Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:00

Picture a Farm. Does it Have Trees? It Should!

When you farm in a region called the "Dry Corridor," no droplet of water is taken for granted.

A smiling man holds up a pink, spiky fruit in his left hand. He's wearing jeans, a short sleeved button down shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. He's standing in a sloped field and crops and trees are in the background.

Juan González (photo: Beatriz Oliver/USC Canada).

Juan González and son Daniel live and farm in Cayantú, Totogalpa, in the Dry Corridor of Nicaragua. It didn't get that name by accident – it's normally pretty dry. These days, though, it's drier still with the effects of climate change.

But Juan and Daniel have a farm draped in green, slopes sprouting grasses, shrubs, vegetables, sorghum, corn, medicinal plants... and trees.

Daniel Gonzalez, a young man, stands among trees on a very sloped farm field. He is surround by lush green, diverse plants. He's wearing tan pants, knee-high rubber boots and a black polo shirt.

Daniel González showing the incredible diversity that is possible on the farm thanks to practices like agroforestry. (Photo: Beatriz Oliver/USC Canada)

They practise a technique called agroforestry, with support from our partner organization the Federation of Cooperatives for Development (Federación de Cooperativas para el Desarrollo, FECODESA), incorporating trees into their farming system. These trees not only bear them fruit but literally grow the moisture in the soil.

"By planting trees, there is water," says Juan. Since planting trees in tandem with this crops, he's seen first hand how their roots help his soil stay in place and maintain the moisture essential for growing his other plants.

Now self-sufficient for most of their food and able to sell the surplus, Juan and Daniel are teaching their neighbours about the benefits of agroforestry, passing along both information and seedlings. They are adamant about the benefits of this approach: food security, firewood and an increased water supply.

Compost for healthy soils cardIs there a special someone on your holiday shopping list who would appreciate the gift of helping farmers like Juan and Daniel González become more resilient to drought and climate change by planting trees on their farm?

If so, you can cross one gift off your shopping list. With USC Canada's Gifts that Grow, you can get trees to the farmers who need them for just $75.00, and change a family's life for years to come.

Give the gift of a healthier, better fed world this holiday season!

Read 357 times Last modified on Wednesday, 20 December 2017 19:45

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We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.



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