FARMING AND TREE NURSERIES
The soil in Haiti is mostly clay and rock, yet the farmers make
use of every inch of soil to plant their crops. One of the
Development Committee members introduced composting to people in
the 4 sections of Thomazeau. He proved to them they could increase
the quality and quantity of their vegetables by using compost
material when planting vegetable and tree seeds.
The director of the middle school in Grand Boulage has told us
repeatedly composting has been the most beneficial thing anyone has
ever taught them. He too has proved to his neighbors he is able to
produce better and more crops.
Square foot gardening was also introduced. If done properly, along
with the use of compost a family can produce enough vegetables to
feed their family throughout the year. Some people will use an old
tire, placing it up high enough to keep the animals away. They fill
the tire with soil and compost putting a piece of wood under the
opening. Again, they are able to successfully grow vegetables and
keep them close to their homes.
Many times small animals such as chickens and goats are allowed to
roam freely often destroying the crops. We have been able to work
with the farmers to build fencing material out of wire, sticks, and
bushes with pickers to protect the seedlings.
Years ago a tree nursery was started by John Malcheski, a former
board member and local dairy farmer, in the village of Grand
Boulage. The idea was to produce forest trees to help fight against
deforestation issues and fruit trees to enrich the local production
for family food and marketing. Once the trees were big enough to be
transplanted they would be given to local farmers and Community
Based Organizations throughout the area.
After John passed away his family dedicated his memorial to
continue his work. Another nursery was established in Merceron.
This area has more fertile soil with plenty of water available.
This nursery has been extremely successful and the nursery manager
has also worked with the local farmers to create their own
vegetable gardens. The decision was made in 2014 to consolidate the
two nurseries. All the trees are now grown in Merceron where the
water source is better. When the trees are ready to be transplanted
they are distributed throughout all the areas.
more about John Malcheski and his tree nursery.
GOATS AND RABBITS
Goats were introduced to the area farmers a few years ago. They
did not keep the goats fenced in and many crops were destroyed.
Goat meat is very popular in Haiti and unfortunately as soon as the
goat got big enough they were slaughtered. (The intent had been for
each recipient to give one baby goat for another household.)
Many Haitians suffer from malnutrition. Rabbit meat contains more
protein than chickens, beef or goat meat. We partnered with another
organization, Farmer to Farmer to encourage the villagers to raise
rabbits. At first it appeared to be successful however once people
sold enough rabbits to pay their bills and school tuition they lost
interest in the project. Many Haitians do not like the taste of
Father Rene Suffrin from St. Anne's parish asked us if we would
work with him one more time to establish a rabbit production
process. Members of the Development Committee learned how to raise
rabbits from a local Wisconsin farmer. A manual was written and
translated into Creole and distributed to all who were interested
in raising rabbits. Unfortunately the rabbits were not given enough
water and were left in the hot sun too long. Many babies died. It
was decided to end the project. However there are a few people who
are still trying to make this a successful project. At this point
in time we have decided not to invest any more money into raising
rabbits. Perhaps a few will be successful and eventually more will
again be interested.
Friends of Haiti is a
501(c)(3) non-profit organization
PO Box 1174 | Green Bay, WI 54305 |