The goal of SRHF’s Community Garden program is to address and combat food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty through targeted local food production. Fully funded by SRHF, this project supports ongoing community development endeavors, and overlaps with existing Public Health goals as rationale for how and why community gardens can positively impact Saint Rock. By supporting and educating local populations on cultivating key crops, we can empower the Saint Rock community and create increased food security.
Maize is the primary crop we focus on cultivating for our agriculture program. This is for 4 primary reasons:
- Maize is a staple food in the Haitian diet, and can be used for supporting local livestock.
- St. Rock has a long history of cultivating Maize on small plots of land.
- St. Rock has only two rainy seasons, and limited access to water otherwise. Given Maize’s short time to reach maturity and cultivate, it is an efficient crop to produce in the limited time frame allowed.
- Since Haitians have been farming Maize for generations, the local variety is highly adapted to St. Rock’s soil and climate.
SRHF’s latest agricultural project has been developing an egg-laying chicken program. One of the largest challenges in addressing malnutrition within Saint Rock’s local population is the significant deficit in protein. The program started with a series of veterinary training seminars, offered to local community members to teach them how to raise and care for their chickens and other livestock. Several participants were given chickens and they are now laying eggs. The goal for this program is to grow into a community cooperative that will increase food security and diversity within local diets, support the health center malnutrition program and provide economic opportunities for the community through the sales of eggs. To date several individuals have enrolled in a veterinary seminar to learn how to raise and provide basic veterinary care. These individuals received the first chicks in 2016 and they have begun to lay eggs! The goal for this program is to grow into a community cooperative coop that will serve a dual purpose to increasing food security and diversity within local diets while also providing economic opportunity for the community through the sale of eggs.