Over the last few months, Getsemaní has been planting a community garden. Community members will work together to grow a number of different vegetables, which they can incorporate into their daily diet and thus improve their nutrition and that of their family.
The nonprofit organization CEDESAN (Center for Documentation and Exhibition of Food Security, Nutrition and Local Development) and the municipal government’s agricultural department are supporting the effort. Agricultural department staff have led several training sessions on how a community garden can improve nutrition and how the participants should work together for mutual benefit.
A group of 15 women and youth have committed to the new project. They started to prepare the soil and dig the rows several months ago. An international volunteer team from Myers Park Presbyterian Church helped to make fertilizer and dig more rows when they visited in March, and all of the rows are now ready for planting. The community members have also enclosed the garden so that chickens and other animals will not destroy the plants. Within the next few weeks, the agricultural department will provide seeds, and the participants will plant vegetables, such as cabbage, radishes, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Although only in its beginning phase, this community garden project has already inspired others. At the request of the municipal government, community leader Martha Sánchez invited leaders from neighboring communities to participate in the initial workshops. These community leaders were so excited that they decided to plant their own gardens, with support from the local government. The participants can’t wait to taste the fruits (or in this case, vegetables!) of their labor.
—Habitat El Salvador Team