Sustainability is an important part of our program–sustainability for the environment and for our bodies. So, of course, we want to grow as much of our own food as possible.
Our garden is 100% organic, using only natural insect repellents and fertilizers. The lemon grass planted around the edges helps keep bugs away and makes a delicious tea.
Before New Life, our farm was mono-cropped until the soil was depleted, so we’re rebuilding it. We compost fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, straw, chicken poop and rice husks. We grow and add the microorganisms so the pile decomposes quickly.
A team of 6 to 10 volunteers the ever-expanding garden–weeding, watering, transplanting, mulching and enriching soil with compost.
Our kitchen team picks whatever is ripe. At the moment, we’re harvesting an abundance of green leafy lettuce for great salads. Last night, we used big bowls full in our Vietnamese wraps. We also have plenty of green onions for stir-fries. And we’re enjoying steamed red and purple sweet potatoes and carrots.
Our tomatoes are starting to turn. Before long, we’ll harvest long, thin Japanese eggplants as well as the small round ones for curries. Thai basil is growing quickly and long beans vines are beginning to climb. Garlic is taking its on sweet time.
We’ve transplanted banana trees among our hot pepper trees to provide shade and add water to the soil. We have cucumbers, green pumpkins, and kale in the ground and young papaya plants around the garden’s perimeter.
If you’d like to learn more about sustainable vegetable gardening, join us a volunteer. The work itself is life sustaining.