Garden for Ghana: Reflections and progress of the past 4 years

I first traveled to Ghana for 10 days with my husband, Dr. Barry Slater in the summer of August, 2013. We were part of a service trip sponsored by the Yale Alumni Service Corps.

Barry was part of a medical team who established a temporary clinic at the Police Station. They saw and treated 1,000 people who had never been to a doctor. I gave lectures to school children about their local ecology, their foods and their nutrition. We took surveys to learn their diets.

In 2013, this small Cape Coast village had very few trees, and the soil was badly eroded. The town is situated on rolling hills on both sides of a busy highway. Houses were teetering on their foundations. No one in the village was growing any of their own vegetables.

On my last day I asked the director what he thought about a plan to help the villagers develop gardens in Yamoransa. These gardens would grow food, help stop erosion, provide food and habitat trees, and help restore the coastal savanah ecosystem. We would locate them in schoolyards and begin a teaching program in environmental education and eco-literacy.

The students would learn sustainable land management. The food would be sold to the schools for school lunches and by the time the students graduate from middle school, they would have learned skills to restore land sustainably, grow food and provide for their families.

Since that first trip, I have returned to Yamoransa seven more times. We now have five large plots that are producing abundant food.

Using a no-till regenerative farm method. We have planted 100 native and fruit and nut trees. We built a large erosion control garden.

We devised a method to capture storm water and provide us with water during the drought period. Other villagers have started their own plots.

We have established our Earth Hero’s Nature Badge Program in the schools. We have established the AFS Green Club and the Junior Green Club in the local schools as well.

We also are working with many local partners.

Some of these are: The Yamoransa elder council, chief Nana Aqu, Councilwoman comfort Gabrah, Central Coast Region, Cape Coast University, Yale Alumni Service Corp, The Peace Corp, the Center for no till Agriculture, The American Field Service, The Agricorps, the Methodist church, the Catholic Church, and the wonderful people of Yamoransa.

Our plan is to establish a teaching and training center in Yamoransa for Ghanian youth so that other youth can be taught how to create more Eco villages like Yamoransa.

Local people want their village to be the first Garden for Ghana village. They are on their way!

Here are photos from my last trip!

Leave a Reply