Agriculture is a vital part of the Nicaraguan economy, and the implementation of small sustainable agricultural projects affords many institutions another small but vital source of funding for their goals and needs. Casa-Nica is a major proponent of sustainable agriculture and has developed, and continues to work on, creating and contributing to organizations through agricultural pursuits. 

We are always working on several agriculture projects at any time in places that will benefit from having a garden. These gardens can be either ornamental to improve the often neglected grounds of institutions or kitchen gardens to supplement the diets of the students.

The locations and scope of the garden projects changes throughout the year as the season dictates what can be achieved. However, regardless of the season there is always work to be done!

We have and continue to run several successful projects in several local schools in Masaya. We have planted and maintain a vegetable garden in the local special needs school to add much needed flavor and vitamins to their daily meal.

The Houston Outdoor Academy planting a kitchen garden at the special school

In another successful project an intern from France, Manon Felix, has created an agriculture project in a local school very close to Masaya. The school, Laura Vicuna, is being partly funded and run by a local nonprofit in order to create a national school model. The school has a large field of approximately three-and-a-half acres behind the their teaching facilities, which was not being utilized at that time for anything in particular. Manon had the brilliant idea to turn this waste ground into a productive working field.

The idea behind the project was twofold: educational and financial. Each grade, in both the Primary and Secondary levels (both are taught in the same school), was given its own plot in the field. The students were then responsible for preparing, planting, maintaining and eventually harvesting the fruit and vegetables from their plot to be sold for the school while simultaneously learning about the fascinating evolution of producing a crop. Giving a specific plot of land to each grade and having them work together fostered a sense of collective ownership and pride, which, unfortunately they rarely feel in other aspects of their lives, and is undoubtedly just as important as the details they learn about the actual farming itself.

Eventually the crop that is produced will be sold in the local market and the proceeds will be used to improve the school by purchasing new equipment, repairs, and decorating the school buildings.

You can view more images of this project in the gallery here.

Some students clearing their plot so they can plant watermelons