Monday, November 28, 2016

Whole Haitian Experience

Ultimately I enjoyed the trip to Haiti. It was an experience I may not ever get again. I got the opportunity to teach Haitian students about things that I grew up knowing and learning. Not only did I do some teaching, but the Haitians taught me two important things. One being that just because a farming practice works in eastern Iowa, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work anywhere else. The second thing they taught me is probably the most important. The Haitians taught me to not take for granted what I have. I am lucky enough to eat a meal 3 times a day everyday, which not many Haitians have that luxury.
One of my favorite things that I got the opportunity to teach the Haitians was that they can use animal manure as a fertilizer for their plants and add organic matter to their soil. Explaining to the Haitians that that they should pick up the manure from anywhere they see it, even if its on the side of the road. We suggested that they walk around with buckets and scoops to pick it up. At that point they thought us Americans were absolutely crazy that we collect manure. So one days while we were walking to the students gardens we picked up the manure we seen on the way, and added the manure into the soil around their plants. With the Haitians still thinking we were crazy, we continued to tell them that they can use peels from their fruit can be worked into the soil for the same reasons. Not that an orange or banana peel will necessarily  fertilize the plants, but they will add organic matter and help with potassium amount of in the soil. By adding organic matter you can improve the soil conditions to grow a better crop. If they improve their crop, they will have more fruit and vegetable to eat or sell at the market.