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Welcome to the People's Garden

February 16, 2018

 

Hi all,

 

My name is Kenel and I was born in the central plateau of Haiti where I spent most of my life and went to school. After I graduated from high school in Hinche, Haiti in 2011, I moved to Port au Prince to study agriculture. After a year and a half I got a scholarship to study in Portland, OR where I learned about taking care of small farms.

 

During this time I started a kickstarter to raise money for creating a farm in Haiti. Two years later I moved back and bought three acres of farmland in Mirebalais, in the central plateau, to start a moringa farm while I ran an agriculture program at a school in southwestern Haiti. The main focus of the farm is to start a moringa facility. Moringa is one of the most nutritious plants in the world, and scientists just found that out 10 to 15 years ago. Moringa leaves have more than 90 nutrients and 46 antioxidants. These trees which are native to Africa and India grow really fast in tropical climates like Haiti. Moringa can be used in salad and with cooking rice, vegetables, beans, and other types of food. The seeds can also be used to purify water and to make oil. Roots can be boiled and eaten like sweet potatoes.

 

Since the whole tree can be used it makes it a valuable plant to grow. The most important part of moringa trees are the leaves. Drying the leaves and making it into a powder gives people a way to store it and consume it over a long period of time, and it makes it easier to feed it to babies since the powder can be put into liquid. We are starting this moringa facility to create jobs and to give more people access to moringa powder, mainly pregnant women and babies. So far we have built a fence around the land to keep out wandering animals, and we have started constructing a small house where guests can stay while visiting in the future.

 

The farm already had mango and avacado trees growing, and we planted black beans and 300 moringa trees. The mean idea is to: 1) help feed the Haitian population, 2) create great jobs for people in Haiti, and 3) help the local economy of Mirebalais. My goal for the next couples of years is to build a factory to process the leaves into a powder that can be sold. The house needs to be finished so that there is a place for people who come to work on the project to stay. We also need a building to make the powder, which would include one room for a washing station, one room for the drying process, and one room for the machine that grinds it up. Eventually we want more moringa trees to be planted in the farm and community to increase the production of moringa powder.

 

Please contact us at pierrekenel13@gmail.com and lmccullough@ncidea.org if you are interested in working with us on this project. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this!

 

Kenel Pierre

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