School Gardens & Meals Program

Construction of school “La Esperanza”

Hope is wishing for something to happen, faith is believing that will happen and courage is making it happen

La Esperanza.

La Esperanza.

In May, 2015 the parents from the El Coyol sector of Pueblo Viejo community, decided to make a change in their lives. They gathered to volunteer and build the schoolhouse 25 children who receive pre-school classes, first, second and third grade. The house is made of materials from the community (mud, bamboo, wood) As winter (rains) approached, parents collected and together bought 11 yards of plastic to use as a roof which protects their children from both the sun and rain. The land on which the school “La Esperanza” was constructed is owned by Don Lucas Antonio Hernandez, who provided a piece of land and who informed us be willing to donate if the (Nicaraguan) Ministry of Education or an NGO decided to build a school with strong (permanent) materials. Don Lucas has no children but has the willingness to contribute to the development of children in their sector.

Bio Intensive Gardening Workshop


The garden in Ocalca.

A healthy population depends on healthy food systems

Planting Hope is promoting this school garden project for which reason, on July 9th and 10th, 2015, we hosted a workshop on bio-intensive gardening method. The workshop was held in Ocalca community and the school garden there was used for practical classes. The workshop was attended by 20 participants, 15 parents, five parents on behalf of the community benefitted, a (PH) mobile library facilitator and a team of workshop facilitators who had already received the training and were transmitting knowledge and experience to the new participants. (Wendy Ramos agronomy student who did her practicum in the Ocalca garden, Jose Luis Perez Ocalca gardener, Benita Muñoz Ocalca primary teacher and Mercedes Guerrero)

The new water pump.

The new water pump.

The workshop how to cultivate ecological and healthy food that will come to improve the nutrition of the 93 children who attend benefit schools in the communities: The Coyol, La Calera and Ray of Light pre school, El Chile). The topics taught in the workshop are the principles of the bio-intensive method of cultivation. We put these into practice in the garden of Ocalca and this same method will be used in the new school gardens. The principles of bio-intensive farming method are: 1- Deep soil preparation. 2- Using compost. 3- Use of seed banks. 4- Close Sowing 5- Association of crops. 6- crop rotation. 7- Cultivating Compost 8- Cultivating Calories. 9. Using open-pollinated seeds (native seeds) 10 Integration of all principles.

School Gardens

As a result of the Bio-Intensive workshop in Ocalca we presented/received on July 13, we initiated the school gardens project, which aims to: increase food security and access to nutritional organic vegetables for enrolled children in beneficiary schools, while simultaneously providing opportunities for experiential education for students, teachers, parents and the

A young gardener at work.

A young gardener at work.


Schools benefited from the project are: Esperancita with an enrollment of 25 children located in El Coyol, (Pueblo Viejo multi-age school) Little Rays of Light Pre-School in the community of El Chile with 7 enrolled children and “Hope” School with 61 students, located in the La Calera community.

This week each school was given a kit of tools needed to start the project. In each community, parents met and began to construct their banks and started to plant. We hope that by the month of September children are getting on their daily school lunch plate some healthy vegetables from the garden that will be produced by parents. The seeds made available to the school gardens are: tomato, lettuce, sweet pepper, radish, sweet potato, cassava, taro, cucumber, corn, sunflower and san diego, seeds donated by the school garden and the foundation Ocalca Denis Ernesto San Ramon. Among

The principals objectives of the project we propose the following:

Create three school gardens with input from parents (La Calera, El Chile, Coyol) -Excavate 15 beds in total (6 in La Calera, 6 in the Coyol and 3 in El Chile)

Some healthy seeds.

Fresh beans.

  • Construct 5 compost beds (2 in La Calera, 2 in the Coyol and 1 in El Chile)
  • Work with teachers to develop their ability to provide students with experiential activities in the garden.
  • Encourage students to cultivate love for plants, help with transplanting and weeding the garden.
  • Have Bio intensive workshop with five parents of each community and the contribution of 4 members of the community Ocalca who will transmit their knowledge.
  • Plantar Medicinal herbs and fruit trees in the orchard.
  • Tagging each bed and planting seedlings in the garden.
  • In December while the kids are on vacation planting a green manure (mung beans) to treat the soil.
  • Use The bio intensive method, sustainable
    and organic method.
  • Give an opportunity to university students in the agricultural and other related fields to do their practicums at these gardens.
  • Establish relationships with parents to resolve future problems.