2022 Local Festivals

Visit our Events page!

Sowing Opportunities has participated in spring and summer 2022 in local festivals to introduce our mission to Malden, Melrose, and Revere residents, and to raise funds through donations in exchange for home grown plants and the sale of Guatemalan handicrafts, in order to raise funds for the greenhouse project.   Details are at this link.

On Saturday, May 21st we were at the May-plewood Fest in Maplewood Square, Malden:

On Saturday, June 4th we sold at the Malden Summer Festival on Pleasant Street:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday, June 16th we were at the Melrose Farmers’ Market:

Fern of Sowing Opportunities at Melrose Farmers’ Market on June 16, 2022

On Saturday, June 18th we participated in Malden Pride and Fern gave a speech.

On Friday, June 24th we were at the Revere Farmers’ Market.

On Saturday, June 25th, Sowing Opportunities had a table at the Malden Community Garden’s Family Day.  In addition to offering plants in exchange for donations, local artist Ginny Remedi-Brown taught local residents how to make a lantern out of a tin can, such as those for canned beans.

Here are some photos and videos from the Malden Community Garden lantern-making event:

Click on the image above to view a video of Ginny Remedi-Brown teaching a child to hammer nails to create a lantern from a tin can!

See how intently the children are watching Ginny to learn about how to make a lantern!

Earth Day 2022

On Friday, April 22, 2022, Sowing Opportunities held an Earth Day event in front of The Gallery@57 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.  The event included discussing our mission and work in the remote indigenous village of Chajmaic, Guatemala, offering plants in exchange for donations, a bake sale, the sale of Guatemalan handicrafts and rock painting.  100% of the proceeds from sales and donations are going towards the greenhouse project in Chajmaic.

The day was very successful with many people stopping by the table to learn about the work or make a purchase or donation.  Children and adults alike really enjoyed painting rocks, led by local artist, Ginny Remedi-Brown.

Neal paints stones at Earth Day, under the guidance of artist Ginny Remedi-Brown, April 22, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sowing Opportunities had fabulous support from Malden youth.
Here, Breeana and Maya staff the table.
Local artist Elena Martínez takes a break in her day to paint a rock at Sowing Opportunities’ table on Earth Day.

 

 

 

 


Agricultural solutions address migration due to poverty and lack of economic opportunities

In April 2021 U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris met with Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei to discuss “the causes of irregular migration and that cause Guatemalans to leave their homes in search of better development opportunities.” (LaHora.gt)  The reason for their virtual meeting was to discuss “shared commitment to expand opportunities in Guatemala and in the region,” according to President Giammattei. 

Click here to watch a video on the overview of Sowing Opportunities’ agricultural solution to dangerous migration to escape poverty and climate change.

Climate change, including flooding from hurricanes as well as extreme and constant drought, is causing many Guatemalans to flee their homes and seek refuge in the north, making dangerous journeys to the U.S., sometimes undocumented.

In her meeting with Guatemala President Giammattei, Vice-President Kamala Harris referred to “factors that we call fundamental causes of migration, such as poverty and lack of economic opportunities, extreme weather and the lack of measures that adapt to climate change, corruption and lack of good governance.” (LaHora.gt)

The U.S. government is pledging the following: “To strengthen the Guatemalan agricultural sector, it will provide US $25 million. It will facilitate access to financing that will allow farmers to rebuild their livelihoods at home in Guatemala.” (La Hora)

Sowing Opportunities has an agricultural solution to climate change with the intention of reducing food insecurity, reducing the cycle of poverty, and addressing unemployment through targeted and proven agricultural methods that produce high yield within a short period of time in any climate situation.  Towards this goal, we are sending our expert agricultural engineer to the remote indigenous village of Chajmaic, Guatemala for the months of March through May 2022, for Phase 1 of our Innovative Solutions to Create Sustainability.

We are seeking funds to make this a reality.  Won’t you join us in being part of the solution?  Donate here.  Thank you!


How Success Will Be Measured with the Greenhouse Project

Training in specific agricultural techniques and greenhouse maintenance will be documented through a pictorial manual (note that illiteracy is high). 

Trainees will prove their knowledge by setting up and maintaining greenhouses properly.  This will be documented through photos and videos and text write-up posted on this page

The proof of having learned the techniques will come through the high yield results of corn, beans, and other vegetables that are determined during needs assessments (Weeks 1-2). 

Federico’s corn yield at another remote indigenous village in Guatemala
Federico with fully grown black beans at another remote indigenous village in Guatemala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documentation of livelihood will be made through photos/videos as well as testimonials that will be posted on www.sowingops.org.

Participants will report experiences with food insecurity at the beginning and after the 2-mo. intensive in-class and on-the-job training from the expert agronomist.

We will weigh each member of the participating families in March, in April, and six months later. 

Lety speaking with women in the village of Chajmaic, August 2020

In addition, we will we conduct a pre- and post- verbal survey (at the beginning and at the end of the project, and then again in six months and again in one year) for each adult, listing responses for each member of the family on a form with numerical measurements (from 1 to 10) for symptoms of malnutrition and sufficient food, conducted by a medical professional and based on medical statistics from the local municipality, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas:  These include sense of hunger, stomachache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle weakness, infections and delayed healing.

We will say that we are collecting this information for people who are funding the project so that they see the benefit of their funding.

The ranking, from 1 to 10, will be with 10 being the worst possible situation – completely unbearable – and with 1 being acceptable.


How Climate Change Affects Chajmaic’s Food Insecurity and Sowing Opportunities’ Agricultural Solution

Extreme conditions in Central America are leading to food insecurity and lack of employment, which in some cases, causes youth to flee the region, seeking work elsewhere.

The dry corridor has been affected by climate change and during the dry season, crops grown on the land can shrivel, causing many young men to leave to find work elsewhere.

Climate Change Refugees – dry corridor, ABC News Prime, 1.30 mins
Climate Change Refugees – the crops have shriveled, ABC News Prime, .58 mins

During the rainy season, hurricanes that cause flooding, affect passability of highways and access to agricultural regions, which affects the supply chain and increases prices, in addition to increasing unemployment, in remote areas of Guatemala.

Photo source: Relato (Guatemala), November 6, 2020

A solution is having remote villages grow their own food, but flooding has created the necessity for innovative and strategic solutions, such as greenhouse farming in elevated areas.  

In March 2022, Sowing Opportunities is bringing an expert agricultural engineer to the village of Chajmaic, Guatemala to do this work with the people, in conjunction with results of a needs assessment.  Details of this upcoming journey are at this link.

Sowing Opportunities’ expert agricultural engineer, Federico Arriola Cuéllar, has a PhD and 40years of experience, including specialized training in Israel, and multiple examples of proven success and quick results.  Federico has created a replicable and functional model that has been validated in all microclimates and altitudes of Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras.

Federico’s model includes “substrates, nutrients, water resources and fertilization of plants among others, which in a correct combination has the capacity to raise up to 1000% the ordinary annual production of the most important crops.” (Source: Federico’s document “Prog. para Erradicar la Desnutricion Ciclilca en Guatemala y el Mundo”)

Photo source: Federico Arriola Cuéllar document, Prog. para Erradicar la Desnutricion Ciclilca en Guatemala y el Mundo

Sowing Opportunities’ agricultural engineer, Federico’s model “is aligned with 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals, systematically combining a series of methodologies (The greenhouse concept, organoponics, Spanish plasticiculture, Israeli drip irrigation and Brazilian nutrition) seeking low-cost application and using local resources from wherever it is situated, respecting the food preferences of each family to meet the objective that anyone can carry it out.”  According to Federico, this system “allows the production of any product in any season. This means that it is possible to meet market demands all year round, regardless of climatic factors.”

Carrots grown by Federico’s team in another area of Guatemala (Photo source: Prog. para Erradicar la Desnutricion Ciclilca en Guatemala y el Mundo)

Malden Garden Supports Building Greenhouses in Guatemala

Malden Garden Supports Building Greenhouses in Guatemala

Growing and sharing our local food to make an impact around the world!

Last year’s  “World Water Day” (March 2021) we decided to celebrate our contributions to water availability in Chajmaic by launching a sustainable farming campaign with the intention of raising funds for our next project, Sol y Tierra Sustainable Greenhouse Farming in Chajmaic.

Fast forward almost a year, February 2022, our team in Guatemala is getting ready to travel to Chajmaic, Guatemala to start the Project next month!

Read the initial article highlighting the project and needs of Chajmaic and see our wonderful journey of creating a Greenhouse right here in Malden, MA and how we used our locally grown vegetables and ornamental plants to raise funds to launch the project.

Our journey

Garden plants ready for a new home

Plants for Sale to Benefit the Village of Chajmaic, Guatemala

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Farmer’s markets

Successful season

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Earth Day 2021

Plants for Sale to Benefit the Village of Chajmaic, Guatemala

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Garden plants ready for a new home

Plants for Sale to Benefit the Village of Chajmaic, Guatemala

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Indoor Sales

Brightening offices spaces around town!

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 Phase 1A: Pilot project with individual greenhouses (2022)

Adopt a Greenhouse

Your gift will cover the construction cost for 1 Greenhouse

Adopt a Greenhouse
Corporate Matching Program

Double your impact by taking advantage of matching gift programs at your workplace

Greenhouse Education & Tools

Your gift will support the Greenhouse farming workshop which will teach a team the basics of Greenhouse farming, care of produce and local commerce

Grocery Bag

Feeds 1 person for 1 Month in the village of Chajmaic, Guatemala.

Grocery Bag: 1 bottle of oil, 1 bag of salt,25 lbs. corn, 5 lbs. of beans, 2 packages of Incaparina