Since the very first days of our Organic Gardening Program, the women of Chumanzana have set themselves to work, full of energy and enthusiasm. After attending just the initial training, this group of 20 women went straight to work, sowing tiny seeds into shallow egg trays. What seemed like such a simple act has since shown to have tremendous effects on the lives of these women, their families and their community.
As the seeds grew and came to harvest, the women who once were merely interested in learning how to plant, were suddenly astounded to see how the tiny home gardens were saving time and money while helping them provide healthier food for themselves and their families. Doña Calendaria used to walk over an hour to get to a place where she could by the herbs and other food items her family needed. As a grandmother, this walk was dangerous and often difficult. Now, she grows cilantro, radishes, herbs and squash right at home and is able to provide her family with healthier food at a lower cost while spending less time traversing the rural highlands on her own.
While the project has clearly had a direct impact on the wellbeing and livelihood of the Chumanzana group and their families, the project has also shown to provide some broader cultural benefits as sowing native and heirloom seeds are just another way to uphold local community traditions.
To learn more about the organic gardens of Chumanzana, "Like" our Facebook page and stay up to date on this, and all our projects, with the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund.
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