will start a kitchen gardening program at our rather crude kitchen facility in the mountains where we provide nutritional and protein rich lunches for children from birth to six years old.

The Square Foot Gardening Program in Yoro is doing very well.  It is developing so well that I want to expand what we are doing.  I want to pay students a small stipend to teach young child and adults as well to use Square Foot Gardening techniques to grow things other than beans and corn.  I want to introduce kale, spinach and broccoli into their diets.  I want to provide nutritious smoothies to children that are malnourished.

In January I am bringing a gas generator to Honduras.  The people in both of the villages we serve have no electricity.  We have a community center in Plan Grande which is a wonderful facility.  With electricity from the generator we have planned movie nights.  Many students have never seen a movie and they don’t have televisions.  Students who want to attend Friday night movies can earn admission to the movie by bringing a five gallon bucket of compostable materials to the new composting bin at the primary school.  With the contribution to the composting idea they will earn a ticket to the Friday night movie.  It is proposed that young women from our Girl’s Empowerment Program will collect tickets.  Others can watch movies on Friday evenings by purchasing tickets.

Compost of course is the key to successful Square Foot Gardening.  There are plenty of green compostables and horse manure on the reservations. All of the kids use machetes.

This is the time of the year when everyone is asking you for money.  Worry not, I will find the money eventually.  However if you would like to become a part of an exciting venture, this might be something that you will want to become a part of.  Should you decide to contribute be sure to earmark your gift to Square Foot Gardening.

Send to:  Honduras Hope

P.O. Box 60

Franconia, N.H. 03580

Why in Yoro, Honduras?

We just returned from Honduras.  The land in Yoro, Honduras and in the surrounding mountain communities lacks organic material and minerals.  There is no humus to be found.  With harsh rains and steep slopes, it is difficult to inhibit erosion.  I addition, army ants cut the leaves of trees into the shapes of perfect triangles and deposit their casting underground which provides nutrients for the trees.

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With the hot sun and poor soil it is necessary to use chemicals to nourish the plants.  Unhealthy plants are subject to pest infestation.  Therefore it is necessary to apply heavy amounts of pesticides to assure the desired results.

For an environment like this, Square Foot Gardening is one solution.  Planting lots of gardens around the yards can provide a portion of the families’ food.  However compost is difficult to make in large quantities.  Spreading it over an extended area merely gives the plants a small dose of nutrients.  Putting a large amount into a confined area helps retain water, encourage root development and concentrate nutrients.

Square Foot Gardening can do the same for you.  It is amazing what can be farmed in sixteen square feet.  Changing crops throughout the season is also possible and easy as the weather changes as well as the amount of sun.  At each planting, simply add more compost.

You can do Square Foot Gardening as well.  Join us: 1 Square Foot at a Time.