Garden Plots Help Reduce Food Insecurity

Blue Ridge Community College

In the extremely food-challenged village of LaGonave, Haiti, close to half of the children suffer from malnutrition and more than 40% of the island's population depends on food aid. Wanting to help, the Enactus team at Blue Ridge Community College traveled to Haiti to provide some of the poorest families in this area with training on how to improve their circumstances and become more food and financially secure. They helped the village develop entrepreneurial gardens; 8 x 8 foot raised bed gardens built with soil brought in from mountain regions on the island to create a favorable growing environment for crops. Thanks to this effort, more than 200 gardens and three composting sites were created. The Entrepreneurial Gardens project has not only helped to increase the availability of food, it has also enhanced the economic development of the community by allowing residents to sell surplus food at local markets and to other islanders. It has made possible the consumption of more than 4,000 pounds of vegetables and produce sales of more than $14,000. In addition, this project has prompted three nurseries to provide these residents with seedlings to start additional entrepreneurial gardens.