We recently had the Phenix family use their kids’ school fall break to join Harvest107 as guests/volunteers in Haiti. It was an absolute dream getting to share our work with them! Here’s what Joy had to say about their experience:
“A garden really lives only insofar as it is an expression of faith,
the embodiment of a hope and a song of praise.”
We are just back from our first trip to Haiti, and I understand why so many people love that country.
There are dozens of adventures I could share from our brief family trip, but they’ll have to wait or leak out at another time. I’ve decided the one story you have to hear is about a 14-year-old girl named Gracie.
Besides being perfectly named, Gracie is the founder of a two-year-old organization, Harvest107, which is tackling the problem of world hunger.
If you do the math, that means she decided to take on world hunger as a 12-year-old.
World Hunger! When I was 12, I’m pretty sure I was hanging out at the pool.
But Gracie doesn’t just see the need (870 million people live with hunger daily), she has a vision for a solution and the moxie to pursue her dream.
It all started with a book.
In the summer of 2013, 12-year-old Gracie Pfaff read the book “The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough” (Katie Smith Milway). The story inspired her so much that she ran to her Mom and asked if they could go to Africa and teach hungry people how to grow food. Her parents encouraged her to start local, before taking on another country.
I can barely comprehend how this all came together, but I have to give huge props to her parents (Gary & Rihana) who said yes to Gracie’s dream. (You know how I feel about saying yes.) They started by telling Gracie she couldn’t move to Africa, but they worked with her to launch the idea with a micro-farm in Franklin, TN. The success of that venture, which now feeds 24 needy families on a continual basis, ultimately lead them to a string of yeses.
Yes to composting even when it’s stinky.
Yes to sorting seeds, watering seed plugs, and battling critters who want to eat your work.
Yes to building boxes, hauling soil, pumping water from the cistern.
Yes to leaving careers and investing in Haiti.
Now Harvest107 is working with orphanages and children’s homes installing and teaching people the methods for successful urban gardening. This week our family worked under Gracie’s direction on a rooftop installation.
There’s no easy way to get to the roof, but a sturdy metal ladder does the trick so away we went! Gary threw bags of soil up to Billy from the car, then we got to work.
The idea of rooftop gardens isn’t new, but in developing countries it’s practically unknown and certainly not practiced. The thought seems ridiculous. Gracie is going to change that with Harvest107.
Trust me, she will.
I watched Gracie in action and her quiet, but steady hand is going to grow great things.
She taught us about using the proper soil/water ratio, the spacing needed between each plant, and the expected yield of each box we planted. She rattled facts off like she had been doing this for far longer than two years.
I couldn’t have been more impressed.
I love this vision and the hearts of the Pfaff family.
If you’re concerned about those who are malnourished and want to know that your donations make a difference, or if you just want to encourage the efforts of a young girl who is trying to improve the world, please click on this link (here) to “shop” for something for a garden (a bag of soil only costs $3.00!!) or just make a flat donation (here).
Imagine years from now saying you played even a small part of this mighty vision. What a great thing!
I love where the next generation is heading.
Way to lead, Gracie!