Arcahaie / Organic Greenhouses
“Little by little….
one crop,one field, one family at a time……
sustainable farming is taking root.”
In recent decades, sustainable farmers and researchers around the world have responded to the extractive industrial farming model with ecology-based approaches, variously called: natural, organic, low-input, alternative, regenerative holistic, Biodynamic, biointensive and biological farming systems. All of them, representing thousands of farms globally, have contributed to our understanding of what ‘sustainable systems’ are and each of them shares an agronomic vision that:
- promotes biodiversity;
- recycles plant nutrients;
- protects soil erosion;
- conserves and protects water;
- uses minimum tillage;
- integrates crop and livestock enterprises.
Group 73 in collaboration with the ARN Foundation of Haiti, began construction of its 23,000 sq. ft ‘organic greenhouse mid-summer of ’09 and by Jan.’10 was producing over 300 pounds of ‘organic’ green and red peppers weekly. The greenhouse is located within the ARN’s Digue Matheux nursery, along the Rivier Matheux and close proximity to the town Arcahaie, with approximately 250,000 Haitians living there. Since the Jan’12th earthquake, thousands of relocating Haitians have come to Arcahaie for resettlement and the need for fresh produce comes without question.
Group 73’s intent with this greenhouse is to set an example of how an ‘intensive’ commercial scale agronomic production system can be replicated throughout Haiti, by:
- educating farmers on the merits of ‘organic’ farming techniques;
- producing for local markets revenue generating crops;
- demonstrate appropriate water/irrigation methods;
- assist with a collective marketing strategy that will provide more revenue back to the growers themselves.
Workshpos are an ongoing activity at the Digue Matheux site, which has already help educate local farmers on the merits of composing and vermiculture practices for their respective family operations.