Letters to SOIL: "There is No Doubt in Our Minds"
SOIL Letters is a blog series featuring some of the beautiful letters we’ve received over the years in support of the work we’re doing in Haiti.
Impact. If you spend much time reading about non-profits or NGOs these days, you’re sure to come across that word pretty often. And for good reason – it’s important to know that the causes you support are, indeed, making a difference.
At SOIL, we know we’re operating against incredible odds: there are only 67 of us, but millions of Haitians who have neither access to safe sanitation nor enough food to eat. So we strive to make an impact not only through the work of our amazing employees, but also by working with other individuals and organizations to educate and empower Haitians, multiplying our effect. The result? Letters like this one:
I still often think about the excitement of trying to find the SOIL location in PAP and picking up compost just after we had arrived from Canada… We are now back home after spending 11 weeks at Haiti Arise Ministries teaching a 10-week course in Home Gardening/Sustainable Agriculture to 80 students, with 75 of them passing the course and getting certificates. It has been a wonderfully rewarding experience for both Louisa and I.
The practicum part of the course was students working in groups, each group having their own garden plot of 4 by 5 m. The first week we had the students planting black beans in a 75 cm wide and 5 m long plant bed, one row planted after we had mixed in one bag of compost, the other row without compost. We had them do observations in bean growth height differences between the compost and non-compost, and also observed the low incidence of diseased plants that grew in the composted soil. The second picture (above) is a ripe cucumber exactly 35 days after planting the seeds in the tires with soil enriched with compost, about a quarter to one-third bag of compost per tire. This really blew us away how fast and well the plant produced the cucumbers.
The students were really interested in compost and started to ask me where they can buy the compost. It happened that I had been in contact with Agronom Franky… I showed him the compost bags (and our comparison experiments in the student gardens) and encouraged him to get in touch with SOIL, in order to get compost from SOIL to sell in his store in Grand Goave, as I believe there is a market for this great product.
During our next stint in Haiti, I would certainly buy compost again… There is no doubt in our minds about the positive effects on adding compost to enrich the soil in terms of healthy growth and increased production of vegetables.
We are also very excited reading about your expansion program doubling the amount to be processed. We continue to be impressed by what SOIL is doing and the impact it is making for the people in Haiti.
Again, thank you for this wonderful product.
Laurens and Louisa