For Darla Stewart and other Waverly First United Methodist Church members, a garden project has become a hands-on mission.
Stewart, an administrative assistant at the church, said the garden was planted this year to grow fresh food for the community and to raise funds for an overseas project through the Foods Resource Bank.
Stewart said the children who attend the church’s Sunday School program have been working on the garden to grow peas, lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables. An acre of sweet corn was recently added.
This is teaching the children about charity, Stewart said. “It’s not just throwing money at something,” she said. “It’s actually doing mission [work] with their hands and their hearts to help others.”
Malecio is a 27-year-old farmer in rural Honduras who lives in a mountainous part of the country, three hours from the closest paved road, with his wife and two children. Earlier this year, Malecio heard about sustainable smallholder ag training through FRB’s Honduras-Nueva Frontera program. He was interested in the training because he had seen other farmers in the area using the new methods, and their crops looked and produced much better than his. So he got in touch with Cesar, an extension agent who works for CASM, FRB’s local partner.
When Cesar came to look at his farm, Malecio explained to him that he was planting only corn, beans, and coffee, the yields were never enough to make it through the year, and low coffee prices meant that he wasn't able to purchase the food his family
Foods Resource Bank’s Guatemala Four Departments program works through local indigenous partners of World Renew, an FRB member organization, in four geographic regions of the country. One of these, Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Polochic (ADIP), assists famers in remote Mayan communities in adopting sustainable agriculture practices to improve their production and crop diversification.
Lucía, an active participant in this program, recently shared her story:
FRB’s Nepal-Bhatigachcha program responds to the widespread malnutrition and seasonal hunger among marginalized, landless residents in Bhatigachha. Though the area is the most fertile in the country, residents typically do not own land, and resort to day labor for their subsistence. The program supports access to leased land for farmers' and mothers' groups so they can farm vegetables for home consumption and income to help themselves out of the cycle of poverty. Here is one farmer’s story:
In the high plains of the Andes Mountains, a dozen indigenous communities participating in FRB’s Bolivia-Potosí program are enjoying better health, eating nutritious, varied food and drinking clean water, thanks to their successes in vegetable production. Ninety percent of families have established vegetable gardens, and 70% of these families have boosted their incomes by 70%. Advertising that promoted the communities’ organic onions and lettuce in the nearest city led to an increase in sales.
The 12 communities have received training in appropriate farming, irrigation methods and marketing, and program follow-up in the areas of nutrition, hygiene, and preventive health.
FRB’s Mexico-Chiapas program is addressing challenges of poor nutrition, poverty, and loss of population from migration due to global policies beyond the control of the community. The program promotes food security by supporting families’ organic crops, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens.
Access to water is limited, so efforts are focused on collecting water in tanks for irrigating staple crops like beans and corn, and water conservation practices in family gardens. Many families are cultivating depleted land, and are benefiting from training on
As FRB’s multi-phase micro-gardening program in The Gambia comes to a close, participants will be able to carry on confidently with the help of a program-trained Private Service Provider (PSP). The program’s overall goal has been to enhance and sustain the livelihoods of at-risk people in peri-urban and urban areas of The Gambia by promoting soilless, organic, tabletop vegetable production using local resources.
An update from one of FRB's newest growing projects in Ohio!
Here at g.r.o.w. (Gardens Reaching Others Worldwide) we are planning to show love through a harvest. Spring is finally here and we are excited to get on with our start-up year.
We currently have three group locations and possibly input from several home gardens. The group locations can be found at a school campus, a church, and a farmstead.