Back from my mission in Algeria

Dear visitors of my blogs,

It took me a while to tackle all the classical problems of a longer absence : correspondence, reports to write, reply to emails, etc. But now I am back at my blogs and hope to catch up as soon as possible.

For now, let me tell you something about the success of our UNICEF project in Algeria “Construction of family gardens and school gardens in the refugees’ camps of Tindouf (S.W. Algeria – Sahara desert)“.

The Sahrawi people are extremely motivated to get their small gardens ready as soon as possible. From 208 gardens in 2006, the number of gardens grew to more than 1200. These gardens are treated with our soil conditioner TerraCottem (<>) to stock a maximum of saline irrigation water in the upper 20-30 cm of sandy soil. Seeds of vegetables are provided by UNICEF ALGERIA. Young trees are offered by the Forestry Services of Tindouf. Local schools are also participating in the project. Follow-up is assured by a Technical Committee and several agronomists.

In August 2007, I launched an action of seed collection in Belgium. With the help of the media (newspapers, radio, television), I invited my compatriots to send me the seeds of tropical fruits, which are normally thrown in the garbage bin (melon, watermelon, pumpkin, papaya, avocado, sweet pepper etc.). There was a massive and remarkably positive reaction of the Belgians ! For the first time, someone is not asking money for development cooperation, but only garbage seeds.

I received already more than 100 kg of seeds, half of which were already taken to the refugee camps on my last trip, or send by the Algerian Embassy for use in Algerian school gardens (another nice UNICEF project, called : “Schools, Friends of the children”).

It is really fantastic to see, for the first time in 30 years in these camps of the Sahrawis, vegetables growing in small desert gardens. What a splendid contribution to human health in those extremely difficult conditions ! This is the best way to provide continuously fresh food and fruits with vitamins and mineral elements, in particular for the children.

You look for success stories ? This is one of the best ! I will soon show you some more pictures.

Team with UNICEF seeds   Family garden Layoun  Family garden Layoun 2  watermelons in Dahla

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Unicef team and Sahrawis engineers carrying seeds from UNICEF / Some of the family gardens at the end of October 2007.

Gardening for Nutritional Foods (Gardening.ygoy)

Fine survey !

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Gardening for Nutritional Foods

Super foods seem to be under the spotlight for their special characteristics. These are food items oozing with nutrition. According to nutritionists, they are a rich source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and play a major role in prevention of diseases, and enhancing longevity and good health. Examples of such nutrient-rich foods are:

  • Green Tea
  • Carrots
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Fruits such as Apricots, Bananas, Strawberries, Pineapple, Citrus fruits, Mango, Papaya
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Chili peppers

The best method is to grow your own fruits and vegetables, in your own garden. Gardening is one of the best ways to get really close to Mother Nature and it is a sure recipe for health, fun, profit, and also exercise, both mental and physical. As we all know, fruits and vegetables begin to depreciate in nutrient value as soon as they are severed from the plant. So, nothing but gardening gives us the healthiest food. This is because the picked-to-table time is the lowest, thus ensuring minimum loss of nutrition.
Vegetable gardens are back in style in today’s health-conscious society. Approximately, 50 percent of American families own vegetable gardens. You don’t have to look around for land to make a garden. An unused plot in your backyard or side yard can very well be turned into a garden. If you don’t have enough space, don’t worry. There are many alternatives available. A container vegetable garden, a vertical vegetable garden, a window box garden, a raised bed garden, or vines running up trellises can serve as gardens too. You can also mix vegetable plants with your already present landscape.
Even if you are a greenhorn when it comes to plant a vegetable garden, you will not face too many hassles. Free information on the Internet is overflowing and most of it is explained in layman’s terms. So, you should have no problem learning how to garden.


Vegetables and Health (Vegetable Grower)

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The Vegetable Grower

Vegetables and Health

Gardeners who grow their own fruit and vegetables could be the healthiest people. That’s the conclusion of Dr Laurence J Trueman, a molecular biologist and biochemist currently working as a consultant to the horticulture industry specialising in the effect of eating fruit and vegetables on human health. Dr Trueman says the following about fruit & veg: Continue reading Vegetables and Health (Vegetable Grower)