Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!

by Hand to Hand Foundation
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Garden to Market- Helping the poor to grow food!
Mushroom bags suspended by rope
Mushroom bags suspended by rope

We have started mushroom farming and they are producing a bountiful harvest. We had an old structure without any walls but it had a solid roof. We enclosed it with black hessian and plastic future board to create a dark and humid environment and a small second hand exhaust fan was installed to help hot air escape when the temperature gets too warm. 

The mushrooms come in starter kits for 50B each or $1.75 USD and we purchased 200 of them for our initial set up.The bags are suspended by rope which has been tied in knots to ensure the bags are not squashing each other and air can ciruclate. A small fine water spray system was installed for $100 USD and we were ready to go!

After approximately 3 weeks the mushrooms began to sprout through the neck of the bags. Every morning and afternoon the mushrooms are cut off at the top of the bag and new ones begin to form. We have been harvesting between 7kg and 10kg of mushrooms per day. The variety is a favourite in Thai cooking! Some of the mushrooms are used to help feed the poor and some are bagged up and sold to individuals. We do not yet have a supply constant enough to sell to restaurants. 

After the mushroom bags have expended their life time the material inside the bags can be put into the garden as it is rich in nutrients.

Our vegetable patch continues to grow well and every day people living at the Hand to Hand housing estate are able to pick fresh from the garden. Our growers also take some to the market to sell.

In October, we attended an 'Oktoberfest' event where the growers had the opportunity to not only sell vegetables, but the vegetable plants also. Flowering plants and herbs were also for sale along with cacti. These cacti have been grown by some teens whoi still attend school. They tender the plants in their spare time and have earned some great pocket money and found a new passion!

Thank you for supporting this project which provides employment and feeds the poor. 

Opening the top of the bag to start growth
Opening the top of the bag to start growth
Mushrooms in bloom
Mushrooms in bloom
Preparing mushrooms
Preparing mushrooms
A morning harvest
A morning harvest
Packed to feed the poor
Packed to feed the poor
Packed for sale
Packed for sale
Lush gardens producing herbs
Lush gardens producing herbs
We have many helpers
We have many helpers
Selling plants at Oktoberfest
Selling plants at Oktoberfest
Selling cacti at Oktoberfest
Selling cacti at Oktoberfest
Beautiful cacti
Beautiful cacti

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Our herbs are growing very fast!
Our herbs are growing very fast!

In Thailand we have had lots of rain and sunshine which has created the perfect environment for a bountiful harvest in our garden.

We constructed a fame using old bamboo so that our marrow plants could climb and grow marrows. Using this method, they are off the ground  and this protects the fruit from rot when it sits in puddles of water after heavy rain. The plant has grown so fast, in just 3 weeks the vine has covered over half of the frame and is producing lots of fruit. 

Our banana trees are producing large hands of bananas which are enjoyed by the families we feed each week as well as the people who live ot our housing estate. Nothing is wasted as the stems of the banaba hands are chopped finely and dried in the sun. These small pieces are then sprinkled around the garden providing a great source of potassiam and other nutrients to our plants. 

The chickens are laying lots of eggs and we are collecting between 15- 25 eggs per day. The shells are dried out and crushed to place on plants around the garden.

We were gifted with many cactus plants and the youth who live out our housing have been given these to care for. On October 1st, we will be having a fair where they can sell the cactus. 100% of the money with go to the youth who cared for that plant.

We have had great success in growing new plants from cuttings which we have been able to give to families in the slum so they can grow herbs for their own needs.

Thank you so much for supporting this important project.

Raising young seedlings
Raising young seedlings
Our marrow plant producing lots of fruit.
Our marrow plant producing lots of fruit.
Our cactus garden
Our cactus garden
Banana stems chopped and dried, for the garden.
Banana stems chopped and dried, for the garden.
Collecting eggs
Collecting eggs
Lots of eggs every day!
Lots of eggs every day!
Cutting down the bananas
Cutting down the bananas
Everyone is keen for them to ripen fast!
Everyone is keen for them to ripen fast!

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Picking paw paw's
Picking paw paw's

Four months ago we purchased 15 chickens with the vision of being able to use the eggs to help support the poor families we help each week. Our gardeners built the chicken coop in December 2021 under the guidance of a registered builder. They also constructed the chicken feeders and water dispensers using PVC piping. This not only saved on the cost of the coop but also gave 4 men an opportunity to learn new skills.

Three weeks ago our chickens began laying eggs and we are able to collect between 15-25 eggs per day. The staff who care for the chicken are able to sell the eggs either at the market or back to the foundation which allows them to learn new skills and also earn an income. 

Our gardens have continued to produce bountifully and we have been successfully growing many herbs used in Thia cooking. These plants are very profitable as they regrow quickly saving resources and time.

Our paw paw trees, banana trees, and star fruit trees have also produced bountifully.

We have been learning how to build and use simple composting systems that use 2 buckets and a small basket. These systems are cheap and easy to build as well as very effective in providing nutrients to the soil and plants.

One of our new gardeners
One of our new gardeners
Adding to our home made compost system
Adding to our home made compost system
Explaination how the new compoisting system works
Explaination how the new compoisting system works
Feeding the gardens naturally
Feeding the gardens naturally
Chicken coop
Chicken coop
Caring for chickens
Caring for chickens
Collecting eggs
Collecting eggs
Our hens lay lots if eggs every day.
Our hens lay lots if eggs every day.

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Some of the 1 500 Thai herb plant bags
Some of the 1 500 Thai herb plant bags

Our Garden to Market project keeps going from strength to strength. At the end of the year, Hand to Hand gave 375 families we support four different Thai herb plants.  The 1 500 plants were cultivated from existing herbs by taking a cutting and helping them to regrow in bags which were made from recycled rice sacks. Local people who were unemployed participated in the project which enabled them to receive an income for the month of December. In this way, we were able to provide, food, gifts and employment! Unfortunately on the day of distribution, approximately 400 families arrived so we simply bagged up other seedlings we were growing and gave them away!

Three months ago we began a new community garden in a local slum area not far from our current garden. The gardeners in our original project have spent time with the residents of this community showing them how to prepare the garden beds, plants seedlings and care for them. The  Hand to Hand Foundation has provided all of the resources needed to create this garden including garden bead materials, soil, tools, seedling, water pumps and water tanks. This garden is now producing fruit, vegetables and herbs, which the community is sharing and selling. The garden has not only brought the community food but also a common goal that has nurtured deeper friendly relationships and self-esteem.

The garden at the Hand to Hand housing estate continues to produce an abundant harvest. The cucumber crop has finished and we now have tomatoes growing in our greenhouse. Gardeners are now regularly going to market to sell their produce!

Thank you to everyone for your generosity which has enabled us to provide food, employment and hope for the poor. 

A family receives their herb plants
A family receives their herb plants
Thankful for the gift that keeps on giving.
Thankful for the gift that keeps on giving.
The people kept coming, so we kept finding plants!
The people kept coming, so we kept finding plants!
The new garden in the slum.
The new garden in the slum.
The slum garden flourishing.
The slum garden flourishing.
Installing the watering system in the slum garden.
Installing the watering system in the slum garden.
Thankful to be harvesting from the slum garden!
Thankful to be harvesting from the slum garden!
Preparing produce from our original garden
Preparing produce from our original garden
Previously unemployed, but now selling at market
Previously unemployed, but now selling at market
Fresh produce draws customers.
Fresh produce draws customers.

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Clearing the land for a new community garden.
Clearing the land for a new community garden.

Our 'Garden to Market' project is flourishing with an abundance of food! Over the past few months, we have been growing Thai herbs, sweet potatoes, bananas, papaya, limes and cucumbers.

There are now 3 full-time and 4 part-time growers who tend the garden using the land and resources of the Hand to Hand Foundation. These growers are able to use some of the produce to feed their families and also sell the remainder to the foundation who then give the fruit, vegetables and herbs to the poor for free. The growers record the number of hours they spend in the garden and are rewarded on a pro rata basis.

Covid 19 restrictions have made tending to the gardens difficult with the restricted travel and numbers of people allowed to gather together. When there is a will there is always a way, and we have managed to comply with all government regulations and keep the gardens going.

We have also started to extend the project into a poor local Nong Yai area. The foundation has been given a small piece of land rent free which we are using to start up a new community garden. The first step was to clear the 'jungle' and fence the plot. Growers from our program then assisted the members of this community to build garden beds ready for fruit, vegetables and herbs to be planted. These growers are also raising the seedlings which will help give the garden a head start and they will be paid for these to provide an income for their families.

Covid 19 has disrupted the availability of many resources and we are waiting on a water tank to be delivered so there is a water source for the garden. A solar pump will also be purchased. 

 All resources including water, plants soil and tools etc. are provided free of charge by the Hand to Hand Foundation. Once the garden is established the community will be responsible for its care and also keep 100% of the produce.

Our goal is to keep reproducing this gardening project in many poor communities throughout the Pattaya area. 

Fencing the plot.
Fencing the plot.
Working together to build the garden beds.
Working together to build the garden beds.
Planting cuumber seeds in the greenhouse.
Planting cuumber seeds in the greenhouse.
Raising the cucumber seedlings
Raising the cucumber seedlings
Supporting the developing plants.
Supporting the developing plants.
Bumper crop of bananas
Bumper crop of bananas
A leaf used in Thai cooking.
A leaf used in Thai cooking.
An abundant crop.
An abundant crop.
Raising seedlings for the new community garden.
Raising seedlings for the new community garden.

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Organization Information

Hand to Hand Foundation

Location: Pattaya - Thailand
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Margaret Grainger
Pattaya, Chonburi Thailand
$2,372 raised of $5,000 goal
 
23 donations
$2,628 to go
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