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"SEEDS OF HOPE" - GROWING PLANTS FROM SEEDS PROJECT
and how it has progressed
The growing plants from seeds program started in February 2017, but it quickly evolved! In October 2017, Poco a Poco was very fortunate to receive a grant from the Foundation of Lake Chapala Charities to continue our growing plants from seeds project. This was for the development of four privately owned planting sites, owned by brigada member families in La Cuesta and San Pedro Itzican, as they had expressed an interest in growing plants for food or for sale.
Poco a Poco volunteers worked with the families to determine the suitable areas for growing plants, tested the soil, and helped with the work of planting the sites. The brigada members in each area, helped with the preparation of the area (clean up, removal of rocks, etc.), and helped with the installation of fencing (to protect against animals). Seedlings were started at the San Pedro Brigadista "Vivero" and transplanted from there to the various sites. We were most grateful to have the assistance of Jack West (in testing the soil) and our gardening Guru, teacher, and friend of nature, Francisco Gonzalez Nava. We also had assistance from Jan Clayton-Miller and coordination and organization by Doris Wakeman.
We started with Xochilt’s home in San Pedro, where the front garden area was planted with sun loving plants in pots. This included spinach and various herbs that could be used as food supplements. Thank you Jan Clayton-Miller for donating some really great grow bags that fitted well into the area.
Next we worked at Jorge's and Olga's home in La Cuesta. They had some areas that we were able to develop, including fencing in one section with chicken wire, to prevent animals from getting in.
Here is Jorge and Olga's Mother with other family members, and Francisco and Anita. Their garden developed well and they started composting, using their goat manure as a fertilizer.
Next was Laura's family lot in La Cuesta that was untidy with a lot of garbage. The brigada volunteers cleaned up the area, and it was plowed by a horse and plow. Then fencing was installed around the growing area, and plants transplanted there. Laura's father is a farmer but only grows plants for sale (right now chayote, corn and squash). But adding other plants into their diet and growing plants year-round, was be good and healthy for everyone.
And finally, Reye's family garden on a roof-top in San Pedro. Approximately 40 relatives live in the compound, with many little rooms. There they grew vegetables on the roof. Below is a picture of Reye's Mum getting plants from the Brigada Vivero. The brigada also helped move compost to where the extra pots that have been added to her "garden".
In May 2018, local women in the community of San Pedro approached the brigada to ask to receive lessons and starter plants, so they could grow foods in their "gardens". So the brigada youth also taught these women how to grow from seed or from leftover vegetables.
Wish list of items needed for our Growing Plants from Seeds program:
Portable shade structures in metal with sun-wind-heavy-rain protection around them;
Potting soil for young plants and good earth (difficult to find) for growing the bigger plants. The local soil is not great quality and we want these plants healthy and edible.
Compost and fertilizer - an on-going need..
Shovels, spades, hoes and tools for digging;
Barrels for water collection and for drip hoses;
Hoses for watering, with sprinkler heads;
A drip watering system from the barrels;
Large pots for tomatoes, zucchini, beans, etc.
Structures for raised beds and compost
Structures and fabric that can be used for shade and protection.
And anything else you don't need!
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