How Your Family Can Make a Difference with Earthworms

I’m sure you know the importance of vegetables, I don’t need to tell you. Even if you (or more likely — your children) don’t like them, there’s no denying the nutritional value. They’re an imperative part of the food pyramid (or food plate now.)

Around the world, most people acknowledge this fact, but unfortunately, not everyone can access veggies. In the developing world, if vegetables are available at all, they are at times, difficult to reach. Take Huancavelica, Peru for example. Community members used to commute over 5.5 miles just to get non-fresh vegetables. These dying crops were low on nutritional value. Surely this is one of the contributing factors to malnutrition.

Eugenio and Elsa stand with their five children in the land where they will plant their family garden.

More than half of all children in Huacavelica are malnourished.

One family that struggled to ensure their children received adequate nutrients is that of Eugenio and Elsa. They have five children, and remember the difficulties that accompanied their lack of food.

“We didn’t have vegetables, it was difficult to get them, we didn’t have enough  money to buy them, either. The distance to the city is far away from here, because we live in the hill-side. Even though my children like vegetables, I felt frustrated because I didn’t have enough resources to feed my family with appropriate food,” Eugenio said.

Food for the Hungry (FH)’s solution? Home gardens! An FH facilitator visited homes in Eugenio’s neighborhood to tell families about food and nutrition and offered to train families in building home gardens.

Eugenio and Elsa jumped at the chance! He attended trainings and started his own garden. (Click here to read more about FH’s work.)

“Now we have made two harvests!” Eugenio said.

For Eugenio, he has seen much improvement in his family. He says his children are more dynamic and are even performing better at school. Eugenio is thrilled! He wants to expand his home garden and learn more techniques.

However, there are problems that can arise in gardening at home. Sometimes the soil is dry and dull. Fertilizer is minimally effective. But FH has thought of a solution for these problems too!

Eugenio’s wife, Elsa, works the family garden with FH staff member Deyvis Tueros.

Earthworms! Though small, they make a HUGE impact.

Earthworms enrich soil for planting and complement FH’s training in the production of organic fertilizer. How do they do this? Worms increase air and water that get into the soil. They also break down things like leaves and grass into things plants can use to grow. When earthworms eat, they leave behind a very valuable type of fertilizer that helps with the slow release of nutrients to plants and prevents them from being washed away with the first watering. Earthworm manure is richer in minerals than the soil itself, meaning what they leave behind is awesome for plants. They reproduce on their own and provide ongoing garden maintenance and benefit.

In short, earthworms make a big difference and it’s one of the easiest ways for your family to boost the nutritional and financial intake of a family in Peru. For only $15 you can give a whole pack of earthworms to a vulnerable family like Eugenio’s.

Please consider making a difference today! Click here.