In November, three members of the Snohomish County Farm Bureau, Dan and Judy Bartelheimer and Keith Amberson, had an opportunity to see the irrigation well in Haiti that the SCFB financed. In 2011, the SCFB presented $500.00 to MADO, a Christian mission in Quanaminthe, Haiti for the well. The well, thirty feet deep, was dug by hand and then lined with concrete blocks and cement. The $500.00 covered the entire construction cost. Water from the well is hand drawn to supply two homes and irrigation for a five acre garden. A wide variety of trees and vegetables have been planted at the site including avocado, coconut, mango, citrus, and nut trees along with corn, cassava (a root crop), plantain, pineapple, peanuts, Congo beans, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane. The irrigating is being done with five-gallon pails until electricity becomes available. Less than 5% of the homes in the area have electricity and then it is for only a couple of hours in the evening.
The fruit and produce from the garden will help feed the 80 children in the orphanage plus the 250 children in the school. The one meal provided to the school children each day is often their only meal.
Farming techniques and practices are also being taught to the community in order that it may become more self-sufficient. It is a real challenge when the tillage, planting, and harvesting are all done by hand without the use of any mechanization.
Emily Bartelheimer is a volunteer RN living in Quanaminthe since September 2010. She provides health care services to the community along with teaching hygiene and English. She is also involved with helping out in the gardens.