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Nov 13, 2018

Exciting Development at the Eco Huella Farm

Hey there! As always, we have lots of exciting news to share about our agriculture initiative. 

The rainy season rolled in a few weeks ago with fluffy clouds and daily bursts of rain, painting the majestic Andes a beautiful green. Days are filled with the fresh after rain smell, crops are bumping, and flowers are blooming. We continue to build out our agriculture programs, with a big focus right now on the educational farm. Along with the changing season, we’re making some exciting developments at the Eco Huella farm

Before we jump into updates, here's a fun fact:  Did you know that Eco Huella means Ecological Footprint? We use the space as a learning center for organic farming that is healthy for the environment and the local communities. We’re a regional hub for ecological practices, doing our bit in this corner of Peru to contribute to the globally responsible farming and environmental practices that support climate resilience globally. What makes us unique? We put people first. Farmers and the farming community are at the center of our work.

Here’s what we’re up to:

  • All November long, we’re tapping into the Incan concept of reciprocity, called Ayni, to build out our classroom and dormitory spaces on the farm. Developments to date have been made possible partially through donations from this very campaign. So what's new? We’ve partnered with Surf for Life  to bring donations and volunteers from the US and Canada to work alongside local community members, mixing and laying cement and preparing the spaces for future learning! We work hard and rest well, sharing meals and chicha, a fermented corn drink with the community members. In total, we're receiving about 540 volunteer hours in November alone!
  • We envision using these spaces for workshops and hosting farmers from afar, such as from high altitude communities. Visitors will be able to stay on site for multi-day workshops. These developments enable us to host even more farmers, agriculture technicians and students from around the world.
  • Next big dream: The completion of our on farm kitchen space for teaching about post-harvest production, cooking, and workshops. Some workshop ideas so far include value-added products like canned and fermented goods.

We’re currently in need of further funding to roll out our big picture vision. Help us get to our $10,000 mark on the Global Giving Platform during our end of the year fundraising push

We are incredibly grateful for your support in making all this possible. If you like what we're doing, help us keep up the momentum on this campaign! Here's how to keep involved and in touch: 

  • Donate during our Giving Tuesday (Nov. 27th) and end of the year campaign via this Global Giving project. We're just over halfway there!
  • Interested in organaizing a service project? Contact us to set on up!
  • Follow us and share updates on Instagram and Facebook and website
  • Join our newsletter (sign up on the bottom of our website)
  • Suggest this campaign to people you think may want to support us too!
  • Interested in organizing a *service project*? Contact us to set one up!


Stay in touch. Much love from our team at The AASD!

Aug 15, 2018

Summer Working Alongside Andean Farmers

Roofing family greenhouses
Roofing family greenhouses

This summer we've made great progress working alongside rural Andean farmers and bringing more community to the Eco Huella demonstration farm. Here’s a little bit of what we did:

Envision a group of international research students traveling winding roads to visit small Andean communities. Small farming parcels dot the steep slopes and the green mesh of greenhouses sways in the wind. A group of dedicated women farmers greets them, eager to share their experience growing crops for their families and markets. The students have come to analyze challenges and opportunities of ecological farming and market access. Quickly it becomes clear that to these women, this growth is about much more than earning higher incomes. It is  about self-esteem and dignity. Victoria, a farmer from the group puts it best:

 

“In general, liberation is related to the difference between food sovereignty and food security. Food security is generally when you are just able to get any product to be able to feed your family, but food sovereignty is to be free: you make it, you produce everything that you have there, and you eat what you have. You feel free because you do not depend much on other people to do your things. That’s what it is for me”

This is also what it is all about for the AASD and why support from our community is so important in joining Peruvian farmers on this journey.

This summer we focused on this journey by:

Hosting a summer research program: International students worked with local farmers to identify challenges and opportunities for accessing higher value markets.

Interviewing farmers, restaurants, and potential markets. Students and farmers co-designed catalogues of farmers' crops and prices to improve communication of their offerings to potential markets.

Students worked alongside AASD's agriculture technicians at the demonstration farm to organize the flow of farm based educational activities and created a system for gathering feedback from workshop participants. This will help improve future educational activities with local farmers.

Our agriculture technicians and service learning groups worked alongside community members to roof over 50 family greenhouses in the month of July alone!

On average we have hosted at least two weekly workshops or farm visits at the Eco Huella demonstration farm. Visitors ranged from:

  • Local farmers and agronomy students sharing best growing practices.
  • Restaurant owners interested in purchase from EcoHuella farm and its cohort of local producers
  • Chefs learning about the connection between local food and the kitchen
  • 19 Ministers of Agriculture learning about our educational model and farming methodologies. 
  • Local farmers and agronomy students sharing best growing practices

We are incredibly grateful for your support in making all this possible. If you like what we're doing, help us keep up the momentum on this campaign! Here's how to keep involved and in touch: 

  • Become a reoccurring monthly donor on this GlobalGiving project
  • Follow us and share updates on Instagram and Facebook and website
  • Join our newsletter (sign up on the bottom of our website)
  • Suggest this campaign to people you think may want to support us too!

Stay in touch. Much love from our team at The AASD!

Roofing family greenhouses
Roofing family greenhouses
Chefs visiting the farm
Chefs visiting the farm
Ministries of Agriculture visit the farm
Ministries of Agriculture visit the farm
Discussing market opportunities
Discussing market opportunities
 
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