Friday, 9 September 2011

New vegetable garden for the Adampur Trash Pickers!

On Wednesday, September 7th ViKAS Centre interns had the exciting new assignment of initiating a farm plot in the migrant community in Adampur. We have been working with the migrant community of 31 members since April 2011 on various issues of health, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, economic sustainability, waste management and education.  They face a complex range of social, health and environmental issues that we seek to address in a holistic and integrated way to improve their overall living conditions through building a partnership of trust and respect. One of the main problems faced in this community is poor or inadequate nutrition.  Many members only eat once a day in order to save money and their level of awareness on a balanced diet is limited.  Therefore, as a first step at improving their nutrition levels and awareness we helped them clear the land for planting of a range of vegetables.
The Land before cultivation
To start the job, Interns took turns cutting grass and weeds in order to clear a square plot of land located just behind the community. This task was at times challenging due to the heat but everyone persevered.
Mr B, Dan, Yvan and Hiroki all hard at work
 Once the land was cleared interns began planting vegetable seeds. Some of these included radish, spinach, peas, and chili.

Gulshan,Alex,Suzy and Dan planting seeds
Unfortunately, our organic farming team was away at a workshop and unable to give their advice, but the rest of the interns came together and used their collective knowledge to plant successfully.  However, our organic farm team will be visiting the plot later this week to give their inputs and advice on companion planting, organic pest management and weed control.

                  The next step for the land is to shield it from unwanted animals. Even while the interns were planting seeds, a heard of water buffalo tried to intrude, but we made sure that they got the message and scared them away, as well as spoke to their owner about keeping them off this plot of land.

The current crop of EduCARE interns after a hard days work
Names from back row left to Right, Yvan,Dan, Liz, Nick, Julia, hiroki, Alvin, Rachael, Alex,
middle row: Rieke, Tono, Yuki, Shantie,
front row: Gulshan, Suzi

             Overall, the day was a success and if the community tends to the land with our help and guidance, it should thrive with vegetables for them in the future. This is a first step to help improve their diet and nutrition levels as well as save them money for the future. We hope also in the coming weeks to extend this plot to include more vegetables. We will be sure to keep you updated on the progress of this project!