Juan Moody and his family have been working with SHI-Nicaragua in the community of El Asentamiento for 5 years. Local field trainer, Cipriano Picado, tells us that the Moody’s land has greatly benefited from the work. The family now avoids using fire, chemical pesticides, and herbicides. The Moody’s are protecting the forest around their home and they are working to reforest the river banks. Mr. Moody has greatly diversified his crops by planting corn, kidney beans, cassava, taro, wood-bearing and fruit-producing trees and cover crops like jack beans. He now also has a vegetable garden which includes carrots, beets, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber, radishes, cabbage, and chili peppers. The Moody family will soon be joining other successful graduates of the SHI program. During the coming months they will be working to build marketing connections and skills.
In his own words:
Due to my environmental outlook, I have never really liked burning, or using contaminants, and while working with Sustainable Harvest, I have learned much more about organization, crop diversity, and the preparation of natural fertilizers, so that I now have worm compost, organic fertilizer and bocashi [compost made by fermentation]. I have also learned how to protect water sources and I use a mulching technique to avoid soil erosion.
On my land, I have tried to protect the trees and I have also planted valuable wood-bearing trees like mahogany, oak, and cedar, as well as other crops, including coffee, cacao, chestnuts, bananas, and coconuts, which have both provided food and generated income.
Sustainable Harvest is doing a noble job in teaching us organic farming methods and also in supplying us with seeds which we did not have before. We feel very fortunate to receive this support, as we now have a grain dryer, which guarantees us to have better quality crops. We also have a hen run, and a proper kitchen with a chimney, which saves us a great deal of firewood and gets rid of the smoke.
On behalf of my community, I would like to acknowledge Sustainable Harvest’s support. However, we still need electric power, which could also be obtained through sustainable methods, such as solar panels or wind power, and this is another dream which I hope to see come true. We also need to be given access to a proper market for our organic products, in order to have higher earnings, so that our children can have access to secondary schools.
I would like to tell those at Sustainable Harvest, in all sincerity, that without your help we would be much poorer. I am very thankful for everything that you have done for our families. Please continue to support us, and I am sure that each day, more families will have the opportunity to improve their standard of living and protect the environment.”