Stories From The Field
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Trellis Fellow in Kenya

This year DIG was awarded our 2nd Trellis Fund Award from UC Davis. The Trellis Fund is an arm of the UC Davis Horticulture Innovation Lab. Trellis works on a smaller scale than the lab, selecting students to partner with host organizations on the ground for a few months before traveling there for two-to-three-week projects. This year, 14 different students traveled to nine different countries including one to Kenya with DIG.   DIG was matched with Belinda Richardson — an international

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Resources for Success

Project Redwood Foundation(PRW) supported the original development of DIG’s resource manual toolkit, which includes a Garden Manual, a Nutrition Manual, a Pest andPlant-Disease Library, as well as a Protocol to Developing a Community Garden Program.   In 2014, PRW supported the deployment of this toolkit to multiple organizations in order for them to establish sustainable agriculture programs and demonstration gardens.  DIG distributed manuals and technical support in 7 countries to 18 different organizations, 3 schools, and 6 HIV support groups. 

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A Young Mother Stepping Up

Through a partnership with the Lwala Community Alliance (LCA) in North Kamagambo, Kenya, DIG met and started working with a young woman named Eunice. LCA had been assisting her through their Out of School Mentoring for Girls program. Recently widowed and only 26 years old, Eunice was left to care single-handedly for her four children, ages ten, four, two and one.  She has a lot stacked against her.  She knows that at any moment her late husband’s brothers could legally

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Growing Up Resilient

Zakayo Mikwanga is recognized as one of DIG’s most successful home gardeners. He proudly harvests kale, carrots, and other vegetables every day of the year without interruption. “I am a busy person,” he laughs. “Unlike before, my family is learning new techniques as we enjoy the benefits of having a garden with many different vegetables.”   Growing up, Zakayo had a father who, though poor, valued a good education – a rare privilege in 1960s Kenya. Zakayo would take his

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The Wechaya HIV Support Group

It’s an early, cool Wednesday morning; the sun is still low in the sky, but the chorus of cicadas and crickets reminds us of the heat that’s coming. The Wechaya HIV Support Group is meeting in their community garden. Quiet talking and laughing can be heard as women dressed in vibrantly patterned skirts make their way down the narrow cow paths and gather in the shade of a broad mango tree.   Organized through DIG’s Mobile Farmer Field School program,

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Budding Businesses – A Story of a Elizabeth Omiti

Elizabeth Achieng Omiti is a 52-year-old DIG-trained farmer in Migori County, Kenya. She is a widow, a mother of three daughters and two sons. She is also the sole provider for five grandchildren who were left with her by their mother several years ago.   Before DIG came to the area, Elizabeth was growing sugarcane and maize exclusively. She struggled daily to put food on her table, and pay her grandchildren’s school fees. Sugarcane was what her husband had always

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Day 4 & 5 of Living Below the Line for DIG: There’s No Me Without You

Finally, it’s Friday and I have only two meals left before my Live Below the Line challenge for Development in Gardening (DIG) is complete. This time tomorrow I’ll be sipping a cup of coffee and hopefully making some waffles with raspberries on top! It’s seem so close yet still so far away.  It’s been a hard week, but it’s not as though I’ve suffered. I’ve actually eaten pretty well. Last night I couldn’t even finish my dinner as it was

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Day 3 of Living Below the Line for DIG: Unexpected Turn of Events

So pretty much the worst thing that could have happened to me in this Live Below the Line challenge for Development in Gardening where I have to eat and drink on $1.50 a day for a week, just happened…well, maybe not the worst thing but pretty close.  Last night I was all set to make my precious dinner.  After getting my son to bed, my stomach rumbling, somehow having resisted the urge to pick-up any uneaten cheese off his dinner plate, I got

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Day 2 of Living Below the Line for DIG: The Diversity of Food

One of the hardest things about my challenge to Live Below the Line for Development in Gardening (DIG) is trying to get creative with the materials I purchased. Brown rice, regular and sweet potatoes, a fairly uninteresting frozen vegetable mix, black beans, and some other staples don’t provide much pop when you’re eating them every day. I would have loved to have bought a little avocado, some limes, a little ginger, some mango, but I knew if I purchased any of these instead of the staples

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Day 1 of Living Below the Line for DIG: Eat Your Vegetables

Monday: Day 1 of the challenge.Yesterday was the first day of my Live Below the Line Challenge for Development in Gardening. It occurred to me while I was devouring my dinner how little I ate that day (details and photos below). The realization didn’t just happen out of nowhere like- funny, all I ate today were two meals, I wonder what’s on TV? But more like – wow, I was so hangry before I sat down for this meal I didn’t even notice they

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Living Below the Line for DIG

Being the Executive Director for Development in Gardening, an organization represented in this year’s Live Below the Line campaign I felt it was only right that I commit to actually participating in the campaign myself. I certainly could not be asking others to do something I would not do, and I saw it as an opportunity to connect with DIG’s work in a way I don’t typically experience in the US.  I decided several months ago to take the 5 day challenge,

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Why Home Gardens are Important!

DIG first started doing home gardens in 2006 thanks to Koumba! While Koumba was being inspired by DIG’s training, we were being inspired by her.    It was she who asked for and received DIG’s first Home Garden. She asked if we could help her with some of the initial seed money to get a garden started in the small space behind her home. Koumba knew she could feed her family from this otherwise discarded space and would use her

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Help Plant Seeds That Reap Life

Help Plant Seeds That Reap Life

With your support we can grow our capacity to equip uniquely vulnerable families with the skills and experience to meet their own needs and improve their well-being through gardening.

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