Plenty Belize started a pilot program in 2008 to assist 20 families in 4 villages with home organic vegetable gardens. With funding from Weyerhauser Foundation Plenty Belize is expanding upon the organic school garden program known as GATE to include the homes of 20 families in the four villages of Aguacate, Forest Home, Pueblo Viejo, and San Pedro Columbia. Criteria for selection of the families was based mainly upon the hard work of the youths who have started learning about organic gardening in their primary school class, and have already made some effort to begin a garden at home.
Through the program, families will recieve assistance in the form of seeds, tools, and fencing as well as regular visits by Plenty’s experienced organic agriculture extension officers. The five families in each of the villages will visit each others gardens weekly, and learn together how to deal with different crops, pests, and situations. All of the participating families will be brought together for a day-long formal hands-on training session at Plenty Belize’s demonstration garden and nursery.
This new program from Plenty Belize promotes good nutrition, healthy living, and self-sufficiency within households in the villages. The gardens will provide fresh produce for the entire family, will serve as a tool for teaching nutrition, and will provide the potential for additional household income.