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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPhase I: Introduction to training
Open this folder and view contentsPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
Open this folder and view contentsPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
Open this folder and view contentsPhase IV: Solar water heaters
close this folderPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
View the documentPhase V Calendar
View the documentSession 1. Introduction to agricultural dryers
View the documentSession 2. Tour of solar dryers
View the documentSession 3. Solar agricultural dryer design procedures and rules of thumb
View the documentSession 4. Two-hour dryer construction
View the documentSession 5. Review of existing solar dryer plans
View the documentSession 6. Smoke testing solar dryers
View the documentSession 7. Introducing new technologies: solar dryers
View the documentSession 8. Design of solar agricultural dryers
View the documentSession 9. Site selection and preparation
View the documentSession 10. Construction of solar agricultural dryers
View the documentSession 11. Issues and methods in development and diffusion of appropriate technology
View the documentSession 12. Natural cooling
View the documentSession 13. Approaches to health systems
View the documentSession 14. Nutritional gardening
View the documentSession 15. Practical drying tips
View the documentSession 16. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
View the documentSession 17. Dryer assessment and modification
View the documentSession 18. Introduction to cost benefit analysis (cba)
View the documentSession 19. Presentation of solar dryers
View the documentSession 20. Introduction to the final phase of the training program
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 14. Nutritional gardening

Total time:

4 hours


* To define nutritional gardening and discuss its role in the development process


* To practice home gardening techniques


* To develop an essay, garden plan or community program strategy that addresses nutritional gardening in the development process


* ACTION/Peace Corps, ICE, Small Vegetable Gardens


* Oxfam, Gardening for Better Nutrition


* Jeavons, How to Grow More Vegetables


* LIFE, Small Scale Intensive Food Production, pp. 60-80


* Attachment V-14, "Nutritional Garden Crops of the Tropics"


Suggested gardening assignments (on newsprint, see Step 7), newsprint and felt-tip pens or chalkboard/chalk, projector and screen (optional, see Step 5), materials as needed at "hands-on" stations (see Step 6)

Trainer Notes

This session will require considerable preparation. We recommend there be a model garden at the training site and that a wide selection of resource material on gardening be available to the participants for this session and throughout the program.

See Step 5: You will need to choose from among the suggested activities outlined in the Trainer Notes.

See Step 6: For this activity, you will need to set up at least three hands-on stations to provide skills training through demonstration and practice. All the materials for these stations must be ready before the step begins. You will need to invite gardening consultants who are qualified to demonstrate and explain the techniques at each station. The Trainer Notes in Step 6 provide details regarding the suggested format for setting up the hands-on stations.

See Step 7: Write on newsprint the suggested gardening assign ments outlined in the Trainer Notes.


Step 1. (15 minutes)
Review the session objectives and encourage participants to share their ideas and experiences on gardening.

Trainer notes

Collect "Four Day food Diary" and "Ecuadorian Diet" assignments as the session begins (from Phase II: Session 20, "Custom and Food").

Step 2. (20 minutes)
Have the participants list and discuss the differences between nutrition-oriented agriculture and commercial agriculture

Trainer Notes

* List their responses on newsprint.

* Stimulate discussion by asking how these differences relate to the issues discussed in Phase II Session 12, "Food Issues." (For example, cash cropping/subsistence farming, food as a commodity, food as a nutrient, etc.)

Step 3. (15 minutes)
Distribute Attachment V14, "Nutritional Garden Crops of the Tropics," and give a brief talk on illnesses related to poor nutrition and nutritional crops that can help prevent them.

Trainer Notes

* Mention the problems associated with crop specialization and discuss the importance of growing nutritional food crops for immediate household use.

* Refer to the resource material and Attachment V-14 for background information.

* An excellent comparison of garden crop choices and nutrient values can be found in the LIFE publication (see Resources).

Step 4. (15 minutes)
Have the participants brainstorm a list of ways that nutritional gardening can play a role in development efforts.

Trainer Notes

Some ideas include:

* More stable and continuous eco-system
* Supply of greens
* School lunch programs
* Link to health services
* Aim efforts at women
* Integrate technologies (small-scale)
* Encourage crop diversity, more edible crops
* Nutrition emphasis food first, exchange next
* Link to community participation

Step 5. (45 minutes)
Give participants an overview of home gardening techniques, technologies and processes.

Trainer Notes

Several options exist for this activity:

* A slide show
* A walking tour of a garden
* Analysis of a garden project case study
* A film
* Reading time to survey available resources

Step 6. (2 hours)
Have the participants move through three hands- on garden stations and practice the techniques being demonstrated at each one.

Trainer Notes

For more information regarding appropriate gardening techniques, refer to the Resources. Also, each hands-on station should incorporate techniques which take into account specific environmental, cultural and economic factors that influence gardening in the countries in which the participants will be serving (i.e., climate, common insect pests, amount of time and money the people can invest, traditional tastes, beliefs about the supernatural, curative or nutritional values of certain plants, etc.).

Each hands-on station should have at least two staff members present to demonstrate and explain techniques.

To provide an overview of basic gardening, the three stations should demonstrate the following techniques:

Bed Preparation



Shape & size of bed

Size of pile

Direct planting


Shape of pile


Cultivation (digging)

Appropriate materials

Seed beds

Adjusting soil texture

Layering Watering/irrigation


Adjusting Ph

Pit composts

Insect/pest control

If there is a mature garden available at the training site, a fourth station should be set up to demonstrate harvesting techniques.

It is important to explain to the participants that they should take time to do more independent research and study before beginning gardening programs as Peace Corps Volunteers.

Explain that one of the best ways to develop gardening skills is to plant their own small garden for their own use once they are in-country.

Step 7. (10 minutes)
Post the suggested gardening assignments and have the participants choose one to complete.

Trainer Notes

Post the following suggested gardening assignments:

* Develop a home garden plan to include a layout map, special considerations, research necessary, promises and potential problems.

* Develop a community program strategy to increase foods grown for the diet.

* Write an essay on the benefits and problems of nutritional gardening in appropriate technology development and how your role as an appropriate technology development facilitator might be affected.

Have participants determine how much time they will need to complete the assignment. Explain that it will be due before the end of the program.


High in protein, calories, calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and B.

Leafy Green Crops

Beet greens
Swiss chard
Cassava leaves
Sweet potato leaves
Okra leaves
Melon leaves
Papaya leaves
Taro leaves

Legume Crops

Cow peas
Ground nuts (peanuts)
Dhal (pigeon pea)
French beans (haricot, kidney and string)
Lima beans
Soya beans
Green-gram (mung)

Root Crops

Irish potatoes
Sweet potatoes, yams

Solanaceous Crops

Bringals (eggplan)

Sweet (pimento)
Chili (cayenne)

Cereal Crops


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