Did you know there is a 50+ acre farm right in North Ft Myers dedicated to reducing hunger one small-scale farm at a time?
ECHO staff and interns develop, test and utilize techniques to promote sustainable hunger solutions throughout the world. Who knew?
I was fortunate to take a guided tour of the farm recently. I learned first-hand what is grown and why. Local sustainability is key. How do farmers get water where needed or vice versa control it? What is the nutritional value? Where do the seeds come from, and how quickly do they mature, critical information for desperately starving people.
I learned something about the fast growing moringa tree. The guide caught my attention when he described the moringa tree as a miracle tree edible from its roots, flowers, leaves, seeds, gum, fruits and bark. Nutritionally speaking leaves are 27%protein and offer 7 x the amount of vitamin C as oranges, 4x the vitamin A of carrots and 4x the calcium of milk by dry weight. In addition to offering more nutrition than spinach, it is used to treat many conditions including malnutrition, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, gastrointentinal and hepatorenal disorders as well as compromised immunity. As you might imagine I had to have one of these trees for my Florida home. I will keep you posted on its growth.
So much more to know from creating manure tea for fertilizer to producing methane gas for cooking to creating watering systems to growing in unfriendly conditions. Carpet gardening? Check out the techniques.
There is even a community garden.
I highly recommend the 90-minute tour. Visit the bookstore and shop the global nursery. For hours and additional information check www.echonet.org.