In March, Gregg Knight, Brandon Myers and I traveled to Petion-ville Haiti (a “suburb” of Port-Au-Prince) with the goal of installing a dutch bucket hydroponics system on the roof of an orphanage. We had a great trip with much success. We were able to install the system and 40 tomato plants are growing strong right now.
From Left to Right : Manius Viximar, Gregg Knight, Edson August, Gage Coldwater
We planted Roma tomatoes in the buckets. We had some trouble locating good media and we had to improvise to provide adequate media. We ended up using large stones in the bottom of the buckets and then we found a large piece of styrofoam that we shredded into small pieces that we mixed with torn pieces of Moringa tree pod shells (for water retention).
Shredding Styrofoam block to make grow media!
Its always difficult to procure the needed parts and items for projects such as ours in a developing country such as Haiti. We have to learn to really think outside the box. This was the first dutch bucket Hydroponics system we have built overseas and we really learned what we need to bring with us and prepare for. We also learned that we need to ensure that we have a solar pump for our system because of the unreliable power system! While we were there we had almost 2 full days without any electricity and we had to hand water the entire system. We also had learned from previous experience to bring battery powered power tools. These proved to be a life-saver!
Shade cloth installed
We brought a 12x25ft shade tarp to cut down a small amount of the pounding sun that they get in Haiti. This has proved very beneficial. It has reduced the heat on the rooftop significantly. It also made working conditions much more enjoyable.
Gregg Knight and Edson August installing drip lines
Tomatoes started in the Dutch Buckets
Finished hydroponics system
We hired a translator named Edson August. He proved to be a wonderful asset. We were able to teach him how to build this same system so that he could replicate it at his home and also teach others! It was our goal to also convert him. We studied with him for several days and on Wednesday we were blessed with the opportunity to baptize him into Christ!
The ladies at the Vidor, TX church of Christ spent many hours sewing dresses for the little girls at the orphanage. I could not be more proud of the beautiful work these ladies put into sewing these dresses. As you can see from the pictures below, the little girls loved them!
Brandon Myers, a young man from Schertz, TX (he grew up in Vidor, TX) went with on the trip and was a wonderful addition to our team. He has a wonderful way of communicating with the young people from Haiti. Brandon is planning on attending the Memphis School of Preaching this fall and I am confident that Brandon will do big things in the Kingdom in the future. We could always find Brandon by just looking for a group of young people huddled in a circle! By the time we were ready to leave Haiti, he had started learning the French-Creole language and was conversing with the kids pretty well.
Brandon Myers from Schertz, TX
We also were able to baptize two men on our last Sunday that we were in Haiti! That made for 3 baptisms on the trip.
Gregg and Manius with the two men who were baptized!
Manius has sent me pictures of the tomatoes and they are growing beautifully!