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2BC BLOG

Thailand June Trip June 8

Another organization sharing space with UHDP on this property is ECHO, whose mission is to create a ripple effect to end hunger by networking agricultural information and educating farmers worldwide in effective methods to grow food for their families and communities (www.echonet.org).  This morning Wah, the woman who is ECHO's manager here, showed us many facets of the work she and her four team members do, including:

  • irrigation
  • crop rotation 
  • companion planting
  • natural pest repellants
  • composting
  • erosion control
  • pollination
  • ground cover
  • light and moisture control
  • soil comparison
  • seed sorting
  • seed preservation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside ECHO's small office are its seed bank and space for additional testing. One cabinet holds seeds undergoing various methods of germination. Another has drawers of seed varieties in different stages of drying.  Two tiny temperature-controlled rooms contain shelves and luggage drawers of hundreds of kinds of vacuum-packed seed packets, a freezer for disaster protection for seeds, as well as equipment for packaging seeds. Farmers from all over Southeast Asia can get ten free packets of seeds from this seed bank and purchase additional ones if desired. 

All of this testing is aimed at helping small farmers, and backyard gardeners in impoverished places become more self-sufficient and therefore capable of reducing hunger on their own. We were AMAZED at the amount of experimentation and data collection they are doing in so little space!  We spent the rest of the morning packaging sets of seeds for Wah - from herbs to vegetables to spices. 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon Wah and Pi Maow took us back to the town of Fang to get rice and other necessities for a few people we're encountering on this trip, and we enjoyed treating these two special ladies to a dessert at a cool, relaxing coffee shop. Tonight we purchased some beautiful items made by women from nearby villages for UHDP's tiny handicraft shop.  These items will be available in our church's fair trade store, Many Hands, in Liberty. 

Influenced by our immersion in agricultural practices this week, the five of us practiced Lectio Divina tonight with the parable of the sower.  We were each touched in different ways by this story - by the scattering, the types of soil, and the long-term and sometimes unknown effects of sowing seed.  God, may our hearts be fertile soil for Your will to be done through us, and may we have a ripple effect in sharing Your love throughout our spheres of influence.  

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