2015-04-21 13.27.26Our School Greenhouses (SGH) impact 2,000 lives in Lares & led to the creation of the Family Greenhouse project (FGH). As kids returned home from school, excited about the vegetables they were growing and eating, their parents took notice, and were just as curious to cultivate them. The FGH targets these motivated small farmers interested in sustainable, local solutions to increasing family nutrition & income. They’re receptive because of our ties with the community & government, creating a support system ensuring engagement & sustainability.

2014-04-30 11.30.00Our pilot family greenhouses began in the tiny, remote village of Maucau in 2012. In the years since, it has changed the lives of over a dozen families who now eat fresh vegetables in nearly every meal, where before, they ate none. In 2014 we completed the second phase of FGHs in PampaCorral, which will empower 200 more with the tools for a healthy, diverse diet.

 

 

In addition to dietary c2015-04-21 12.34.09hanges, we also measure success through behavior change, and the results thus far are staggering. Over 75% of families are fully utilizing the GH’s to grow food & incorporate it in their diets. Additionally over 50% of families have gone beyond our training to create their own localized solutions, like irrigation systems.

In addition to these individuals who are excelling, we also see a social landscape change in communities like Cochayoq, who single-handedly constructed a GH & petitioned the government to roof it, showing the sustainable potential of locally-driven change. This is the ultimate goal: not building lots of GHs, but establishing sustainable processes connecting local governments & communities to improve their own livelihoods without outside intervention.
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Our strategy spreads through recognition of the success & efficacy of our model. Already 5 more communities in Lares have petitioned for FGH’s & the local government wants to undertake a scaling initiative. With your help, we can continue to feed the future here in Peru!

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0109 copyIf you want to learn more about the Best Practices that

have been developed during our efforts please review them here.

[gview file=”http://alianzaandina.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/INKAcase-Marketing-Plan4.pdf”]

Madre Genie

Madre Genie

The AASD recently welcomed three friends to Calca. Craig Kimmerer and Patrick Tuckey are good friends from San Francisco and stopped by to help on the farm and BBQ with all of us here in Calca. We had a great time hosting them, and I think they enjoyed the tranquility and beauty of Calca.

Genie Rogstad, board member of the AASD and Aaron Ebner’s Mom, spent over two weeks living, cooking, and generally taking care of the boys here at the AASD. Genie did a great job helping us at the farm. However, the best part of having Genie here was her wonderful loving ways that brought us full bellies and lots of hugs that only a mother can provide. Genie also spent time in Choquecancha visiting her god children and celebrating Wensislada’s(Ruben’s Mom) birthday. It is always a great experience seeing two mothers from very different backgrounds getting together through their son’s shared collaboration.

Gracias por su visita amigos!

Hope to see more of our friends down here over the next year!

The birthday girl!

The birthday girl!

 

 Having strong connections to the communities we work with is one of the most important things for us here at AASD, and we think in social change generally; for ownership, sustainability, and fun. So we were pumped to be invited to Wensislada’s birthday celebration in Choquecancha, a member of the Winay Warmi Women’s Weaving group. After traveling three hours, we arrived to her house full of family(four generations), friends, great food (of course cuy was on the menu!), and good times. It wasn’t long before libations were broken out to cheers to good health and a happy birthday!! After singing happy birthday (in Spanish, English, and Quechua), the dancing began and kept us on our feet most of the night. After a good sleep and another great meal in the morning, we gathered with the weaving group to buy a batch of their amazing and beautiful textiles for more INKAcases! Exciting times all around.

Check out the photos  and like us on Facebook for more exciting updates!

Various members of the SGP group

Various members of the SGP group

The Context

Below is a reflection from Team Peru’s Alex about a meeting with a group of small farmers that are ecologically certified in the Calca area. AASD is also part of this group of producers and together we’re seeking better markets, as explained in this previous post about Team Peru’s work this summer. Alex is reflecting on a a meeting with this group. SGP stands for Sistema de Garantia Participativo,which is part of an international movement lead by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) called the Participatory Guarantee System.

A Reflection from Alex

Recently, we  had a meeting with our SGP certified organic farming group.  The purpose of the meeting was twofold; to obtain qualitative data concerning the training, concerns, and general sentiments of the farmers, and to obtain quantitative data to determine production capabilities.  The meeting had its share of ups and downs.  In general the obtaining of qualitative data proved much easier than that of the quantitative.  I was quickly able to determine from our interview that our previous assumption that our SGP farmers were attempting unsuccessfully to compete with conventional growers may have been flawed.  It seemed in fact that our grower’s market sense was keener than we had believed as they were branching out beyond produce into more niche products such as dairy and bee products, organic fertilizers and pest repellents, and specialty crops.  In doing this, they were largely avoiding having to directly compete with conventionally grown table crops such as lettuce and tomatoes.  This discovery, in addition to being of great academic interest, could be very useful in increasing the value proposition of our products as our farmers are able to produce a myriad of different products to potentially meet different customer needs. ~Alex

 

Team Peru working hard on a business canvas model.

Team Peru working hard on a business canvas model.