Community Garden: Investing in the Future
Sufficient locally-producing farmers is the first step on the ladder of development. The availability of clean drinking water and nutritious meals enables boys and girls to grow into strong adults.
Healthy relationships and meaningful, relevant and stimulating education are other essential building blocks that Tree of Life wants to offer. The Tree of Life training center plans to initiate a community garden during the course of 2023.
Plan of Action
The Mitongwe Training center is the place to be for educational purposes. People can learn about agriculture, agroforestry and animal husbandry. There is a need for a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruit tree and nut trees – in a demonstration and production setting.
The diet of an average Malawian consists of maize, soya, tomatoes and peanuts. Even if parents teach their children how to cook (which is quite unlikely), this diet is not very nutritionous. Planting these crops is usually not done in a sustainable way of agriculture.
The community garden can introduce other kinds of vegetables to kids, by cooking and tasting them together. Tree of Life can offer training to local schools, kids clubs and for grown-ups from an existing team of trainers. Kids can learn how to take care of a piece of land, supervised by a trainer.
Proceeds for nutrition programs
It is too much of a stretch to let the youth take full care of the garden themselves. The garden will be managed by a team of local women. The produce will be used primarily for the feeding programs of the various children’s and youth clubs, the church, the elementary school on the Mitongwe property and the staff of the training center, and for the outreach programs to the frail elderly.
As more vegetables and herbs are grown, they can be processed locally into chutneys, soups, sauces, etc., to make them sustainable beyond the growing season.
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