Warmest greetings and thank you very much for your generous support to our initiative providing funding and hand-holding to coconut-based women entrepreneurs. Small-scale coconut farmers have a difficult time coping-up with steady low price of copra since 4 months ago as well as the severe drought brought about by the El Nino phenomenon. The good opportunity is that coconuts are considered "miracle tree" with so many income that can be derived not only from the nuts but by its by-products like vinegar, charcoal, coconut drink, coco coir for organic fertilizer and many more. Added to this is the fact that with a planting distance of 10 meters by 10 meters, the open spaces below coconut trees can be used to grow vegetables, spices, bananas, root crops, cacao, jackfruit, and all shade-loving plants.
This reporting period we were able to support a group of women and girls scale-up their farm products processing venture comprising organic coffee, chili paste and vinegar, turmeric tea and capsules and pickled papaya. Aside from having a long shelf-life, the products command high price in the market. Instead of working individually, they decided to work together in order to share the use of drying and powdering equipment and the use of a motor vehicle in order to market their products. This time also, we supported the individual gardening activities of 315 women by providing vegetable seeds, seedlings and organic fertilizer as well as training them how to do gardening using recycled containers and plastic and making fertilizer using organic waste from the farm. We promoted the growing of moringa because it is a nutrition powerhouse. The repayment from the sale of their surplus vegetables is used to engage other women to undergo gardening in their own homes. We are very excited about gardening because aside from income and improvement in nutrition in the family, gardening uses waste resources, improves physical health through exercise and develop warmth and camaraderie among members of the household and among neighbors.
The vermi-composting enterprise using coconut coir as the main substrate is put on hold and waiting for the rains to come since the heat caused by the El Nino will kill the vermi-worms.
This is all for now and thank you very much for your generosity.
Very sincerely yours,
gardening in the home
waiting for harvest