In the past year we were able to offer a series of seminars for local farmer families from Las Lajas and from the nearby indigenous towns of the Ngöbe-Buglé. The Seminars took place in our seminar house and in the show garden. In theory and practice we went through the following topics:
April 26th: Organic farming
- securing harvests without using pesticides / efficient irrigation
June 28th: Soil conservation
- composting / mulching / erosion control
August 24th: Seeds
- sorting and storing seeds / reducing risks by cultivating local and adapted varieties
Dezember 1st: Seeding, harvesting and the moon
- sustainable land use under consideration of the moon
All seminars were conducted by Hojier Carrera, a passionately organic agronomic from the neighboring village of Santa Cruz. The number of participants was 25 on average. Many of them used the seminars as a chance for interchange of knowledge and to make new contacts.
Equipped with a fridge, an oven, a mill and all sorts of kitchen appliances the experimental kitchen is now ready for use. Kids from Las Lajas came during their free time to bake and cook with us. Many of the small cooks were reminded of their grandmothers’ recipes.
We ground dried manioc roots and made delicious cheese rolls out of the nutritious flower. They were eaten right away. The fruits harvested in the garden were made into jams, which the kids got to take home.
The show garden has become a paradise of traditional fruits and vegetables. The soil quality has become excellent through the continuous working in of compost and consequent mulching. Insect pests have decreased noticeably. Where only a few years ago the invasive “horse grass” was still overgrowing everything, our plant collection is now thriving in the shade of leguminous trees. Every month 10 to 20 visitors come to see the garden. Farmers from the region like to take seeds, visitors from far away gather impressions. The feedback is always positive. The garden is taken care of by our workers José Aparicio and Felipe Rodriguez. With a certain pride they accompany visitors during the tour.
Cooperation with the elementary school
Only five minutes from lo tuyo lies the local elementary school Escuela Lajas Adentro (ELA). Within only a few weeks we were able to welcome all classes from this school on lo tuyo. All of the approx. 150 students were curious, asked questions, knew one or the other plant and always took a seedling, a handful of seeds or a fruit home. On the program we had games, music, dances, painting and handicrafts, all of which were accepted with enthusiasm. During the long vacations, which last from December 2014 through February 2015 in Panama, we offered a summer program. 15 kids participated. We creatively cooked meals and imaginative pieces of art were presented to family and friends at a final event.
In order to let interested people from far away take part in some of our activities we have produced a number of short films, which can be seen here: http://www.lotuyo.info/de/ev/videos
For the production we give a special thanks to Miguel Sánchez from Panama and Jeannine Hary from Switzerland. They helped us with interviews, filming, editing and assembling materials for short documentaries full of emotion. We also filmed one of the visits of the near by elementary school. The videos were then shown at the school. The kids were thrilled to be able to see themselves in the film.
Thanks to the volunteers
The project lo tuyo e.V.
was founded in 2011. Ever since 35 volunteers have tackled problems with us and clearly left their marks. Among others their help has made lo tuyo
what it is today.
We thank everyone who supported us the past weeks and months:
Astrid from Germany (January through March 2014) / Vincent from Germany (February through May 2014) / Jeannine from Switzerland (June 2014) / Selina from Germany (October 2014 through March 2015)
¡Muchas gracias, voluntarios!
„’lo tuyo’ is a breathtakingly peaceful place. You can let the fantastic colors sink in for hours; in the background you hear the sizzling sound of butterfly wings. Maybe even a hummingbird will fly by. ‘lo tuyo’ is life: a tiny seed finally beginning to sprout, a chick picking itself out of an egg, the sun on your skin. It's freedom underneath a green roof.
It made me incredibly happy to work on ‘lo tuyo’: to see what can be produced out of fruits and bulbs with more or less imagination, to feel how this atmosphere let the kids flourish, and then to see the faces of the people when they tried our jams.” (Selina Arnold)