Project Update – Planting at Home

Planting at Home or Siembra en tu casa is a program meant to encourage community gardens and food stability. Our first program update comes from the agricultural community of El Caracol, Turgua in the Miranda State. We partnered with Fundación Acción por Venezuela for this project.

Since February 2020, 15 participants have received education and training around gardening and food stability. The goal of this initiative is to reduce hunger and food scarcity in a community that has been impacted by the humanitarian and economic crisis of Venezuela. 

This project has focused on the following goals:

  • Train 15 participants, teens and adults from the community, with practical knowledge regarding selection and conservation of seeds, agricultural management, pruning and fertilization, harvest and post-harvest practices.
  • Establish a community garden with an emphasis on sustainable agriculture. The garden will also provide produce for the community pantry of El Caracol.

The project is comprised of the following activities:

  • Weekly agricultural classes and hands-on workshops (24 total classes over a six month period)
  • Construct six garden beds and plant the initial harvest (onion, cilantro, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes). 
  • Manage harvest and postharvest for the community garden. 

Progress to date

  • 12 classes completed, halfway through the 6-month agricultural course.
  • Participants
    • 30% teens, 70% adults
    • 55% women, 45% men
  • Garden beds were successfully constructed as well as the layout of the community garden, including locations for nursery, tool shed, and compost. This process included leveling the ground, eliminating weeds, roots, rocks and other debris, and distributing soil. A water pump and 200 meter hose was purchased and installed.
  • Initial plants in the garden include
    • 31 large pimentónes
    • 27 long pimientos
    • 72 sweet ají 
    • Green beans, cucumbers and ground nuts
    • Cilantro, green onion, lettuce and potatoes
  • Due to their short cycle, 80 cilantro and onion plants have already been harvested and used in the community pantry. 

Unexpected benefits

When a community comes together, incredible things happen. Nuns and kitchen staff from the community pantry became actively involved in the program, a strong indicator of the long-term potential of the Planting at Home project. School children have also participated in community garden activities.

Check out more photos on Instagram.