Recent Progress with Namlo’s Greenhouse Program

 Namlo Nicaragua June Monthly Report

Prepared by: Eveling Giomar Lanuza Morales, Namlo Nicaragua

In the month of June there were visits in 6 communities, in two separate stages, the first beginning on June 03 and ended on June 09, and the second from June 29 to July 3. The communities visited are: San Juan Rio Coco (Community: Barrio Nuevo), Telpaneca (Community: Los Pinares), Estelí (Region: Las Calabazas), San Nicolas (Region: La Garnacha and Salmeron), Miraflor (Community: El Quebracho). Additionally, we participated in BioNicas Biointensive Soils workshop on June 24 and 25.

Organic Farming Cooperative Las Calabazas

 Organic farmers from Las Calabazas just outside Estelí have show a great deal of interest in the project, and despite their desire to receive greenhouses immediately, we explained that the next greenhouses are promised to the communities of Barrio Nuevo and El Quebracho.  They are prepared to wait. Four producers will need more than a greenhouse, so they are prepared to pay for the first to in order to be eligible for a second as soon as everyone else has received their first.

Los Pinares

We are very encouraged by Don Jose, who has finished harvesting what was in his greenhouse. Because of the germination of a large part of his bell pepper crop, he had to transplant some 40 plants outside the greenhouse. They have been producing well but the plant is having problems (yellow or chamusco) potentially from heavy rains. Some of his other plants presented the whitefly infestation throughout the crop, but the implementation of the broth Lime sulfate improved the yellowing condition. He was given other recommendations for combatting the mosca blanca (white fly)

Doña Nimia’s tomato crop is presenting the same problem of yellowing and the onion has problems of weakness in the stem.  She remove it as to prevent any issues with other plants. At the time of our visit Dona Nimia already harvested 162 heads of onion of which she sold 132 in the community. She subsequently turned her soil and planted 62 seedlings of bell pepper in the greenhouse. The bell pepper was also experiencing problems with the mosca blanca (whitefly) but Dona Nimia followed our previous indications and was able to eliminate them. However, the issue of the broken zipper makes it susceptible to future attacks by insects like the white fly. Otherwise, the greenhouse and the plants are in good condition.  (Note: Namlo is replacing the zippered entrances of the greenhouses with hook-and-loop materials)greenhouse interior June 2015

Turning the beds for a new crop (Nimiam Melgara)

Barrio Nuevo

The producers of the community Barrio Nuevo have a positive attitude towards the project. All were invited to a workshop at Don Flavio’s home to learn how to prepare Lime sulfur solution (natural anti-fungal).

The lime sulfur solution, which is the mixture of 1 kilo of sulfur with a pound of lime and seven liters of water (45 minutes over the fire at a rapid boiling). The fire must be strong flame, until a reddish color is achieved and it has consumed 4-5 liters of water. It is left to cool and then saved in a container. On this visit, we held a meeting with producers to inform them on what date the greenhouse will be delivered to new partners. We also spent some time explaining the new methodology that we learned for bio-intensive crops in the recent workshop with BioNica.

Organic training - Namlo Nicaragua June 2014

Organic training – Namlo Nicaragua June 2014

We conducted a visit to the greenhouse of Don Reynaldo, where both the greenhouse and the plants were not in good condition. The door is not sealed because of a broken zipper and the plants are experiencing problems with the white fly. We gave him some recommendations on how to recoup his crop and combat the white fly. If he follows the instructions he should be able to save the crop.

 

As for the greenhouse Doña Elsa she has repaired the sections that were open  and has 5 types of crops in the greenhouse (onions, tomatoes, beets, carrots, and bell pepper). The crop is in good conditions and she was able to transpant some 3000 organic coffee seedlings for outdoor production.

Coffee seedlings from the Greenhouse being transplanted

Coffee seedlings from the Greenhouse being transplanted

This transplant will generate income for the family. If the crop is sold in the market would generate a good income for the household as the approximate market price for non-organic is 7 cordobas.

Additionally, we visited the new future recipients of the greenhouse to verify that they had already prepared the ground for fertilizer and greenhouse installation.

 

Compost preparation

Compost preparation

 

The visit to the community was conducted to verify who in Garnacha is interested in the project. Six producers are located near the road, the other four are in the community of Potrerillo.  They all belong to the same cooperative and are suppliers of small organic market which takes place on Friday in the city of Esteli . With regard to the Community of Salmeron, we were able to make the visit despite the poor road conditions, but it is still impassable with anything other than a horse or a motorcycle. The greenhouse belong to producer Santos Castillo is in very poor condition due to strong winds. Three tubes were broken and there are several areas where the greenhouse is not sealed at the ground. His last harvest was on 05 April. The other greenhouse that was installed was at Don Dionisio. The greenhouse was removed and he states that will no longer continue the project due to a shortage of water.

We visited the community of El Quebracho in Miraflor to confirm how many farmers were going to receive greenhouses. They five members who previously requested greenhouses have retracted their interest because of water shortages that have been presented by a dry rainy season. They may be more interested when the rain returns and the water retention ponds are full. (Note: Namlo is exploring the possibility of creating a project focused on building rain-water harvesting “tanks” and ponds, to be able to store runoff that could be used by families who are interested in using greenhouses.  Combined with gravity-fed drip irrigation, this would enable rural families in areas that have little or no other water resources to be able to acquire and use a greenhouse in a sustainable manner.