A New Way to Farm - Food Forests

In the heart of the lush, remote villages of Cahabon, Guatemala, there lies a dietary paradox as stark as it is troubling. Picture a table, adorned with corn and more corn - from tortillas at breakfast to tortillas and corn drink at dinner. Corn is not just a staple; it's a way of life. But while corn may be a symbol of sustenance, it also casts a long shadow of malnutrition across the land.

In these quaint villages, the people have long subsisted on this monoculture, unaware of the nutritional gaps it creates. Malnutrition is not merely a concern; it is an imposing adversary, threatening the well-being of countless families. The statistics are as striking as they are disheartening: malnutrition rates that surpass the global average by a disconcerting margin, but so is the determination of the individuals who believe that no one should go to bed hungry or malnourished in a land so abundantly rich in natural resources.

Amidst the challenges, there is a ray of hope. EnLevo has taken the mantle of change to help transform lives. Recently EnLevo welcomed a Brazilian professor, Marcelo, who embarked on a two-week journey across the diverse landscapes of Guatemala with the agriculture team from EnLevo. Together they explored the many corners of the country, studying the flora and the intricate art of 'food forests.'

A food forest, also known as a forest garden or an agroforest, is a strategy for planting a diverse group of native, edible plants and trees that mimic the ecosystem. A food forest incorporates multiple layers of a forest growing together. This includes layers of tall trees, trees, plants, and herbs all growing together. 

Marcelo and our team delved deep into the nutritional profiles of the native plants and trees thriving in the Guatemalan jungles. Their research and site visits have culminated in a comprehensive food forest plan, encompassing 29 different plants, trees, and herbs, providing a full spectrum of nutrition. The plan not only charts the growth of this food forest but also predicts food yields for the next four years.

EnLevo has selected plots in 4 different villages to create the initial food forests. Each plot will sustain the food needs of up to 5 families. The planting of these plots will begin by the end of this year with more plots to follow.

In the heart of Cahabon, where corn dominates the plates of families, a powerful change is taking root. EnLevo, with the dedication of Marcelo and our team, is ushering in a new era of nutrition and sustainability. The concept of food forests holds the promise of not only addressing malnutrition but also fostering self-sufficiency and well-being. As we embark on this transformative journey, we invite you to join us, support our cause, or learn more about our project. Together, we can nurture healthier communities and a greener, more nourished future for those who need it most.

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