Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Organic Gardening in Meti (Maiti)

Some people think that the management team in Educare doesn’t really work in field, but that can’t be further from the truth. Take for example, our impromptu gardening session in Meti (Maiti), the place where the Collaborative Operations Management (COM) team is currently living. Maiti is a small beautiful farming village outside of Dharamshala and about 30 minutes from our Rait center. EduCARE used to have a functioning center in Meti (Maiti) but we decided to close it in the Fall of 2014. Since then there has not been much activity there, until the COM team moved in in April 2015.

Our day started like this- HR meeting in the morning, followed by a discussion on Project Coordinator positions, and resulted in a conversation about creating a garden in Maiti. With the help of an Organic farming intern, Gyaneswari, and our Project Director, Mr. B, communicating with our house owner, before we knew it we were clearing the field for our future vegetables. What started as work by a few people, soon became an entire house effort. It also happened that Cesar and Alanah from the Naddi and Rait centers were coming by for meetings. To their surprise when they came everyone was in the garden and they jumped in to help as well!

From left to right: Hanh, Alanah, Cesar, Michelle and Gyaneswari. At the back: Margaret

The teamwork allowed for a lot of progress that would have taken much longer had it just been Michelle and I alone in the house. We managed to weed the already growing crops, clear the land and turn the soil. As the rains have come this is a perfect planting season and we already have growing buds of Indian and French beans, garlic, cucumber, bitter gourd and spinach. We also have a nice mushroom garden growing in our closet provided by Emma, a microfinance intern in Rait!

Michelle and Margaret weeding the garden

Although we have a unique arrangement in Meti (Maiti) as the COM team does not hold all of the projects that a center usually does, we are still working on some community and environmental projects. We maintain projects such as Girls Club and environmental projects like mushroom farming, kitchen garden and eco-building. While our focus is on supporting the management end and administration within the organization, we are still doing our part to learn more about the area, work on sustainable living and help the environment. There's more to come, but for now I can’t wait for our delicious veggies grown with the help of Educare interns to spring up soon!

Margaret Arzon-USA
Operations Coordinator

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