I just started 22 more gardens in and around Esteli. With the assistance of Belen Acura—and family and friends. The first group of 15 gardens was developed by IDE from an idea I had for subsistence gardens in newly developed property outside Esteli. IDE took my idea a few steps further to try and bring the residents into a cooperative. We had limited success. The problems I saw were bringing new neighbors together and not having a technician locally. But we learned together. The second group of gardens I proposed for IDE was at the Nueva Vida fair and free trade factory. It was my small gift and acknowledgement of their inspiring business model of combining Free Trade benefits with fair trade values and ideals. Now, Belen and company with my assistance are working on a group of 22 gardens, 5 of which will be in a local women’s prison for the benefit of their diet and to develop some funds for the families of these women. The rest of the 4 m x 5 m gardens are individually evaluated by Belen for practicality of success. Some will only need IDE’s irrigation system, and Belen’s expanding local agricultural knowledge. While others will need some labor to till the soil for single and aged women. We don’t expect cost effective fruits of our finance and labors on this first crop but hope to leave the families with the means and agricultural education to carry on. Another important product of these gardens is the pride and pleasure the people have for producing their own vegetables, as we who have had gardens of our own know. At this time we choose not to ask for financial assistance. When we prove our ideas and efforts a success we will look for help for what we can spend and intend to be extremely transparent perhaps by having a financial page on our website.
Expenses and Benefits of our 22 garden production, administration, and technical guidance: Belen $200.00 per month Labor assistance $100.00 per month Transportation to sites $50.00 per month Fertilizer and fumigation Seedlings and seeds, irrigation systems, (one time tool purchase)
Healthy diet Cash from sale of extra vegetables Knowledge for future plantings Satisfaction of a successful crop, providing for your family Pride and Independence – Immeasurable