During Carola Gosch’s visit to Nepal, she was able to find a partner for the certification of the model farm for organic vegetable cultivation. The organisation Hasera will support us within the next two years. In addition, Carola Gosch also networked with local politicians, as cooperation with decision-makers is becoming increasingly important. Together with the Social Work Institute, the year 2019 was planned and the budget discussed.
The cooperative has already independently submitted an application to the government and thus received money for trees to secure the slope against landslides. They buried them in voluntary work and used the remaining money for the purchase of a mill. Now grain can finally be ground in the village again at a reasonable price.
Through the commitment of Lena Kremser, additional donations could be collected at a theatre performance of the VGT-Bühne St. Martin.
Year overview 2018:
Vegetable production got off to a good start in 2018, despite storms that destroyed the greenhouses. The farm was further equipped, for example with a fence made of bushes. More and more people in the village now own animals for their own needs but also to sell them. Unfortunately, these animals also like our vegetables and get them whenever they can. The exemplary effect of the farm has already shown the first effect in the generally better food supply.
The autumn harvest was again able to find numerous customers this year. Especially tomatoes were planted this season. Around the farm, the inhabitants also planted a “living fence” of prickly perennials and useful shrubs in order to be able to keep animals even better away from the vegetables in the future. The literacy courses are very popular with the women, who are fully motivated.
The women continue to participate in many trainings. A trained Permaculture expert gave a first insight into this special form of agriculture. In addition, management training should help women to run their cooperative legally and successfully. During their trip to Nepal, Tomás and Javier Martínez gave some input on organic farming. A lively exchange arose and even after their return they were still contacted by the village community with questions. The first harvest was already almost completely sold and the government also got the village materials for the construction of greenhouses. On the FairStyria days Carola Gosch talked about the projects especially about the trainings.
The women from Ghunsa were selected as future project partners. In conversations with the women themselves, RfL was able to determine what problems they face and discuss their wishes and ideas. At a festival, the two villages got to know each other and laid the foundation for a solidary cooperation.
Year overview 2017:
For the financing, we were able to reach a financing commitment from the province of Styria (Austria) as part of the Fair Styria program. After six months, the greenhouses were ready for use and a new water source opened up – The farm was officially opened. In addition, 15 households benefited from the source and for the first time had direct water access in front of the house. The women of the village and also some men, completed many trainings. This included, for example, the production of organic fertilizer. Due to the learned skills they soon had so many vegetables that it could be sold. Through financial means of Fair Styria a community stable was built and ox sharing was established in the village. This way, the animals can be borrowed for the management of the fields on the training farm and natural fertilizer can be produced. The women are learning more and more and are also developing new ideas to improve their production, such as a mobile irrigation system.
Many other types of vegetables are grown and thrive perfectly thanks to the functioning compost production. The women continue to develop their skills, knowledge and use it to drive production forward, for example by designing a mobile irrigation system.
The vegetable grows so well that it is not only for the women’s own needs, but can also be sold already. In addition to cultivating fields, the women of experts also receive training in organic cultivation. This includes, for example, the production of natural fertilizer and compost.
In addition, a new concept could be established, the oxen sharing. Families who own oxen provide them to the whole village. As a result, all villagers have the possibility to borrow them for the cultivation of the fields and have easy access to natural fertilizer.
In just six months the training facility was successfully opened thanks to the support of FairStyria. The leasing contract was concluded for 20 years. Also, a new water source now supplies the families of the farm and 15 other households, the old one had been defective since the earthquake in 2015. During the opening in spring 2017, Carola Gosch was present herself and visited the fields. Soon the first seedlings were harvested and planted on the fields outside the greenhouse. Thanks to the new irrigation system, the vegetables have grown well and new greenhouses have been built for chili and tomatoes.
For funding, we were able to reach a commitment by Styria (Austria) within the framework of the “Fair Styria” program. Lease contracts are in preparation and the Social Work Institute has already carried out initial analyzes with regard to soil and climate on site.