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hello gardeners


Hello gardeners,

a friend of mine in Philly has been sending me occasional postings of yours, 
and they look great.  I'm sending you my own posting now, regarding overseas 
work.  If anyone has ideas, questions, comments, or general excitement over 
this work, please please please feel free to contact me via email at: 
coreewhite@hotmail.com .

I am coordinating an agriculture project in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Irian 
Jaya is the western half of the island of New Guinea.  Its a far and away 
place where relatively little development and colonialization has occurred.  
Relatively little doesn't mean none, of course,and there are houses and 
roads along the coasts and even through some of the emmense mountains that 
run through the center of the island.  (If you want to find the island on a 
map, go to Australia and look directly north, its the second largest island 
in the world, right on the equator, and brimming with all kinds of life most 
people have never dreamt of.)

I'm trying (funding pending) to work on the more developed northern coast of 
Irian jaya, just outside the capital city of Jayapura.  There, I am 
overseeing the makings of a forty acre farm training campus, where people 
can learn to better organize their farms for their profit.  I am not really 
teaching anything, though.  I'm an American gal, originally from Tennessee 
and Florida.  The tropical environment is far beyond my gardening skills.  
I'm more or less bringing in some new, simple technology and some 
organization.  It is my intention that the knowledge of the people will take 
these simple forms and use them in the most appropriate way possible for 
their environment.  Through the process of the farm's establishment, we will 
expand upon niche agriculture markets in the community, such as the tourists 
(not as many as some places, granted, but still a viable market), the 
restaurants, and the missionary population.

I visited Irian Jaya last summer for three months.  I gathered information 
and observed as much as possible.  From what I saw, the people are already 
skilled agriculturists, but lack an organizational mentality that will allow 
them to actually make their living from their land.

My feeling is that if this project can get a good foothold, it will set a 
precedent for the people's own capacity, and also for sustainable means of 
accomplishing food production.  Massive industry has yet to move into Irian 
Jaya, due to the remote location and difficult terrain, but it will be 
coming, and soon.  The Integrated Agriculture Project may be key to the 
preservation of local land knowledge and cultural empowerment before big 
business arrives.

I'm working through an American non-profit organization which I've worked 
with several times before, and also a non-government organization in Irian 
Jaya, which has already established a vocational training program including 
classes for basic computers and the English Language.  They're all very 
excited about the possibility for this work, and they see that it could be a 
great success.

Now, i'm looking for funding.  If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.  
This project is so wonderful.  I'm very willing, and excited, to talk with 
anyone about it, and am prepared to discuss the situation to a much greater 
length.

Sorry if this isn't quite what you all are usually talking about, but I just 
wanted to spread the good word that there are gardens sprouting up 
everywhere on this big planet, and i'm so glad we're all working towards 
their growth.

Keep up the good work, and like I said, be in touch anytime.

Thanks,  Coree White
coreewhite@hotmail.com
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