COMMUNITY GARDENS INITIATIVE
With COVID-19 the supply for food will continue to be an issue for some considerable time on Koh Samui. Local families already have small gardens, growing a variety of vegetables and some also have egg-laying chickens. As a longer-term solution Sisters on Samui are looking to help with the establishment of more community gardens. Families can become more self-sufficient by growing and harvesting their own fresh vegetables and fruit.
Our first project in Chaweng was started by the residents of Baan Mankhong, a co-operative village in Chaweng, with a few small garden beds of vegetables planted and harvested during the COVID lockdown. Sisters on Samui provided additional financial contributions which helped to prepare more land for planting and the purchase of building materials and soil for the gardens. The residents of the village provided all of the hands-on labour, sourced recycled materials to prevent erosion and they will continue to maintain the garden.
Take a look at this video to see more about our first Community Gardens initiative, at Baan Mankhong in Chaweng.
MAGICAL LEARNING CENTRE
Our second project has been to help setup a small educational garden in the Magical Learning Centre encouraging the children to plant and care for seedlings, and to grow their own fresh herbs and vegetables to use for their lunches.
The Magical Learning Centre is a grass-roots not-for-profit co-operative of parents and carers looking after children with autism related learning difficulties. The SOS Community Gardens team worked together with the school to identify and clear an area for the small educational garden. And the seeds were provided by the Department of Agriculture for free.
The children loved being part of the project. We look forward to seeing the kids continue learning in the garden.
CHAITALAY ESTATE COMMUNITY GARDEN
We have a new project on the west coast of the island that just started in April 2021. The land is maintained by a handful of Thais and Burmese who live nearby. There was lots of preparation to get the land ready for planting, and now just six weeks later they have their first harvest of watercress, Chinese Kale, long beans, Thai Basil, cucumbers, gourds, eggplant, and morning glory.
A huge thanks to Lantern Projects in California, for being the catalyst to provide the basic seeds and tools. Also to Chaitalay Estate for providing the land, the water and electricity to pump the water.
More photos will be shared soon.