Teaching Children About Nutrition, Organic Gardening, Sustainability, and the Environment
The Children's Garden Club begun in 2017 is designed to improve nutrition by teaching children how to grow nutritious foods like papaya, mango, coconuts, bananas, peanuts, sweet potato, breadfruit, snake beans, moringa, and kangkong. It’s remarkable that none of these tropical fruits and vegetables are available in any quantity on this coastline. There are two reasons. No irrigation in the dry season, and crop destruction by wild pigs, monkeys, and livestock. We have organized a Children’s Garden Club to teach kids how to grow kitchen gardens with irrigation and fencing. The garden club also offers the children 30 minutes a day after school instruction. HAS Children’s Garden Club has proven that all sorts of fruits and vegetables can be grown year round if the land is fenced adequately and irrigated.
Under-nutrition is prevalent during the long dry season which runs June through November. HAS is improving the deficient diet by introducing irrigated, fenced kitchen gardens and small orchards. The programs are organized as a Garden Club for children and an agricultural cooperative for adults (see Harvest for Health Farms section at the bottom of this page).
Harvest for Health cashew program will introduce the benefits of permaculture to Sili village and the valley. In the coming months HAS will scale up its farming to a small commercial level. The goal is to demonstrate to local farmers that it is possible to increase incomes per hectare by 60% or more compared to corn by growing cashews and other fruits/nuts. At the same time, good nutritious food from the farm will be accessible to local residents even during the dry season. We will plant in January, the start of the rainy season.
Two farms will be established, each ~1 hectare (2.5 acres) in size. HAS has a 20 yr lease on the land. Both will have an operational irrigation system, a farm shelter and a toilet house. At each site 200 cashew trees will be planted. The area will be fenced with a living fence to protect them from wild pigs and wandering livestock. A living fence is made by sticking cuttings in the ground which grow into a dense barrier. Peanuts and other annual crops will be inter-planted within the rows to provide an immediate source of revenue and food.
In November, 2018 the farm team attended a training course at the East Bali Cashew Company. After the training Jack Kennedy traveled to Sumbawa to inspected progress with the field preparation. Cashews are quite drought resistant, and grow in nearby Bali without irrigation. However the irrigation system will support the peanuts as well as the trees in the dry season. Cashews and peanuts provide a high quality source of protein, as well as a good economic return.