We have been very busy establishing and monitoring all the organic vegetable gardens around the Sierra Gorda. There are many women participating enthusiastically and involving all the members of their family, including daughters and sons, and husbands, too.
In May, we organized a follow-up workshop with 84 women and men, who have recently established their own organic vegetable gardens, to talk about their results and experiences. After introductory sessions with the promoters, the participants have learnt how to use bio-intensive gardening techniques, including garden design, bed preparation, planting, transplanting, pruning and finally, how to get the most nutritious value from the produce. In addition, they shared their experiences in separating their rubbish, recycling and healthy eating (leaving behind tinned and prepared foods as well as excess salt, fat and sugary drinks).
It was an excellent meeting, full of motivation, happiness, questions and experiences. It was obvious that they now know how to differentiate between organic products and those that contain chemicals. All the participants now consume what they produce and sell part of the harvest. They have been experiencing forgotten flavors, for some, new ones, for others and discovering the marvels of cultivating a small piece of land, loving it and valuing its productivity. Finally, everyone shared their own produce and were willing to exchange products, seeds and results with their colleagues.
We have started training community women and designed their biointensive vegetable gardens. The participants are enthusiastic and have worked very hard. They have learnt about the soil and how it functions, water cycles, organic material, microorganisms and how to produce their own organic inputs, such as, biofertilizer and mineral teas to avoid imbalance in the plants. In addition, they learnt how to design their beds, the ideal cycles to plant according to the season and lunar cycles, how to prune, transplant and use compost. They also learnt about the importance of creating compost from their own household waste.
For the women involved in this project, it is very important for them to create their own vegetable garden because it is empowering and they feel that they are looking after their families more because they will produce their own organic vegetables, without pesticides, and at a low cost.
We will continue establishing more organic vegetable gardens and accompanying the women through the whole process, up until their first harvest.
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Jalpan de Serra,
Jalpan de Serra,