A villager with her new Moringa tree
We have been having incredible success in Prolit village with the transplanting of Moringa Oleifera! As of April 3rd we have successfully transplanted 62 plants to 31 different households and the results have been staggering. The Moringa are taking root better than we ever imagined, with only 7 plants not surviving the transplant and requiring replacement. This is a huge accomplishment considering how precarious this super-food’s growth can be in its early stages! Moreover, not only have the plants survived transplant, but they have flourished. The stalks are growing larger and hardier, tertiary branches continue to grow, the green colour of the leaves is vibrant and deep, and the leaves themselves are becoming larger and larger, with some growing as large as the palm of a hand. When we check back on the plants already transplanted, the people of Prolit are very proud to show us the new additions to their gardens!
However, this is not to say that the process has been entirely obstacle-free. Our previous reports discuss difficulties we had due to the unpredictability of Cambodian rains and that the research we conducted on the optimal growing conditions for the plants did not end up being locally appropriate. As well, we have not yet had the opportunity to transplant the Amaranth due to difficulties growing the crop in the Cambodian context, but seem to finally have gotten a method that works at MaD base camp. As a result, we are now attempting to grow the Amaranth directly in the Prolit village, but are nearing the rainy season so the window of opportunity is narrowing. If we are not able to get any Amaranth into the residents’ gardens by the time the rains set in then it will have to wait until next dry season. Although this is unfortunate, it is not all that surprising considering that we are the FIRST group in Cambodia to attempt growing Amaranth locally. We are very excited by the progress we have made thus far and are confident that soon enough we will have the people of Prolit benefiting from both of these additional food sources!