Monday, December 21, 2015

December 13, 2015

Today we left Havana for Artemisa province to visit Finca Marta, a ten acre agroponico run by Dr. Fernando Funes Monzote (son of Dr. Fernando Funes) and his wife. On the way we stopped at a food preservation research and education center – Protecto Communitario: Conservacion de Alimentos Condimentos y Plantas Medicinales (Community Project: Preservation of Food) - run by a man named Pepe and his wife.

Fernando & Pepe

The center has been running for many years developing and promulgating techniques for the preservation of roots, tubers, vegetables, fruits and herbs through drying, fermentation and pickling, having produced many publications including videos, books and pamphlets and even a radio show. 

  Books and pamphlets on food preservation
Food preservation educational posters

Afterwards we drove on to visit the Finca Marta about 30 minutes west of Havana where we were given a tour of an integrated farm which consisted of an apiary, vermiculture, cattle, vegetables and orchard trees.

  Finca Marta planting beds

Fernando and his wife Claudia owns the improvements on the land while the owner, now in his 90s, still owns the land. We saw a biodigester where manure from cattle is used to generate gas for cooking in the house. Plans are to increase the size of the biogas facility so as to generate electricity. Fernando is planning on developing the finca as an education and research center and is working with local farmers and the municipality along the lines of regional community development.

Bolivian delegation members at Finca Marta, from left to right: Orlando, Limbert, Marlen & Liz

 Finca Marta view looking east towards Havana

Bee box materials

Inspecting the hand dug well

The original and current land owner

Steer manure biogas digester

Shade cloth greenhouse for vegetable starts

Fernandito watering the aspagargus!

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