SOIL Partners with St. Barnabas Agricultural College
St. Barnabas Agricultural College (CASB) is an institution with a vision to provide sustainable agricultural services to Haiti’s Northern region, and the school is using both SOIL’s EkoMobil mobile toilets and compost, Konpòs Lakay, to help achieve that goal! The two-year agriculture technician program is expanding: they are currently constructing new academic facilities and bringing unused plots of land back into agricultural production. The school hopes to have irrigated orchards and crops, aquaponics, an animal husbandry facility, and community gardens where CASB students and neighbors will be able to grow their own food and sell what they don’t need in local markets. By partnering with SOIL, St. Barnabas is ensuring that their current and future approach to agribusiness is sustainable and integrated.
At St. Barnabas, students are schooled in sustainable farming practices, with an emphasis on water and soil conservation. These are all of the ingredients for an amazing partnership with SOIL!
CASB has been renting our EkoMobil toilets since October 2015 as they are tearing down their current school building and need durable and functional portable bathrooms. Fortunately, our dry composting toilets both meet this sanitation need and align with the goals of St. Barnabas, helping the school lead a sustainable lifestyle by conserving water and returning the nutrients in the wastes return to the soil in the form of compost, of which they purchased a whopping 27 tons!
All crops on CASB’s site are grown organically and fertilized with Konpòs Lakay, SOIL’s EcoSan compost, rather than chemical fertilizers. According to Alan Yarborough, St. Barnabas’ Project Manager, the school initially decided to start using our compost last winter because they are planning to bring previously unused land back into production, and they knew our compost would help restore nutrients to the soil. The school is already starting to see the benefits of using our compost, as the yield of their beet and cabbage plants has increased with Konpòs Lakay. Who knows what other crops SOIL’s compost, and the hard working students at CASB, can help flourish?
Another benefit of St. Barnabas’ partnership with SOIL is the jobs it has helped create. Alteus Jean, the EkoMobil manager at CASB, told SOIL staff that with the added income he receives from his job managing our toilets at St. Barnabas, he has been able to start building a new house.
SOIL’s vision of sustainable development and St. Barnabas’ plan to expand into agribusiness while still retaining their model of conservation and soil restoration fit together perfectly, and we can’t wait to see how this amazing partnership will continue to prosper.
October 14, 2016 (7:04 pm)
We are interested in donating cuttings of plants that would be useful in urban settings for erosion control. Plants like wedelia and perenial peanut are readily regenerated and widely used in the Americas for soil stabilization. We are in search a partner in Haiti who could propagate and distribute the rooted cuttings to locales of need. In order to be successful this project will require some basic inputs (soil, water, planting labor) and some more complex abilities like identifying groups or individuals who would receive the plants and distribution. Would you or someone you know be able to be that partner?
Perennial Peanut – http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep135
Wedelia – http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/sphagneticola-trilobata/)
November 2, 2016 (3:00 pm)
I don’t think SOIL is the right organziation to take this on, but one of our partners, SAKALA, might be a good fit. I’d be happy to put you in touch if you’re interested!
Erica, SOIL Systems Director