How Does Your Garden Grow?

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Boys from the Lahash sponsorship program prepare the soil

When Edwin and Christine Angote were looking for a house in Dodoma, Tanzania, they were hoping that they would be able to find a place where they could do a little “farming.” Edwin, the Lahash East Africa Coordinator, was more than happy to find a house with several very large garden areas as well as a nice steady flow of water.

Edwin and Christine started their new garden with just a few stumps of kale, but that soon grew into planting a large variety of fruits and vegetables all around their new home. They were able to grow food for the lunch program at Grace & Healing Ministry. But they wanted to take it one step further. They wanted to be able to use their new garden as a training ground for agriculture for children in the Lahash Sponsorship Program. They gave a few of the plots to the kids, and the Angotes started a “club” where the children would take turns planting some of their favorite crops, and then weeding, tending, and caring for the gardens.

Edwin (in the background) teaches his son some gardening basics along with the sponsored kids

The children loved the idea, and their excitement over the project grew as fast as the garden. They planted Chinese vegetables, lentils, carrots, and more, and took care of all the weeding in the garden. The children are learning farming skills on a small scale, which will benefit them in the future, since many homes in the region have small areas that can be gardened. The kids are learning to depend on themselves, and to be self-sustainable. When the crops are ready to be picked, they also come together and discuss who is in the most need, and the crops are given to them — what a wonderful way to come together as a community to help not only themselves, but to sustain those around them!

The Angote’s garden continues to expand, and now includes corn, watermelon, passion fruit, kale, papaya, and okra, and is proving to be a fantastic way for the children to grow in both knowledge and spirit.