other than rice

Although my major task in managing the SRI experiment, I also participated in many other activities of the iF Foundation.

Making compost: we collected corn stalks, rice straws, and bean hays from farmers who are the foundation’s beneficiaries, mixing them with chicken manure from our chicken coop.  

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Calculating the ratio and amount of each portion. 

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Weighing

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Mixing materials

 

Planting corn: some people digging holes and the others sowing seeds. The holes are not necessarily lined up. We planted 3 seeds in each hole. 

 

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Maintaining weather stations and collecting data: the foundation set up 3 HOBO weather stations in village of Dubre, Coronel, and Grison-garte to collect weather data. Once we have enough data, we might be able to understand the weather pattern and better planning planting schedules.

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Cleaning the sensors

 

The school breakfast program (I’m not involved in this): the foundation prepares and gives free egg sandwiches to kids in 6 nearby schools. The eggs come from chickens raised by the foundation. 

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Bread. A group of chef and food preparing work is hired to make the sandwiches early in the morning.

 

Grafting fruit trees: the foundation bought grafts of good varieties and grafted them. The project includes avocado, mango, and citrus. The young trees will then be distributed to farmers. I have helped grafting avocado last time, using top grafting. This time we grafted mangoes with side grafting, because mango saplings are not woody enough. 

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After grafting on the side, the entire grafted part was wrapped to avoid rain water getting into the cut. The wrap would be taken off after 10-15 days.

 

Collecting bagas compost from Kleren work-shops: bagas is sugarcane leftover after the juice being squeezed out for making an spirit called Kleren. The workshops usually just pile them up and burn them afterward. Some piles can sit there for months, and the bagas at the bottom starts to decompose. We collect these half-decomposed bagas for our compost piles at no cost. 

 

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Digging out the bottom part. They are already in a loose, black, and moist condition. This pile has been sit for almost 1 year. 

 

Peanut trials: the foundation starts a peanut project this spring, and the agronomist is leading an experiment on how compost and planting method can affect peanut yield. There are treatments of different amounts and kinds of compost, and raised beds/flat surface.

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Building raised beds

 

Inoculating mushroom: Bryan Sobel from MFK cooperates with the foundation to experiment artificially raise “djondjon nwa”, a black mushroom which is a high-value food in Haiti. It has unique pleasant aroma and is usually used for making delicious rice pilaf. All the mushroom sold in Haiti is foraged in the wild. We hope to be able to artificially raise it. Image

“djondjon nwa”

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Building raised beds

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Mulch the beds with bagas. We blend the mushroom with water and then dress the solution on the beds. 

 

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Cover with soil

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Water the beds to provide moist

 

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