Recent Stories

  • Tree Give Away

    13 August 2014

    We gave trees away in an area called Felsab today, Monday, August 11. The folks were grateful to receive 50 trees of different types. Please join us in praying for rain.

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  • It's All About The Rain

    24 July 2014

    A wet spring helped the tree project tremendously by causing the trees to produce abundant fruit from which we got a lot of good seeds to plant. Now we have entered a dry spell and are waiting for some significant rain so that we can start to give away the 200 or so trees that are ready to go.

    We also have approximately 200 mango seedlings, which should be ready to give out next spring. The soil blend we are using now gives the seedlings a big head start, reducing the time cycle from start to delivery.

    You may not have cracked open a mango seed recently, or ever, but the mango seed pod is a pretty amazing design. The outside of the pod is very porous and fibrous, which enhances water absorption and decomposition. We remove the seed pod (the seed itself is wrapped in a paper-like sack) and plant the seed directly into the soil, which speeds up germination.

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  • Tree Project On Track

    19 September 2013

    Any time we see folks walking down the street here carrying whatever fruit is in season, be it mangoes in early summer, avocados in late summer into early winter, or citrus anytime, we know that getting food trees into the community is a project that will pay dividends (now you see, I could have said "bear fruit" here but I much too sophisticated to go for something that obvious) for generations to come.

    This has been a fantastic summer for beginning this project, with above average amounts of rainfall. We are on track to get 500 trees into the community. Praise to our Lord.

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  • Trees & Rain

    5 August 2013

    We gave out 140 trees in the past week. God has provided 4 inches of rain in the same time period.

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  • Distributing Seedlings

    19 April 2013

    Since we have been getting some pretty consistent rainfall, Steve decided to start giving the food tree seedlings out. The first trees were given out Monday evening (13 April). We had a dinner with the cistern crew and their wives to celebrate the successful completion of 56 cisterns. At the conclusion, we gave them each their pick of two trees. On Tuesday, we began giving the trees to hospital employees. On Wednesday, we gave them, first come-first served, to the folks in the community. 248 trees were given out in total. Steve is having a bit of separation anxiety.

    According to Wikipedia, which is never wrong :) , a mango tree can bear fruit for up to 300 years.

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  • Much Needed Rain

    Updated: 14 April 2013

    We got 1¼ inches of rain in about an hour and a half on April 13. Rain is a big deal here. We are having a wetter April than usual so far. We pray it continues.

    As the rain started from the south, right after sunrise, there was still blue sky to the northwest, making a backdrop for a rainbow.

    We plan to begin giving out fruit trees in the coming weeks, as we count on the rains to continue. The trees are really looking good, most are 3 feet or so tall and have a well established root system. They have begun to put on new growth. We will include more information about this project in the May newsletter.

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    10 April 2013

    We got almost an inch of rain today (9 April). This follows 3/4 inch last week. This is a great thing, it is even earlier than most years. If it keeps coming, we will soon begin giving out the mango and avocado trees, which are really looking good, getting big enough that we have had to move them to give them room to grow.

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  • Sharing & Experimenting

    26 September 2012

    The interest in the food trees continues to grow. We have been giving some of the more mature trees away to workers and it has been a great thing for employee relations. They cast a longing eye at the mango and avocado trees that we planted a couple of months ago, wanting to take some of them with them now. We tell them that they need to wait until next spring during the rainy season when they are more mature (the trees, not the employees).

    The trees themselves are thriving as we experiment with when to allow them to get more sun. The very design of the mango and avocado seeds is pretty amazing. They are very substantial seed pods which supply the seedling with needed nutrition to thrive in less than optimal conditions. We try to help this along with an enriched blend of soil, and together with the design of the pod, they are doing very well.

    Click on thumbnail images to view larger images / slideshow.

    As the trees mature, we are moving them into bigger pots and into an area where they will receive more sun. They are under a 50% shade material and were moved from under almost total shade. This seems to be working well.

  • Seedlings in Stages

    6 August 2012

    We are now at a point that we can give you an idea of the various stages the seedlings go through. The seeds are planted in small bags of ammended soil, from which they sprout and take root before being moved to tall pots. Once they reach a certain maturity in the tall pots, they are transplanted into rice sacks, which is the final stage before getting them into the hands of the folks here. These rice sacks allow them plenty of room to spread roots, and the sack can be left intact when they are planted as it will quickly degrade.

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  • Tree Revived, New Seedlings, & Plants Ready

    2 July 2012

    This branch on the Mango Francique (first 2 photos below) that is on hospital property is a great example of a tree that last year produced less than 10 mangoes, but with a little TLC, this year it has produced nearly 100. We are planting 5 varieties of mangoes, as well as many other food producing trees.

    We have been anxiously awaiting the beginning of the fruit bearing season so that we can get the seed to start more trees for the food tree project. Well, it is here. We have plenty of mango, cortisol, tamarind, almond, and cherry seedlings started. The ladies in the widows home are glad to help us get the seed ready to plant. We have materials on the way to use to build a shade house dedicated to this project. We have begun getting some of the larger trees into the hands of folks in the community. It is exciting to see the reception this project is getting. We hope to have hundreds of trees to get into the community by next year.

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  • Garden Area Preparations

    7 April 2012

    Here are some photos of the garden area. It is not much to look at and has pretty poor soil conditions. That is kind of the point. Having the poor, rocky conditions and being situated as it is so close to the road with lots of pedestrian traffic, it will, we hope, become a good example to folks as to what they can do with their gardens. In the photo with text, you see the berm we created to divert and retain rainwater, but what is not visible is the compost filled trench directly in front of it. When the rains begin, we will plant plantain in this trench and more coconut palms in the berm. The garden area is situated behind the house that we use to house the family of severely malnourished children when, despite sending supplemental food home with them, they do not thrive. The child and family members can stay in the house where we can better supervise their progress. The cistern to the left of the nutrition house is the first one we built this year.

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