|Berry plant; planta de fresa|
|Kidney beans; Porotos|
|Kidney beans; Porotos|
|Ari disfrutando el ambiente|
|Front Balcony; Balcon en la frente|
|Coffee grounds for the earth.|
A couple of weeks ago, I received seeds from Pro-Huerta, a project run by INTA (Instituto national de tecnologia agropecuaria). These seed packages were created in 1997 as a result of the Argentine economic crisis. Many people under the poverty line were unable to afford fresh fruits and vegetables. In response, INTA created paquetes de semillas which provided an Argentine household with 10 different edible plant varieties, such as lettuce, tomatoes, corn and basil.
Today, INTA continues to dispense the paquetes to members of their urban community gardens-- including me! Members start the plants at their home when they require the most tender, love and care. After a month or so, the plants are transplanted to the community garden where they have room to grow.
This project is incredibly relevant to today's economic climate in the US. Although access to fresh fruits and vegetables might seem universal in North America, it's not. Grocery stores and farmers' markets are in abundance in suburbs and gentrified urban neighborhoods, but low-income neighborhoods rarely
stock up on local and organic produce. Seed packages could be a great way to cheaply dispense organic food alternatives. Below I've outlined what a community organization can do with seed packages and information sessions, similar to what I've experienced with INTA.
Meeting #1: Seed distribution
- Take note of who is taking the seeds: what type of home environment does the person live in? How many people are in the family or household? Will they be planted directly into the ground or will containers be used?
- Make sure to outline HOW to organically grow the vegetables. What to use and what to avoid.
- Explain how to plant the seeds and if there are any differences between seed varieties.
Meeting #2: Seed update and photo sharing
- How are those plants doing?? Do some look like they need more water than others? Are they getting enough sunlight? Does your soil need to be added to with egg-shells, coffee grounds or organic fertilizer?
Meeting #3: Transplant time!
- Bring the plants in and transplant them into the garden where they will have space, soil and sunlight to grow!
...Traduccion va pronto!