We want to make our village as self-sustainable as possible. This goal will require the development of multiple micro-enterprises to provide for ourselves the products that we need and to sell those products to the community at large to generate income. We have taken our first steps toward that end by focusing our attention on the area of food production, because the health and development of the children begins with good nutrition! Check out what we have in place below.
The “Tilapia Farm,” as we like to call it, is a sustainable food production system that was completed and first stocked with fingerlings in April 2013. The project structures are a combination of three 10’ x 14’ fish tanks and six 4’ x 28’ plant-growing beds. In this unique and highly efficient process, water from the fish tanks is purified by being recycled through the plant beds, where it provides rich nutrients for the growing of vegetables. The current structure can accommodate up to 2,400 Tilapia and 700 plants, resulting in an abundant yield of protein-rich foods for The Village.
We currently have two large “coops” that can hold up to 500 birds each. We buy the chicks when they are three or four days old and then feed and care for them for the next six weeks, at which point they are fully grown and ready for consumption. Right now, we use half of our poultry for Village food, and we sell the remaining half to the public.
Our grove is populated with 32 trees of multiple varieties including avocado, fig, orange, lemon, mango, grapefruit, guava, peach, and papaya. Our harvest of delicious fruit is increasing each year as our young trees continue to mature.
We have a large communal garden in which are grown a variety of produce such as carrots, pumpkin, squash, spinach, maize and lots of tomatoes! In addition, each of the children’s homes has a small plot behind it that the mothers use to grow fruits and vegetables specifically for their own households.
Sewing and furniture making!