Nov 7, 2013

Seeds Sent!

kids gardening at school, Haiti
kids gardening at school, Haiti

Dear Friend of Seed Programs International,

This project is now fully funded! We've launched a second GlobalGiving project, found here:, for those interested in charitable holiday giving or just eager to help support further deserving vegetable seed projects.

Back to Haiti: the shipment of four cartons of seeds only made possible by your support left East Rochester, New York for Hollywood, Florida last week. This week they will travel by air the short hop to Cap-Haitien via our friends at who provide excellent and affordable service.

The seed selection includes cabbage, chinese cabbage, carrot, okra, hot pepper, bell pepper, tomato, garden bean, red onion, and eggplant. This represents a variety of foods that can be readily grown by schoolchildren, households, and farmer cooperatives, fit well into the Haitian diet, and are sellable at market to bring needed extra income. Some of the crops, like the chinese cabbage, will do better in highland areas while others such as the okra will better thrive in the hotter lowlands. Our partners in Haiti have strong agricultural training and will select and distribute seeds accordingly.

These partners include three programs who together reach a broad span of north Haiti:

  • Ayiti KonseVet ("Keep Haiti Green") - AKV
  • Initiative pour le Developpement Durable du Haiti- IDDH
  • La Pleiade

A hallmark of this collaboration is a strong training and capacity-building element. In the photo below, agronomist Brunet Robert is teaching a group of students about using a bucket-based drip irrigation system.

Animal production to complement the gardens and provide hard-to-find soil fertility is often part of the teaching. AKV lead agronomist Wedly Deceus says:

"I once again thank all donors and I reaffirm the relevance of all AKV’s activities to the lives of rural Haitians. We are a small organization but our results and effects are equal to the big guys with big money. In this spirit I hope we can continue with our efforts at renaissance of truly devastated communities like Mena, now that a start has been made – through a rabbit raising project and gardening. With these, AKV will continue in its mission of improving nutrition and income through education and agricultural restoration, of rural Haitians."

We will report again once we have news of use of these seeds, which could be 1-3 months away. Until then, please accept our deepest gratitude on behalf of the seed and training recipients at the schools, households, and farms of northern Haiti. 



Teaching about Bucket Drip Irrigation
Teaching about Bucket Drip Irrigation
Sep 30, 2013

Seeds for Haiti- THANK YOU for a successful launch

Long View School Garden
Long View School Garden

Dear Supporter of Seed Programs International,

Thank you so much for your gift earlier this month. This is our first report.

Project Update

With monies raised we are able to go forward in Haiti. Our partner, AyitiKonseVet, directed by June Levinsohn in Vermont, believes in partnership and works closely with others. AKV's agronomist Wedly Deceus is currently consulting with Renel Bruno of Initiative pour le Development Durable d'Haiti (IDDH) and Leneus Joseph with La Pliade. These three groups are able to, together, reach a broad area of north Haiti.

Together, these agronomists are considering our current seed inventory list and making selections appropriate to the culture, economy, and climate of the areas they serve.

Seeds will be likely sent next month. We'll send a report when that happens, and later we'll share photos of gardens and farms that result.

On the US side, germination tests on our bulk seed collection came back this summer and we are busily replacing inventory that needed it, and getting seeds packaged for this project and others. Our basic seed packet has planting instructions and vegetable name in 5 languages, including Haitian Kreyol.

Attached is a photo of a school garden coordinated by Wedly Deceus, one that a US visitor described as "the most impressive garden I've seen." A second photo shows part of the harvest from that garden.

Here is a story from that school garden that is part of what makes us so excited to be supporting AKV as part of spreading this model to other parts of Haiti:

"Obas Gelin is a student at the Massabiel elementary school who prepared his own garden while working in the school garden. After the harvest he sold his own produce in the local market for 1,250 goud ($ 27 US) and bought himself a pair of jeans, a T-shirt and a pair of sneakers – to wear when taking his final primary school exams."

Challenge Update

With your help, we've reached the target of $5000 and 40+ donors to earn a permanent place amount the well-vetted organizations that are part of the Global Giving platform. This achievement, which you are part of, will surely support our work to fight hunger among thousands of future seed recipients.

Monday, September 30 is the final day of the Open Challenge - we are still in reach of bonus awards from Global Giving with a final push. So, if there is anybody among your friends, colleagues, or family who intended to give and may have forgotten, or who you think might gain satisfaction from supporting this project, let them know today!Also, don't forget that Global Giving offers very nice tribute presentations - e-cards, printable paper cards, and mailed cards for giving in honor of a birthday or other occasion.

Have a great Fall. You'll likely hear another update in about a month. Until then, we can't thank you enough for your support.

girls with mustards
girls with mustards
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