The Seed Project

Posted by Holly Wilson on Aug 27, 2018 11:52:53 AM

Sharing Seeds with a Fellow Gardener

Holly Sharing Seeds with a Fellow Gardener

“Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow, all you need is a rake and hoe, and a piece of fertile ground.” These are some lyrics to a great song made famous by folksinger Pete Seeger and written by Dave Mallet. I was humming it in my head as Alejandro Mendoza and I were planning the Seed Project together. Since many jobs have been lost due to the recent struggles in Nicaragua, our Social Responsibility Committee at Gran Pacifica requested we help out the local community. Alejandro and I were both excited about the project, since we both love gardening and started at a young age.

I was raised in California, in the United States, and Alejandro was raised in California, Nicaragua. After talking a bit, we discovered many other similarities about ourselves; our methods in protecting tomatoes and plants from insects and animals, how to make mulch and compost, and many of our favorite recipes used the same ingredients! This partnership was a perfect fit and we looked forward to sharing our knowledge with others.

It seems that just as it happened in the U.S., jobs and societal changes have discouraged Nicaraguans from growing their own produce any longer. Other partners, such as Help Them Help Themselves, Westerly High School, and the CHESS Project have also noticed this change and have been promoting gardening in communities as well as implementing it at local schools.

Alejandro Giving Presentation to Nicaraguan School Children

Alejandro Giving Presentation to Nicaraguan School Children

In May 2018, Gran Pacifica officially launched the Seed Project which encourages and helps to initiate gardening projects. First, we surveyed two local communities to see if growing a garden was something they were interested in doing. We went door to door, showing people the seed packets and justifying the benefits of having a garden. We also explained that sharing the seeds, by “passing them on,” is an important factor of the Seed Project.

Then, two community meetings were held in California and San Diego. About 80% of the people we had spoken to were in attendance. Alejandro’s presentation to the group included videos showing how to make mulch and compost, and how to plant and save seeds. I chimed in with some homemade recipes for bug control. There were many smiles throughout the room that day as everyone closely examined their bags of seeds.

happy facesAll Smiles at the Community Meeting

Alejandro and I also visited five nearby schools: California, San Diego, San Bartolo, Rosario, and Zapote. We talked with teachers and students at each school, asked about their water situation, and scouted out spaces for gardens. At Zapote school, Alejandro and I decided to quiz the students about the benefits of having a garden. Their responses were amazing: economics, selling produce, teaching work ethics and responsibility, eating good food without chemicals, and exercise. The teachers, parents, and students were all very excited about our project.

Since the plantings, there hasn’t been much rain in Villa el Carmen, so when we go back for a visit we fear that the gardens may not have grown very well.  But, the communities of San Diego and California have new water lines and the plants are thriving. So, we are excited to see how the gardens continue to progress in those areas.

The growing garden at Rosario School

The Growing Garden at Rosario School

It has been such a wonderful experience working with so many different families, teachers, students, and employees on the Seed Project.

As the song goes:

“God Bless these seeds I sow,
Someone warm them from below
Till the rains come tumbling down

Pulling weeds, picking stones
We are made of dreams and bones
Need a place to call my own
For the time is near at hand.

Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way through Natures chain
Tune my body and my brain,
to the music of the land.

Plant your rows straight and long
Temper them with prayer and song
Mother Earth will make you strong,
If you give her love and care.”

Full song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u90qRE2F7CM

 

ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.

Coupled with over 20 years of inherent corporate social responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.

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Holly Wilson

Written by Holly Wilson

Holly Wilson is from California. She has a Bachelor's in International Relations/Community Development and enjoyed her career in Social Services. She is now working with Gran Pacifica Resort / ECI Development, employing her special skills on the many projects of Corporate Social Responsibility this company engages in. She is enjoying living in Nicaragua and getting to know the great people here.

Topics: Nicaraguan Tourism, Tourism in Latin America, Living In Nicaragua