For farmers in Colimes, rice, yuca, and plantains are the staple of their diet and lives. Although they are the biggest rice cultivators in Ecuador, they do not grow for their own consumption, and their diets lack many fruits and vegetables. This project will train three families in water and soil conservation techniques and permaculture principles and methods. Through workshops and technical assistance, the families will start household gardens where they will grow new vegetables and fruits, helping to improve household nutrition. Any extra produce will be sold to local markets for additional income. To increase actual fruit and vegetable consumption, the participating families will take cooking classes to learn and practice recipes that incorporate the new fruits and vegetables.
The participating families have constructed their gardens and compost piles. Through educational workshops, they learned about intercropping techniques and water conservation strategies and have implemented their own mulching beds to grow vegetables. For their first harvest, the families have planted corn, beans, and zapallo, a local squash.