Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My first of two weeks in Haiti

It is Wednesday of my first week in Haiti, initiating my work with MPP/FONDAMA. Here are some photos from the last two days. I have been in Papaye/Bassin Zim since Saturday and will head for Leogane and a new Farmer's Movement of Friday.

MPP Agronomist Alexander Placide (far left) talking with Carlo (second from right) about his work with fish ponds and agriculture. Alexander and I and two members of the Road to Life Yard crew visited a project in Lajenn, Pignon where they are using a ram jet pump to irrigate vegetable gardens. Carlo showed us the pump, the fish ponds that are part of the project, and the canal that brings the water down to the ponds and the pump.

On our way back to Papaye from Lajenn, we met an MPP demonstration! The banner, in the left column, talks about how Monsanto-produced seeds are detrimental to the livelihoods of the independent smallholder farmers. In the right column the banner talks about the positive characteristics of seeds produced by the farmers themselves.

This morning I went with Moccène Joachim, visiting ten or eleven households where the families are beginning to experiment with intensive production in their yard gardens. Above one of the youths working with Moccene, Bensy Ria, is in his yard, where he has some twelve old tires producing vegetables.

Gyvensky St. Ange with his tire of african redworms. Gyvensky has been one of the youths that Moccène has spent a great deal of time with helping him establish and maintain his yard garden.

Rosebedjith Orelien (left) with her mother, Yolette, arguing about whether they should go ahead and harvest all the onions from the vegetable tire. Together the two are producing garlic chives and parsely, along with the onions, in ten tires. They have eggplant in the ground around the tires. For the tire soil mix, they used soil from near the house, cow and horse dung and sand that they hauled from the Samana river, about an hour away, using a burro. They haul water for the vegetables from a small spring near the house, or from the public water system about twenty minutes away.

Cherilia Orne and her younger of two daughters, Danaela. Cherilia is Moccène's wife and partner in their yard garden. I have known Moccène since the second month I arrived in Haiti in 2004 and I have known both Danaela and their first daughter, Danaica, since they were born.

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