Our Plants, Our Health
Medicinal and Nutritional Gardens
The original idea for this project was born from the experiences and discussions of the Africa Asia InterAction. During our various exchange activities it became clear that household and community vulnerabilities are shaped by nutrition as well as determining the availability and quality of nutrition. Since HIV/AIDS is an immune disorder a good diet is an essential component of comprehensive care. Both African and Asian partners expressed interest in collaborating on learning and teaching about low input gardening techniques and approaches that will generate better food security for HIV affected households as well as enabling them to grow a few herbs and medicines that will allow them to take care of some common health conditions affecting their families. As a result, the Raks Thai Foundation of Thailand provided TICAH with the initial support required to start this program.
With this initial funding we were able to work with the Kenya Institute of Organic Farmers (KIOF) to develop a gardening training program specifically tailored to establishing medicinal and nutritional gardens with Kenyan communities. We have since refined this initial training and incorporated it as a key element of our Herbal and Nutritional Guide Training Program. We provide support individuals so that they can identify and grow the therapeutic foods and herbs they have learned about in the training program and would like to have easy access to whilst caring for themselves and their families.
Over the course of five days, we work with a group on the following issues:
- Initial exploration of previous experience, available resources, fears and expectations and vision
- Assessment of foods and herbs needed, what is already in production and what needs to be planted
- Obtaining required materials
- Practical demonstration of a variety of organic farming techniques including options for limited space and low labour input
- Discussion of issues and tools for continued monitoring, management and planning for both group and individual gardens