GFDD's New Series of Eco-Courses Aid Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo, January 24, 2014Tweet
On Tuesday January 28th, GFDD’s EcoHuertos program will be launching its new series of workshops with a training session on basic cultivation practices. This will be held at the Fray Ramon Pane School in Santo Domingo. A total of three new courses have been added to the program that will help build capacity and train students, teachers and parents on topics such as basic garden maintenance, organic composting and pollinators and pests. The training sessions will serve to complement the induction, garden building and seed conservation workshops that are already in place and provide second stage gardens with the necessary tools for the development of self-sustaining systems.
The training courses have been organized in collaboration with the National Botanical Garden, and will be conducted by Agricultural Engineers, Professor Wilkin Encarnacion and Jose Maria Gundin, and Entomologist Ruth Bastardo, alongside botanist Cristiana Cruz Minier, GFDD's School and Community Garden Program Coordinator.
The courses and workshops will be designed for implementation in second stage gardens across the country through April, with several already scheduled to take place on February 4, 5, 12 and 14 at the Union Panamericana School and FUNDSAZURZA, respectively.
The EcoHuertos Program will include:
1- Basic Planting and Cultivation Workshop- the course will be taught by Agronomy Engineer Wilkin Encarnación. This course will cover the basic fundamentals to be taken into account for planting and harvesting crops in a way that is in keeping with environmental sustainability.
2- Organic fertilizer and vermicomposting - the session will identify and define exactly what organic fertilizer is, its various types, the raw material needed to make it, its advantages and the different types of compost collections that can be used to create fertilizer using low cost materials. The course, which will be taught by Agronomists Wilkin Encarnación and José María Gundín, will also highlight the most appropriate composting systems for each center.
3- Pollinators and Pests-This course will be a total immersion into the animal world that can be found if looked at closely enough within EcoHuertos gardens - either as cooperators in pollination, biological controls or as harmful organisms for our crops. Participants will learn which plants, wild or cultivated, are more attractive to pollinators and which are repellant to pests. The course will be conducted by Entomologist, Ruth Bastardo Landrau.
4- Seed Conservation Workshop- This course tutored by Biologist Cristiana Cruz Minier, will encompass techniques for obtaining seeds from harvested fruit and will teach participants how to clean, dry and efficiently store the seeds until the next planting cycle. Attendees will experience how to remove the seeds from the fruit and undertake the entire preparation process.
Through this new series of technical courses and workshops, the EcoHuertos program, which to date has provided the materials and instruction to create 24 organic fruit and vegetable gardens in 6 cities across the country, continues to expand areas of training, providing the knowledge base and skills necessary to create healthy and productive gardens. Teaching students and communities how to cultivate, conserve seeds and create their own fertilizer through vermicomposting helps to ensure the long term success and sustainability of these gardens to the benefit of society as a whole.
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