Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Self Sustaining

Casa Bernabe is making great strides toward becoming self sustaining.  This is a key part of their vision for the land.  If they can become self sustaining, that would free up a lot of money for other much needed school books. 
Another benefit to becoming self sustaining is that the kids that live their learn about agriculture.  While gardening is a mere hobby for us, in Nicaragua it is their way of life.  Computer skills are wonderful, and the kids have those, but in order to provide for their future families, they will need to at least have an understanding of the basics of agriculture.

So, having said that, here are some pictures of what they've started so far:

The Greenhouse.  There was more roof, but it blew off in a storm.  They hope to have money to fix it in the future, but for now it's not a priority.

Tomato plants.  The white things are covers for each row that keep the plants warm at night, but more importantly keep each row separate from the others in order to prevent disease from spreading to the entire crop.

Chistoma (pepper)

I forget what this is, but they are obviously starts of some sort.

These are the hydroponic boxes they make.  They put coal in them to absorb heat.  Even though Nicaragua is very warm, the temperature changes quite a bit at night.  The boxes also have a spout for water to come out, and they have buckets below to catch the water so they can reuse it.  It's very well thought out!

Banana trees!  They've got two fields of trees.  Hopefully the money they get from selling platanos will be mostly profit.  There will need to be some upkeep, but they already own the trees.  These (coupled with the mango trees that are already on the property) could yield high profits!

Cucumbers (in the ground) Red Cabbage (in the boxes).

How they stake plants.  They hang rope down from the wire and gently tie it to the plants.  Works well!

While they would love to use the veggies to eat at the Orphanage (they don't get a lot of veggies or meat), first they are going to sell them.  Once they've built up a bit money and the program can be self sustaining they will be free to consume more of their goods.  We're praying daily for this program as it's quite large (14 rows each of cucumbers and tomatoes, several boxes of cabbage and peppers) and  6 boys are working daily to keep it going. 

Will you join us in praying for an abundant harvest?