We have just finished another 9-week vegan PDC course here in Haiti. 15 participants came to share and learn sustainable living whilst putting it into practice on-site, which bolstered our community numbers to over 30 at one stage. Having this many people allowed us to plant and look after thousands of trees in Anse-Pitres.
The long and on-site nature of this course format allowed us to go into real depth on the PDC syllabus and also carry out extensive practical applications. We energy cycled from our natural sponges to make raised bed gardens and created hot compost with the excess green manures.
We re-designed our existing gardens using natural patterns and planted more polyculture guilds of plants, as below with bananas, papayas, velvet beans, runner bean, pigeon peas, peanuts, pineapples, maniocs, sweet potatos, sunflowers, marigolds, edible leaves and local medicinal plants.
We also started techniques in soil building so we can build many more beautiful productive gardens. The one below is called Amrut Mitti, replicating nature using leaves to create soil.
We even put the start of a food forest on site by creating a system of Swales, Permy water conservation feature, on our land. We then planted them with a leguminous cover crop mix of alfalfa, beans, peas and pumpkins. The cover crop is beginning to come up already. We will soon plant a mix of leguminous (to fix nitrogen to the depleted soil) and fruit bearing trees; in the years to come we will be picking papayas, bananas, edible leaves, guanabanas, tropical almonds, custard apples, mangos, citrus fruits, coconuts and of course lots of Mayan Nuts.
The course culminated in the design of two community gardens, one in a local kindergarten and the other around a family’s aquaponic system. By applying the design principles to real life scenarios the students got to put into practice what they had learnt from the course. We also got to implement some parts of the designs.
We also constructed rocket stoves from home-made bricks in local people’s houses.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our next PDC course with a team from SOIL that will be tuned to the local population being taught all in Creole with many local practical solutions. Let us know if you’d be interested in helping out…