Stewardship: A Plant With Purpose Core Value
Written by Annelise Jolley on August 14, 2014 in General
This blog series explores the six Core Values of Plant With Purpose: Faith, Collaboration, Stewardship, Sustainability, Empowerment, and Innovation. In this series we’ll share how these values play out across our international programs and how they inform our approach to community development. Up next: stewardship.
Stew-ard-ship / noun: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care
What do you steward? This term may seem irrelevant outside an environmental context, but the truth is we all steward something. Each of us has been entrusted with resources and relationships. We steward homes, finances, children, food, clients, friendships – and the list goes on.
Plant With Purpose’s San Diego office stewards the organization’s finances, donor relations, storytelling efforts, and program oversight. Our international country directors steward their staff, who in turn steward partnering families. These farming families steward their land and resources, however limited these resources may be.
In an effort to incorporate stewardship across our international programs, Plant With Purpose works with partnering farmers to make the most of their resources. When families carefully and responsibly manage even small plots of land, great things can happen!
One of the best examples of stewardship is the double dug garden. This farming technique helps families maximize small areas by digging a garden bed into the ground then filling it with layers of dirt and organic fertilizer until it sits several feet above ground. The mounded earth provides more surface area for growing nutrient-rich veggies like kale, beans, corn, bananas, and carrots. Farmer Field Schools in Tanzania have reported a 64% increase in crop production when using the double dug technique.
Zubeda Ramadani is a farmer from Tanzania who learned how to craft double dug gardens through her Plant With Purpose savings group. Since switching from normal gardens to double dugs, Zubeda is growing an abundant harvest and using less water to care for the garden. The increased vegetable production means her family has more diversity in their diet, and all five children are growing up healthier. Zubeda sells leftover vegetables at the market and invests the income as shares in her savings group.
Across the globe, partnering farmers are wisely caring for their resources. This stewardship of earth and money teaches us that we serve a God who cares for each sparrow and provides our daily bread. By stewarding what they’ve been given, Plant With Purpose farmers have a plenitude of food and enough income to save for tomorrow.
 Matthew 10:29-31