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Planting seedlings on Josue's farm

In 2012, John Mann and his daughter Elizabeth Mann, went to Gonaives, Haiti for a week to accomplish non-profit work for SHAPE International. While John was teaching a class on soap making, Elizabeth worked on a permaculture project at Pastor Josue’s home. The project involved the application of sustainable gardening techniques that Elizabeth will also be teaching when she goes to Burundi, Africa. Agriculture is an important skill that is constantly in development as new techniques arise. Permaculture design is growing especially useful as the need for sustainable and organic gardening methods grow.

Turning water bottles into planting containers

Permaculture is about using the supplies that are available to you. This most importantly includes recycling and reusing. Plastic water bottles are very prevalent in Haiti and most other countries. They are quickly cast to the wayside without a second thought, but they too can be given a second life. By cutting off the top of the bottle, the bottom is suitable for filling with dirt and planting seeds. Poking a few holes in the bottom can be beneficial for proper drainage.

Planting seeds

We planted a variety of seeds. Eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, and others were started in the planting containers made from water bottles.

Making plant labels

The water bottles also had an additional use by cutting them into strips and turning them into plant labels.

Plant labels

Writing down the names of plants on the labels.

planting containers

Hundreds of containers planted with seeds.

Beet from Haitian garden

This beet was pulled from the garden that was already established.

Raised bed

Raised beds are very effective when good drainage is needed. Wood and even concrete blocks make a good border. There are so many possibilities when it comes to sustainable gardening. Sustainable practices are important to integrate when teaching agriculture around the world.

2 responses to “Sustainable Agriculture in Haiti

  1. Claire Labatte says:

    I m a native of Haiti and have been living in the states for 30 years. I have decided to go back home and work the lands left for us. I would like to know I can get help with your organization.

    • John Mann says:

      Thank you for the message Claire. It's good to hear that you are going back to Haiti to provide assistance. We are not currently working in Haiti. If you have specific questions, we will do our best to answer them or direct you to someone who can help.

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