Jeff, Aquaculture expert/Lake Ridge staff member has inspired a real sense of community with the farmers who are participating in the Aquaculture project. We are discovering every pond has a story.
One of our partners from day one was Erns. He attended our very first Aquaculture seminar in January of 2018, which was put on by Jeff and our aquaculture consultant, Randy Bevis. In the seminar, Erns scribbled pages and pages of notes. As a farmer in the Haut Limbe area of Northern Haiti, Erns was familiar with the traditional methods of farming, but aquaculture was new to this part of the country. And Erns was here for it.
Erns had already a special connection to our larger family of churches, the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada. The Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada empowers Haitian to thrive in their communities by supporting several projects including an elderly feeding project. As a farmer growing vegetables in the area Erns had been donating part of his crop to the elderly feeding project supported by the ECCC.
Erns left the seminar full of knowledge and determined to dig his pond. He began right away on his land. He quickly discovered the pond would not retain water due to high seepage in the ground. Adding to this issue his well was running dry.
Working with Jeff, together they determined Erns had to dig deeper. Still struggling a few months later to keep water in his pond Aquaculture Ministry Leader, Kevin Castanherio on behalf of Lake Ridge agreed to help hire a company to get the well working properly. After three days with the crew and still no sign of water we were getting worried. But not Erns. He did not lose hope.
As a seasoned farmer, Erns understands how to navigate the patience it takes to tend to crops during so many unpredictable circumstances. They persevered and continued to search for a water source. Just as the well was beginning to collapse they finally struck water!
Erns determination is inspiring. He trusted his instincts and in the process or pursuing aquaculture has become even more of a leader in the community. Demonstrating this new way of farming is a source of income, but even bigger than that can feed communities. Erns is already doing that and with aquaculture he hopes to continue to feed his family, the elderly and the community and empower others to do the same.
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