Haitian families will eat nutritiously from locally grown food
Fields of healthy eggplant, green and red pepper and spinach are planted
Our community garden and farm in Tabarre, Haiti is tackling food security, literally from the ground up, helping to provide nutritious, locally grown food for nearly 1200 Haitian families. In the impoverished urban slum area, residents are currently forced to reduce quality and quantity of food due to its urban location and nearly no local markets with fresh vegetables or fruits. For the already poor Haitians in Tabarre, they simply do not have the money to buy these healthy foods in a supermarket, which have a higher cost. The community garden that Malteser International Americas has helped to build with locals tackles these issues.
The garden itself has 4 fields that will grow eggplant, green and red pepper and a local spinach, and crops will vary from season to season. A compost area will be located on site to create a natural, nutrient rich fertilizer from organic waste, such as vegetable waste and fruit rinds. The compost will help sustain the garden and maintaining lush crops by keeping the soil moist and using less water. The family farmers will also raise ducks, rabbits, chicken turkey and pigs. An important component to the long-term success of the community garden and farm, as well as the health of the entire community, is education.
Because these urban Haitians are not farmers by trade, previously, crops that were planted died from a lack of knowledge on when to plant and how to cultivate. Now, Malteser International Americas holds small focus groups with the families to teach them on farming best practices, nutrition, food hygiene and drinking water hygiene. Following through with a continuum of education on how to properly handle and prepare food, so as to prevent food borne illness, is just as important to the healthy livelihood of the community, as the crops and animals themselves.