FONDAMA Yard Garden Program: Sixteen Criteria

1) Participant has a yard design, showing the changes

Esterne Joseph's home in Orange, Léogâne. The objects drawn in red are the new additions, which include a vegetable bed (platbann), ten tires and several raised furrows of moringa.

2) Vegetable Space. An area within the yard, or the whole yard if it is not extensive, which is completely protected so that medium to large animals cannot damage the production.

 Luxène Sommervil and his wife with their vegetable space. Orange, Léogâne.

3) System for collecting rainwater. Or some other form for having water at hand. In general a set of gutters with a cistern, buckets or barrels for holding the water.

Wilus Exil (right) installing four inch drainage pipe on his roof to collect rainwater. Wilus sawed the pipe open, without removing any piece, allowing the pipe to then "hug" the tin roof. This is very effective for collecting the rainwater, but the direction of the flow is entirely dependent on the general slope of the roof.

4)  Space with perennial vegetables: an area approximately 1.5 meters wide and 4 meters long, minimum, planted with any type of plant that can be planted once, but continues to provide leafy greens for an extended period. Moringa oleifera is our preference, but Haitian basket vine works very well (minimum of thirty shrubs planted in one area of the yard). Malabar spinach can provide greens on a daily basis for up to a year and reseeds easily.

Malabar spinach growing from tires up the side of the kitchen/storage room at Good Samaritan clinic, Batey 7, Dominican Republic.

Fanaheme Joachim, in Bassin Zim-Hinche, with his patch of moringa (Moringa oleifera).

#5 Vegetable tires: At least three tires which are in continuous production for at least six out of every twelve months.

Fefet in Saintville, Hinche (near community of Papay) with her vegetable tires planted to leeks, amaranth, garlic chives and green peppers. Eggplants are planted next to the tires.

#6 Red worms: At least three tires which are producing vermicompost on a continuous basis.

African red worms (Eudrilus eugeniae) and the compost, produced from animal manures.

#7 Compost: A space for collecting kitchen waste, straw, animal manures and other organic residues. A hole works best, as the family sweeps the yard, to put everything that can rot along with what comes out of the kitchen.

#8 Permanent source of animal manure: An area where the family keeps pigs, or a chicken roost, or where animals are tied up for the night (horses, burros, mules, goats), or any system which provides a daily source of manure that can be included in the compost or provided as food for the red worms.

#9 Vegetable bed: At least one vegetable bed which produces vegetables continuously for at least six out of twelve months. Each bed should be at least 1.2 meters wide and 4 meters long, or, four furrows, each four meters long.

Herve Delisma helping form vegetable beds at the home of Luxène Sommervil's in Orange, Léogâne.

#10 Roots or other types of staple producing plants: At least ten plants in the yard such as bananas, papaya, taro or any other crop that can produce significant amounts of energy-giving food.

Papaya, plantains and squash produced by yard garden participants. Yard Garden celebration in Leodiague, Hinche. 2011.

#11 Fruit trees: At least five fruit producing trees or vines that are well cared for. The preference is for plants that will not shade out the rest of the yard. Soursop, passion fruit, guava, rather than mangoes and avocadoes.

#12 Medicinal plants: At least five varieties of plants that can be used to make natural remedies. Examples include aloe, lemon grass and false basil ("Fòbazen").

Medicinal plant bed at the Good Samaritan Clinic in Batey 7. Lemon grass forms the outer part of the circle.

#13 Trash collection and elimination: Plastics are poison for the land. The family needs some system for eliminating non-organic trash in the yard. Cleanliness of the yard is the measure of success.

#14 Latrine: A latrine in the yard that is in good condition. "Good condition" is defined as having a roof, a hole that is not too large for young children to use and a cover for the hole to prevent flies from readily entering or leaving. The family is producing healthy food and the family's environment needs to be healthy as well.

#15 Treated water: The family should have a bucket with a spigot and some system for assuring the water in the bucket is potable. In Haiti there are several simple systems. In order for the family to take real advantage of the food that they are producing, they should eliminate as many sources of parasites as possible.

#16 The beauty of the yard: As we come into a yard, how does it make us feel? Is it a pleasure to be there? Do we see flowers? Is it well organized? Is all of the space well-used.

Wilner Exil and his wife, Tesil in their yard garden. Tesil is harvesting moringa shoots for the food and Wilner is weeding his cabbages in the tires. Wilner and Tesil also have tires with red worms and fruit trees planted throughout their 1/3 of an acre yard. They have papayas and bananas as well. It is always a pleasure to walk into their home. Leodiague, Hinche.

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