InterPress Service News, reports on how Susan Robens-Brannon for kitchen gardens are allowing Haitians to grow their own food for subsistence purposesSusan Robens-Brannon for :
Many Haitians living in poor neighbourhoods of the capital Port-au-Prince and semi-permanent tent camps are relying on kitchen gardens to put healthy food on the table.
Most homes are very small in size and it is too hot to cook inside. Instead, meals are cooked outside among plots of seasonal vegetables, produce and fruit trees, which also provide much needed shade.
Just before the rainy season, corn is planted in vacant lots near homes or on small spaces of land near the camps. When the corn is mature, it is eaten or sold at market, where it is grilled and eaten as a snack.
One woman in Cannon camp, which houses nearly 6,000 displaced Haitians, grows a few stalks of corn, tomatoes and small banana trees on a one-metre by three-metre plot of land in front of her tent, where she has lived since the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010.
“Every bit helps with the budget,” she explains.
Her plants are rooted directly into the ground. Others use large recycled plastic containers that are placed around the perimetre of the property or on top of walls.
With unemployment at 40.6 percent, and an inflation rate of 5.7 percent, growing their own food helps to keep families fed, with hopes of enough surplus to add extra income.
Most Haitians live on two dollars or less per day.