Seed Programs International

Harvesting Greens with Hope Opens Doors

Harvesting Greens with Hope Opens Doors

Hi folks,

Today’s update comes from Kathy Barrera, the Program Director with Hope Opens Doors in Nigeria. Hope Opens Doors works with Mothers Welfare Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing care for some of the most vulnerable women and children in rural Northern Nigeria. Many of the people they serve have been displaced by violence, which has forced them to leave behind livelihoods and the means for providing for themselves and their families. This same violence also destroys crops, which disrupts the supply chain and makes it harder for everyone to access food. In a situation like this, vegetable seeds are a valuable resource.

Kathy Barrera wrote us recently to share their plans for the SPI vegetable seed they received earlier this year. She says:

“We have planted some seeds to get started. At the five sites, we planted green beans in Kuta and one farm at the school and also some family plots. In Sanban they planted Laraba spinach, amaranth, and local greens as well. We grow Chaya [a kind of leafy green] and mornings for soups. At our house, we planted a lot of mustard and turnip greens, plus beans, and amaranth beside the beans. If the rains start letting up, we will plant the tomatoes, okra, and pumpkins…”

About those rains — she writes that vegetables are usually planted in September at the end of the Northern Nigerian rainy season to avoid water rot. There are usually only three rains in October, which are called Sweet Potato Rains since that’s usually enough to grow tuber vegetables. However, the rainy season has extended into November this year, making farming difficult. She’s happy to report that the seeds are germinating well despite the rains!

Gardens are only one part of the services offered by Mothers Welfare Group and Hope Opens Doors. They also serve children and adults with special needs, providing housing, education, and healthcare in addition to their rural development projects. Looking ahead, their agricultural program will be trying new ways of growing vegetables. Like some of our other partners, they’ll be using old grain bags to grow vertical bag gardens.

The attached photos show some of the harvest from the garden. Kathy included a beautiful photo of Annie, smiling with a fistful of greens:

“Annie has cerebral palsy, but that does not stop her from harvesting mustard greens, turnip greens, amaranth, and okra for the Sunday chicken stir fry.”

Your generous support of this project put seeds in the hands of Kathy and Annie. From them, from Hope Opens Doors, and from us here at SPI, thank you.

— Team SPI

Harvesting Greens in the Garden

Harvesting Greens in the Garden

Annie harvesting Greens with Hope Opens Doors

Annie harvesting Greens with Hope Opens Doors

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Seed Programs International (SPI)

Seed Programs InternationalSeed Programs International (SPI) is a non-profit, tax exempt, non-governmental humanitarian organization.

We work thorough other humanitarian organizations, church groups, service clubs and individual donors, to provide quality seed to impoverished communities in developing countries enabling them to grow some of their own food. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise and experience operating seed based self help programs.”

SPI is operated by individuals with over 50 years seed industry experience plus over 20 years experience in vegetable research and production. We also have 15 years experience operating programs that have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. SPI has shipped enough seed to plant over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens, providing more than 20 kinds of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals often missing in people’s diets.