Haiti Reconstruction

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

Laying out a field and building an A-frame for terracing


Build A frame out of a hardwood 2 1/2 by 5 centimeters 2 legs 203 centimeters long and 1 crossbar 106 centimeters long. Drill holes 3 centimeters from one end of legs and both ends of crossbar. Use corrosive plated 1/4 inch carrage bolts that are 2 1/2 inches long with washer and wingnuts. When carrying or storing remove nut from 1 leg connecting to cross bar, fold it down leaving carrage bolt with washer and nut attached so it wont be lost.

Assemble into A-frame possition, hand tighten nuts and set on fairly level ground. Hang string with loop end over pivot bolt opposite end of string tied to heavy nut or stone for weight. Lightly mark spot on crossbar where string hangs straite down and mark exact points on ground which legs are standing. Turn A-frame around setting opposite legs in exact marked spot. Lightly mark spot on same side of crossbar where string hangs straite down. Then mark a heavy straite line mark in the exact center between the two light marks then cut into this heavy line that will be your permanant level mark.

Laying out the field

Vetiver hedgerows should be spaced 2 meters vertically down the hill to stop the most amount of erosion.

If you are at the top of the hill or the side of the hill find the highest point find the highest point and set a markermake a marker.

Tie one end of a coil of string to the pivot bolt on the A-frame in folded postion. Leveling person with a string level holds the spool of string at the base of the marker. Marking person walks straite down hill holding the frame straite up until the string is level with 2 meter tool standing on the ground.  Put a stake marker for the 1st next row. Repeat proceedure going down the row to the end of your field.

Click this document to see  a simpler way to approximate 2 meter verticle spacing another way to measure by Criss Juliard


 Farmers that presently grow crops on these mountainsides feel they must have some land between rows for crops.  It is possible to continue with 4 meter spacings on steeper land after the first 2 meter spaced row if this row is planted correctly it will slow water flow and filter sediments.   If this land does degrade they should add another hedgerow.


Once you complete verticle spacing assemble A-frame and put one leg by marker keeping it in place swivel the other leg until the weighted string lines up on the crossbar. Mark this leg with a stone. Moveing the A-frame horizontal repeating the process until your to the end of the field. Then repeat processing moving the other direction till entire field is covered horizontally.

Go to each stake down the hillside till finished marking.

Dig a trench along this line of rocks 15-20 centimeters deep for the vetiver hedgerows.

Plant vetiver slips with 10 to 15 centimeter spaces! Best to water when finished and plant just before rainy seasons start.

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