Harvest time for the peppers!
Petit Trou de Nippes, Haiti is an agrarian community. Most families have a bit of land they garden as a critical source of food. Many families have larger plots that they farm as a source of income. Traditions and farming methods have been passed down through the generations. With today's economic pressures on families and with a changing climate, some of the old practices no longer serve the farmers and families well.
Three years ago, St. Paul's School introduced agriculture to the middle school curriculum. An agronomist was hired to help the students learn and practice best techniques for farming in the region. The sixth through ninth grade students spend an hour a week in class learning the principles and philosophy of agricultural production for their gardens. And then, every Saturday morning they put into practice what they have studied at Saturday Morning Garden Club in the school gardens. They spend two to three hours hoeing, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting.
The introduction of agriculture to the school curriculum has not only expanded the students' knowledge, it has made the subject "Cool" and fun. Weeding and watering the home garden before was a chore. Now its a chance to put in practice what they have learned and to succeed and share with their classmates and professor all they have accomplished in their gardens.
The agriculture program introduced an Agriculture Festival on campus last June. It is like a combination of a county fair and a 4-H show. Each class was given a product from the school garden to promote and sell at the festival. There were goats, chickens, starter plants and produce of all kinds. Local entrepreneurs provided food and arts and crafts. The girls' club had a booth to sell baked goods to support their summer camp. The community loved it!
Two young men, Schneider Chancy and Jameson Figot, from the community were so inspired by what they learned through St. Paul's agricultural education program, they chose to further their education in agriculture and are now studying at Zanmi Agrikol to become agriculture technicians and help the community with additional expertise. They will come home the end of May to help Professor Raphael prepare for the agriculture festival and to share some of what they have learned this year with the students at St. Paul's.
So this coming Friday, June 1, 2018 will be the second annual Agriculture Festival at St. Paul's. Please follow the Colorado Haiti Project on Facebook or Instagram to enjoy the accomplishments and growth of these rural students as they celebrate a year of agricultural education.
To help us continue this vital educational program, please contribute now through GlobalGiving. Many thanks and happy gardening!
Students with Professor Raphael at Garden Club
Kinsley holds one of the chickens for the festival
Schnei. and Jame. learning best practices to share