Andaman Discoveries Blog

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Community Garden

Homegrown is better

Vegetables and herbs are expensive in Ban Lions, as they are typically brought over from the mainland at high markup and transport cost. To demonstrate that locally grown gardens are feasible, over 20 villagers gathered together to clear and till the land for a community garden. Several bags of high-quality soil were brought in from the mainland and mixed in with the sandy local soil. A shade cover was erected to protect the plants from the harsh conditions of the dry season.

The garden will provide herbs for the villagers and color sources for such as turmeric for the tie-dye group. And the mulched remains of plants used for tie-dyeing are used as compost for the garden. Plants in the garden include: lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, long bean, chili, galangal, kariyat, and elephant ear Watering in the dry season will be overseen by the tie-dye group.

Before work on the community garden began, 5 elementary age kids and 5 preschool age kids participated in a “competition” to draw the garden of their dreams and explain why. The children then joined the adults to clear the area, till the soil, and plant the seedlings. After a follow-up weeding session with the Naucrates turtle team, the kids were rewarded with an evening party with project staff and foreign volunteers.

Thanks to Planeterra, Mangrove Action Project, and Naucrates for their partnership on this project.

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