"Seeds of Youth", our model sustainable farm, and tree planting program improve nutrition and overall health.
- Growing nutritious produce to improve our kid’s diets
- Teaching sustainable farming practices
- Improving air and soil quality
- Our tree nursery has produced more than 20,000 trees
The youngsters have named our Model Sustainable Farm the "Seeds of Youth." It began with an Urban Reforestation Project, morphed into a community garden and then into a small laboratory farm for sustainable agricultural practices, with the help of a grant from The International Foundation.
The project's most amazing community service feat has been creating a tree nursery and growing more than 20,000 trees from seed. The youngsters give them to residents throughout Nagarote who agree to care for them.
In the tropical climate of Nicaragua, where deforestation has become a national crisis, there are a million good reasons to plant trees. Preventing soil erosion, reducing flooding during hurricanes, providing shade and food, improving air quality in dusty areas are just a few of them.
Based on those and many other reasons, the New England Biolabs Foundation provided us with a four-year grant for an Urban Reforestation Project. We enlisted 60 of our Youth Afterschool Project kids to help plant 600 trees in the dusty, treeless barrios that have been springing up around Nagarote.
In 2011, with a grant from the Tauck Foundation, we created a community garden next to the tree nursery on land we own. In 2012, with a grant from The International Foundation, we installed irrigation, built a tool shed and a growing tent, dug worm beds and compost bins, and produced close to 5,000 pounds of produce. In addition to providing the teens with experience in sustainable agriculture and conservation, the fresh produce improves the nutritional value of their steady diet of rice and beans and leads to healthier families.