Last month Ed took a trip to Torotoro in the north of Potosi to train 7 of FH’s staff in the principles of Foundations for Farming (FfF) and to plant a ‘Well-Watered Garden’ of Maize. The training sessions were a steep learning curve as Ed began to realise how difficult it actually was to share these ideas clearly in a second language. This left him a little deflated at the end of the first day, not being sure how much information the staff really captured. However, the second day was more encouraging as the staff began to talk about what they were learning and how it would change some of the ways they would do things in the future. After the theory session Ed then worked with them planting the Well-Watered Garden.
One of the other obstacles that presented itself upon arrival was the fact that the land had been ploughed up just the previous week. This was a problem due to the fact that one of the key points of FfF is to not plough the land. However, we went ahead and planted the garden anyway as there was no other space available. Despite the obstacles it was very exciting to be creating a garden at last, having talked about it for so long. Ed came away feeling encouraged because the staff had captured various important points from the workshop and were beginning to understand the FfF principles, the supervisor was also happy with the workshop as it had provided an opportunity for the team to have time to work, play and laugh together as the garden was made.
Due to a lack of staff time and having already created their work plans for this year, Ed will not be teaching FfF to the farmers this year, however, the staff are working with a number of families on vegetable gardens and so they hope to apply a number of the principles that they have learnt with the families they work with. So hopefully next year Ed will be able to take this a step further and with the staff teach some of the farmers.
When Ed spoke with the supervisor this month about how the garden was growing he heard that parrots had come and eaten most of young shoots that were growing so the staff had to replant and put up some scarecrows. Hopefully this will help and Ed will travel again to Torotoro in January to see how they are doing and then in March/April time for the harvest. During one of these trips we hope to be able to go as a family and see some of the other sights of that region which are said to be quite spectacular.
These last couple of months have been quite draining for us all both emotionally and physically. We were finally able to get away for a few days at Lake Titicaca this last weekend for a much needed break however we are still feeling very tired as holidays with small children are never that restful, so would appreciate your prayers for more energy.
Thank God for:
- Time away at the lake to enjoy some family time
- A positive first year of homeschooling, where both Alana and Sarah have learnt a lot
Ask God for:
- Being wise in taking regular breaks for ourselves as we keep running ourselves down before we stop
- Wisdom in how to best support and encourage the families in our group
Ed, Sarah, Alana, Isaiah & Lucas