But, groups of women in the urban community of Nueva Suyapa are taking advantage of every opportunity for learning about importance of vegetables and how to grow them, and introducing them into their families’ diets.
The women started with training in communal gardens. Groups of women worked together and shared what they produced. Many of them transferred the learning to their own patios, using old tires, broken buckets, and whatever else was available to create mini-gardens. A couple of the leaders had an “aha moment” when they took advantage of the opportunity to visit the rural gardens of another World Renew partner and learn about “polytunnels.”
Polytunnels are small greenhouses typically made of polyethylene plastic that offer the protection and microclimate of a glass greenhouse, allowing farmers to grow fruits and vegetables out of season and offering excellent protection from adverse weather, bugs, and other plant diseases. Inspired, the women then applied for a grant from World Renew for materials and training in how to build and maintain polytunnels, and how to adjust their gardening practices to this new method. The polytunnels have been a success. Plants that are more resistant to disease and bugs are still grown in the open, and more delicate plants are flourishing under cover. Vegetables abound for the women and their families.
But these groups of women don’t sit still. Seeking more opportunity, they found a way to build upon their existing success by selling their produce. Another organization is willing to teach them how to plant in stages, so they have a steady stream of produce. Best of all, this organization can connect them to one of the larger supermarket chains that is looking for organic produce. To take advantage this opportunity, however, they needed more polytunnel space. So World Renew, with your support, provided the funds to extend the existing polytunnels, almost doubling their planting space. We’re anxious to see where this investment will take them next.
Yum. Soon we’ll all be eating vegetables!
Latin America Ministry Team