by Monica Roy and Claire Frohman, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL)
It’s January and the slightly cooler weather has made the SOIL farm in northern Haiti a very pleasant place to be! The nursery is as green as ever: full of avocado, cashew, orange, breadfruit, moringa, and mangrove trees. We have started collaborations with local community groups to plant the first batch of trees. This is the first community reforestation event of many more to come!
In addition to getting ready for community planting days, the SOIL nursery staff are also busy setting up a tracking system to document where all the trees are going to be planted. This system will allow for easy follow-up and tree care support as necessary over the coming year, as the trees get established in the ground, and will continue to do so in the many years to come, as the trees begin to green the mountainsides of Haiti!
All the trees will be planted using rich, organic compost generated by SOIL’s eco-toilets from the urban Cap-Haitien community of Shada. In order to celebrate the SOIL “poop loop” cycle of toilets to compost to tree planting, tours are being organized of the SOIL farm for Shada’s eco-toilet users.
We’re excited to provide the people of this urban community the chance to come out and see the positive impact that their toilets are having on Haiti’s environment and even more excited by the prospect of bringing our project full circle: where there is enough space and motivation, we are planning to plant some trees from our nursery in and near the households of our toilet users in Shada!
Stay tuned for more updates and thank you to all the generous donors who have supported this project.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the 10,000 Trees for Haiti project! With your help, we will be able to continue a very strong partnership with Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), our Haitian NGO partner on the ground. Together, we will keep the tree nursery in Labadee, Haiti going through 2013, providing nutritious fruit trees to local farmers throughout the year. Not only do these trees provide fruit for their families, they also provide extra income to farmers who can sell the produce at market. In addition, these trees will diversify crops, improve soil quality, and help keep local watersheds healthy.
The best part about this project: all the trees are planted with “humanure” from SOIL’s dry composting latrines! The 10,000 Trees for Haiti project is “closing the loop and transforming the poop” in Haiti. This truly is sustainable agriculture at it’s finest.
We will continue to provide you with updates from the nursery throughout the year, so stay tuned!
Every one of these 10,000 trees will be planted using a mix of local soil and “humanure” from SOIL’s composting facility. By collecting and responsibly treating human waste, and then reincorporating it back into the earth with a tree seedling, we can increase soil health and productivity for Haitian farmers, and keep local waterways clean. So in supporting reforestation with your donation, you are also contributing to healthy, sustainable sanitation infrastructure in Haiti and improved livelihoods for farmers and their families!
Your donation will help to “close the loop and transform the poop!”
Remember, every donation will be matched dollar for dollar! Together, we can plant thousands of trees that will decrease soil erosion, provide families with nutritious fruit, and create a source of valuable income.
“It is my vision that Haiti will have too many SOIL toilets producing compost and we’ll have to start exporting the compost to the Dominican Republic and to all the other countries of the world!”
– Daniel Tillias of Pax Christi Ayiti
Last year, Trees, Water & People partnered with Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) and Jam Cruise passengers to plant thousands of fruit tree seeds in northern Haiti using SOIL’s EcoSan compost (human manure, aka “humanure”). These trees have matured and are now being planted. But, local community organizations and farmers’ cooperatives have asked us to do even more to help make the mountainsides of Haiti green with trees again.
We envision planting 10,000 more seedlings, hosting tree-planting days, and creating an agricultural education center that can host EcoSan workshops, agricultural exchanges, and research. The tree seedlings planted through this effort will be sold at an affordable, subsidized rate to local famers and cooperatives who will then plant them in the mountains of northern Haiti.
With your help we can make this vision a reality! Please donate today to help us plant 10,000 more trees in Haiti.