Sunday, March 26, 2017

Soil Testing with the Haitians

While in Haiti, the Hawkeye Community College group had the opportunity to check out the UCC University’s garden. We traveled out to the garden by bus with some students from UCC that came back early from their Christmas break. The garden was about a five minute drive away from the university. Once we arrived we had a little bit of a walk to get to the actual garden. The garden was located by a small stream where they had a small canal to help with watering their garden during the dry season. The garden was 156 square meters according to what one of the students told me. The students were growing all sorts of produce such as onions, sweet pepper, cabbage, kale, and a few other things. The Hawkeye Community College group split up into groups with the students so we could collect soil from the student’s specific part of the garden, as well as talk about any concerns or issues they were having with their crop. Tessa Meyer and I were in a group with four UCC students. We collected soil from two different locations of sweet pepper. We explained to the students why we collected the soil and what we would do with it once we returned to the UCC campus. Once all the soil was collected we headed back to UCC. We were unable to test the soil that day so we had to wait until the next day. The next day the Hawkeye Community College group broke into groups again to work with the students to soil test. We had soil testing kits to test the soil but the students were unsure how to use them so we had the opportunity to teach them. While testing the soil, we found that the soil from their garden had a pH of 7.5, the nitrogen level was low, as well as the phosphorus and potassium levels. We then talked in our group how they could improve their soil and what they could do to change the levels they were receiving. Soil testing with the Haitians was a learning experience for both me and them. It was so rewarding knowing I helped teach them something that can improve their lifestyle little by little.

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