Sustainable Farming Keeps a Family Together
Written by Plant With Purpose on November 12, 2013 in General
The steep hillsides of Haiti are a difficult place to survive, yet alone farm to make a living and raise a family. However, this was the land that Francois, a Haitian farmer, inherited. He tried unsuccessfully to build up the soil and improve his rocky field so it could produce enough food to feed his family. But lack of results and opportunity eventually sent Francois over the border to earn an income hauling straw and grazing animals in the Dominican Republic.
The work was hard, but being away from his family was worse. Francois returned to Haiti and began learning sustainable farming techniques from Plant With Purpose—one of those being composting! Compost allows Francois to turn what would otherwise be considered waste–tree branches, leaves, and greenery—into something usable. As these clippings decompose, nutrients build up in the organic matter. This compost was exactly what Francois needed for his rocky field.
Francois’ doubt that his land could produce anything was dispelled as cabbage began to grow on his once-barren land. His family ate better, and he was able to sell the cabbage at market to bring in additional income. And thanks to his savings-and-loan group and the profit from his crop, Francois purchased another quarter acre of land.
Now Francois works on his own land to earn a steady source of food and income. He shares, “No one can make me go back to the way I suffered in the Dominican Republic without my family.”
Hope comes in a surprising ways, and repurposing waste has given new life to a family in Haiti. You can help keep families together this season by shopping at our online Gifts of Hope catalog. By giving a family garden, you will provide the opportunity for parents to feed their children and live with God-given dignity.