In early 2010 Zahana introduced Moringa oleifera seeds in both villages. Everything of this beneficial fast growing three can be used. The leaves, high in protein, can be cooked as vegetables. Powdered Moringa leaves have been successfully used in West Africa for decades in infant formulas. The entire seedpods can eaten like beans at a young stage, or bigger and more mature added to soups, as what in know in Indian cuisine as ‘drumsticks’. The ripe seeds can be replanted or used to extract high quality oil. Fast growing, the trees need to be cut constantly to easily reach the leaves, providing much needed sustainable wood for cooking. The pictures included in this report show how Moringa has successfully taken root in both, Fiadanana and Fiarenana, over the past year. The trees now growing in the schoolyards of both schools were planted with the students as part of our school garden curriculum. Zahana’s microcredit approach is to hire our two gardeners and pay them for their work year round. This lesson was learned when the original idea of providing the gardeners with seeds and have them sell their seedlings as and income generating project proved not to be feasible. The economic insecurity of this approach was not feasible for our gardeners. Economic security thought a stable income empowers our gardeners to experiment with new crops, to see if something can be grown in their climate successfully, and provides the fruit of their labor for free to their communities. The gardeners have become outstanding teachers, successfully involving students in our school garden project, second to none in the area.
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