Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ranch Montcel, by Cory


I enjoy most of my work and don't like traveling on Haitian roads.

 Therefore I don't really look forward to our mission annual retreats, but this year I was very happy to hear it would be at Montcel.

Strawberries in recycled old water jugs
While researching the Kenscoff vegetable growing area above Port au Prince, I had seen a "Bon Nouvelle" (Good News) video done by Haiti for Christ about Ranch Montcel.
Cherry tomatoes on former tennis court

Montcel is at just over 5,000 feet altitude, and they have done some research into new crops for the area.

We had already planned on making a trip this summer to visit the Baptist Haiti Mission (4,000' altitude) and Montcel to get ideas on what would grow at Delice at 4,400'.

The main crops we saw Montcel growing are strawberry, cherry tomato, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale to sell in Port au Prince supermarkets.

Since the Haitian farmers don't grow these crops they sell at a premium price.

They also grow some celery, spinach, mint and other herbs, pepino dulce, artichoke, asparagus, chayote, garlic (mostly to repel pests) and a small variety of potato (for thier own use).

Major local crops are cabbage, onion, potato and carrots, herbs and flowers.

Many school groups and other visitors come up from the Port au Prince area for a day visit to tour the gardens, see farm animals, ride horses, zip line, trampoline or do other sports, eat at the restaurant and listen to the music.

There is a small demonstration farm with goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits.

I joined a school tour and learned that the pigs are fed scrap vegetables from the farm, suplemented with dried fish trimmings from Montcel's fish import buisness and reject corn flakes from a big Port-au-Prince corn flakes factory.

The next day some of the missionaries were given a farm tour and I had several interesting talks with the manager who gives the tours. He is interested in the natural medicine recipies in the Konsey books and selling the books at their produce store.
Strawberries, celery and spinach in tall grow bags.
Many ideas that may help the farmers at Delice to grow more than corn, beans and cows. We did also see some squash, sweet potato and cassava in gardens at Delice.


Chris and Kath Sloan said...

So exciting to think about all the possibilities ahead!

Missus Wookie said...

Cool to see the recycled water jugs and tall grow bags. Fitting more crops into smaller/more easily managed vertical gardens is always a good thing.