ECHOcommunity Updates

Agriculture Training and Youth Motivation in NW Cambodia - Planning and Building 2019-03-12

Guest Post by ECHOcommunity member: Muneezay Jaffery

This is part 2 of a series describing how one network organization is progressing with development of training facilities and curriculum.

Planning & Building

As mentioned in part 1, Green Shoots is lucky to have a whole host of inspirations (such as permaculture, agroecology and farmer field schools and local projects) and pride themselves on being a small NGO that perpetually monitors and evaluates its activities.

Watch the video update

Whilst working on the planning and build, our aim was to “repackage” what horticulture means within a rural community. One main strategy was to include low cost, affordable tech within the space. Our bottom line for decision-making was “is it replicable? How much will it cost? What are the benefits?” Ultimately we wanted to set examples from the get go and some of them are:

  • Earth block making
  • Rain-water harvesting and water filtration
  • Eco-toilet with biogas
  • Conservation agriculture techniques / no-till farming

Construction began in August 2018 after immense and ongoing fundraising in the UK, we contracted the main foundations to one Cambodian company and other small jobs were given to local workers- many of whom could potentially send their children here. During the construction weeks, youth from high-school and secondary school and the local villages were invited for workshops to get a taster of what they would learn and the success can be seen in regular attendance.

Bamboo Growing Structure

Bamboo Growing Structure

Photo Credit: Muneezay Jaffery

Earth Bricks at the Ready

Earth bricks at the ready

Photo Credit: Muneezay Jaffery

Earthblock shelter under construction

Earthblock shelter under construction

Photo Credit: Muneezay Jaffery

Youth workshop for earthblock making

Youth workshop for earthblock making

Photo Credit: Muneezay Jaffery

There was a keen interest to get volunteers involved in the building work and, treading cautiously, Green Shoots arranged two weeks to one month volunteer stints which focused on conducting and participating in youth workshops and working design and prototypes. For us this struck a balance in volunteer engagement but maintaining local employment for the build and skill transfer.

A few anticipated problems were the looming rainy season- which could potentially delay work on site and the subsequent rice harvest that would siphon off all our labour force. 80% of Cambodia lives in rural areas and farming rice is an essential way of life for this chunk of the population. However, the rains were sporadic, allowing work to continue and in turn the rice harvest failed for many farmers. This meant labourers were available but the prices were hiked up, as many had farming related debts to pay. Nonetheless, work persevered and, in a miraculous turn of events, our rigid site plan took a fluid approach playing up to the natural vegetation patterns and permaculture principles to appreciate curves and edges. The building makes use of a metal frame, bamboo, thatch and earthblocks. All the bricks on site have been made on site, using earth from where we have dug the ponds.

About ECHOcommunity

ECHOcommunity is a membership community that provides access to nearly all of ECHO’s resources online, as well as communications tools to help development workers connect with each other.   View a list of ECHOcommunity.org features here.

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Upcoming events

Organic Inputs Training การอบรมเกษตรอินทรีย์
Thu, 4 April 2019 » Thu, 4 April 2019

ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center, Thailand

ORGANIC INPUTS TRAINING การอบรมเกษตรอินทรีย์ Thursday 4 April 2019 9am-12pm  วันพฤหัสที่ 4 เมษายน 2019 เวลา 9.00-12.00 น. ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center & Seed Bank ณ ศูนย์การเรียนรู้ และธนาคารเมล็ดพันธุ์ มูลนิธิเอคโค่ เอเชีย ประเทศไทย San Pa Pao, San Sai, Chiang Mai, Thailand ต.สันป่่่่่่่่าเปา อ.สันทราย จ.เชียงใหม่   This event will include: biochar and composting demonstration, introduction to ECHO Asia and farm tour. Training will be conducted in Thai & En...

Training seminar in Natural Medicine 2019
Sun, 7 April 2019 » Sun, 14 April 2019

Songea Teachers Training College (TTC Songea ), TANZANIA

The training will be more in practical how to help people living with hiv/aids, also people with albinism.  The contribution of  nutrition in treatment in many diseases. During the seminar our philosophy will be your food should be your medicine and your medicine should be your food. anamed (Action for Natural Medicine, see www.anamed-edition.com) in Germany invites development  workers, missionaries, doctors, nurses, scientists etc. to attend our training seminar in Natural Medicine, a...

Permaculture Design Certification
Sun, 14 April 2019 » Sun, 28 April 2019

Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Join our diverse team of permaculture instructors led by Scott Gallant for this annual life-changing 2-week experience. The course covers the core Permaculture Design curriculum and emphasizes creating diverse multi-functional human landscapes based on ecological patterns. Utilizing Rancho Mastatal as a living classroom, the class will mix lectures and hands-on work, exploring design solutions for both temperate and tropical regions.  Putting Permaculture into practice, the course concludes w...

Syntropic Farming Course
Sun, 23 June 2019 » Fri, 28 June 2019

Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Syntropic Farming is a farming revolution grown out of Brazil and made famous by Ernst Gotsch and the Life in Syntropy short documentary. Syntropic Farming seeks to cultivate resilient ecosystems that are abundant, financially viable and heal abused land. It asks us, as stewards of the land to live in harmony with nature. It asks that we learn from nature through imitating natural processes in order to produce food. This results in abundant systems which grow healthy soils, sequester carbon, ...

Seed Saving and Banking
Mon, 16 September 2019 » Fri, 20 September 2019

ECHO Global Farm, USA

ECHO offers over 350 varieties in its Florida seed bank requiring diverse approaches to growing, processing, and storing seeds. This five-day course will begin in ECHO’s seed production plots to help participants better understand how crops are managed and harvested. Techniques related to both wet and dry processing of seeds will be practiced, as well as, essential tasks such as germination testing. Long-term seed storage approaches including vacuum sealing and cold storage will be explored, ...

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Green Shoots Foundation - Agri Tech Centre update

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