"My understanding of God's Kingdom, present and coming ever nearer, is about community. Working with MPP and now with farmer organizations in Léogâne and Verettes, I feel the power of working with communities, learning from their wisdom and practical experiences while also helping to contribute to making them stronger and more viable. I hope that you can sense some of what that means in the photos and the stories that I am sharing."
The first week of October, while I was helping lead a group of visitors from the Presbytery of the James (Presbytery of the James), Herve Delisma and Gultho Orne headed up the mountains of Léogâne to continue the work of helping ODEPOL (Organization for the Development of Orange-Pâque of Léogâne) develop their Yard Garden Program. Here are photos from their work. Photos by Herve Delisma, used by permission and Mark Hare. All rights reserved.
Tiga and Gultho began their week of work with Lucsen Sommervil. Lucsen (left) is one of the farmers chosen by the leaders of ODEPOL to become a local technician. Wilner (right) worked with Lucsen the third week of September, taking basic data about his yard and asking him to describe at least ten things he would like to achieve in his yard in the next twelve months.
Green shapes indicate existing vegetation. Brown rectangles indicate existing structures. The blue arrows represent the slopes, or direction of runoff. Shorter arrows indicate steeper slopes (faster runoff) and longer arrows indicate longer, less steep slopes. Blue shapes indicate new structures and red indicates new components to the yard garden system. For example, to the left in this design, are three vegetable benches that Lucsen intends to build--blue parallel lines representing the benches with red circles representing the vegetable tires. Just below the tires you can see where Lucsen plans on establishing Malabar spinach, which he plans on acquiring from his associate, Bruno Sené who lives about an hour and a half away on the other side of the mountain top.
Normally we show where the sun rises and sets, but that is currently missing from this plan.
The two green circles ("Pye Mawoba" and "Pye Twompèt") mark two large trees at the top edge of the area. The diameter of the green circles that mark existing vegetation gives an approximate indication of the shade a particular tree provides.
Esterne also has several construction projects he marked on the map, including one new house (blue square with dashed lines behind the main house, "Kay Nèf") and changing the position of the main house, moving it forward ("Deplase Kay"). Esterne also wants to construct a chicken coop ("Kay Poul") and rebuild the kitchen ("Deplase Kizin"). Note the short blue arrows to the left of the house indicating the ten-fifteen foot cliff that was left where the family cut into the hillside to create their flat space.
"Solèy Leve" to the upper left shows where the sun was coming up when we did this design. "Soley Kouche" to the bottom right shows where the sung goes down. Besides helping to orient the plan, marking the approximate path of the sun helps people think about whether the things they want to plant will be getting enough sunlight, or too much, depending on the plant. Esterne's vegetable space should get plenty of sun.
Most yards in the Leogane mountain communities already have a great deal of production. This new program is in many ways an experiment to see if we can take a really good thing and make it even better.
Benito already has an extensive area planted with bananas, plantains, palm trees (used for construction) and fruit trees. Looking at the path of the sun, you can see that where he plans to put the moringa and other vegetables, he may have problems with shading.
Agricultural Missions), involving, I believe, between fifteen and twenty women.
My understanding of God's Kingdom, present and coming ever nearer, is about community. Working with MPP and now with farmer organizations in Léogâne and Verettes, I feel the power of working with communities, learning from their wisdom and practical experiences while also helping to contribute to making them stronger and more viable. I hope that you can sense some of what that means in the photos and the stories that I am sharing.