Haiti Reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education

3-Step Program for mountainside gardening

Have you heard how barren the land of Haiti's mountainsides and how most of the trees are gone?  This picture is from parish area of Labiche
eroded hillside

But this is the problem in most of Haiti.

The mountainsides Haitian families live on this and it is all they have, it is their livelihood and sustenance. They cultivate them many times a year trying to get crops off them.

The mountainsides are eroding away and nothing to stop the water so it can soak in to become groundwater.
The loss of trees and bare ground also contributes to a change in weather patterns that actually contributes to droughts.
Something has to be done but we cannot tell them they have to stop growing food on them or they would starve.

 We developed The 3-step program for mountainside gardening  

This long term program's goal is to provide more food while conserving their resources.

These are the 3 problems we need to correct:

Step 1) Stop the Erosion and hold Nutrients and Moisture on the Mountainsides using Vetiver ...Click here!

Vetiver hedgerows when planted correctly will make it's own compost and builds it's own terrace. Bamboo can also be used in steep gullies but when land levels vetiver should be planted to hole back remaining silt. Benefits:

  • Holds moisture on the hillsides
  • Holds nutrients in the humus from running off your land
  • Water will sink into ground to replenish the wells

vetiver vetiver row

Photobucket vetiver

Step 2) Replenish the Soil and Reforest the Hillsides ...Click here! with nitrogen fixing plants...Click here!

Nothing will replenish the soil like vetiver saves it but once it is saved we have to add nutrients and composition to hold moisture and micro-organisms.

To replenish soil use nitrogen fixing trees and plants, also we must let the people plant what they need between the vetiver rows.

  • Plant correct plants between the hedgerows for the terrain
  • Steepest slopes should not be cultivated, these areas are great for goats to graze.
  • Shallow grades better for gardens, mix legumes with Pitimi, mayi etc.                      If you want to plant a vegetable garden or nursery behind the hedgerows you should add biochar with composted vegetation and humanure.
  • Once terraces established with heavy humus you can remove plants like leucaena and plant fruit trees that will flourish.


Step 3) Make their Land Produce more Food... Click here!

  • 1st give plants more water: Steps 1 & 2 do this as compost or humus holds more moisture through dry periods. Drip irrigation can also be used. 2nd fertilize the ground: Steps 1 & 2 also do this as one plant fertilizes another known as alley farming. Also can add bio-char, and grass will hold manure from animals.
  • 3rd Develop better crops and animals with better genetics, better improved seeds, grafting and artificial insemination.
  • 4th Control Insects and Pests with natural sprays that will increase yields
  • 5th Give plants a head start by using nurseries will increase produce as more plants per hectare will grow. 

Family sized bucket kitsdrip gardens

Shortly after we came up with this 3 step program we found this article that showed us know we were on the right path.

To read a very interesting article written couple years ago by Michael D. Benge, Disaster Mitigation, Flood and Erosion Control in Haiti Click here

Senior Agroforestry Officer, Agency for International Development.…

It is also has works of Soil Management Collaborative Research Support Program/Texas A&M University

The Vetiver Caribean Network is a group of experts that discuss environmental solutions. Click here to see what they are presently discussing.

erosion control



Shallow grades better for gardens, mix legumes with Pitimi, mayi etc.

Once terraces established with heavy humas you can replace plants like leucaena to plant fruit trees that will flourish.



Fidor Coquillon

In Gris Gris we have a great bunch of leaders who we stay in contact with over the satellite Internet.

Our chairman of the group is Fidor Coquillon the hardest worker I have ever seen and farms more land than anyone in the area.

ACDI VOCA told us they use Fidor as the model that they strive for the other farmers to become like for their program!


Our Short Term goals are to create more food and conserve their resorces more immediately which can grow on the tops of the mountains they live on.

Click here to see our Short Term Projects such as growing more yams and tomatoes!


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