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.
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.
We planted a variety of seeds. Eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, and others were started in the planting containers made from water bottles.
The water bottles also had an additional use by cutting them into strips and turning them into plant labels.
Writing down the names of plants on the labels.
Hundreds of containers planted with seeds.
This beet was pulled from the garden that was already established.
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.