Exciting Developments in Urban Gardening Taking Root in Shada, Cap-Haitien
Our beloved Madam Bwa amazed us again this month with the beautiful bounty of her rooftop garden. Our jaws dropped at the gleaming jewels of eggplant hanging heavy from their stalks, tomatoes, spinach, peas, basil, oregano, oranges and more! Her roof seemed a veritable Garden of Eden in the middle of Shada’s concrete jungle.
Madam Bwa recounted with great relish the pleasure she found in her ability to augment her nutritional palette without having to spend more at the market. Plain rice can now be diri pwa kongo! (rice with Congo peas). Standard spaghetti with red sauce can now be enhanced by sautéed eggplant and fresh basil. Pumpkin soup can be made rich with greens. And that doesn’t include basil tea and aloe vera juice!
SOIL hopes in the coming weeks to compile a urban gardening guide in Haitian Creole for others in Shada and throughout Haiti to be able to replicate the bounty of Madamn Bwa’s garden. The natural wealth that is lying at our fingertips here is remarkable, and SOIL hopes to help illuminate the ease with which this wealth can be reclaimed with the help of ecological sanitation compost and a little creativity.
The opportunity for beautiful and successful gardens even in dense urban areas like Shada is revealed through creative approaches to gardening, using available space with the greatest efficiency. Old car tires, cracked buckets, plastic bottles, paint cans, a plethora of generally discarded items can be reappropriated as valuable resources when viewed in the proper light.
If you are excited about the idea of community, urban, and vertical gardens or if you have experience with permaculture, horticulture, and have ideas and tips to share, please feel free to do so. We would love to hear your comments, questions and advice. Stay tuned for more updates as Madam Bwa’s resourcefulness and gardening passion begins to spread.