Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Happy Grove was a project proposal brought to us by international Christian author and speaker, Lisa Harper. She wanted to do something to give back to the community of Neply because of how well they loved and took care of her adopted Haitian daughter, Missy, when she was very sick with HIV.
We knew Gerald was an Agronomist who lived in the village because we had known him and his family for several years. We convinced Gerald to be a part of one of our I LOVE NEPLY weeks when we still had visiting teams and this week completely transformed his LIFE. He began talking about the passion God had given him for plants, gardens, etc. and when Lisa brought the idea for Happy Grove to us we knew Gerald would be the perfect man to lead this.
Happy Grove was founded in 2017 with the goal of growing and providing healthy and nutritious food for our local community. We wanted to help alleviate food insecurity while also empowering locals with the knowledge and tools to plant, grow, and harvest their own food for sustainability.
We started out with three acres which we rented from families in the village. In 2021, we moved Happy Grove to a plot of land near our new LIFE Academy building. The timing of this was providential because this season's harvest has been more abundant than ever and has allowed us to provide LIFE-sustaining nutrition to families, staff, and members of our community during a time of increasing food insecurity and scarcity.
In addition to providing fresh, locally-grown produce to the families in our In-Home Feeding Assistance Program; we've been able to give excess produce also to our elderly program participants, weekly programming participants, and patients and staff of LIFE Clinic as well.
Under the care of myLIFEspeaks' Agronomist, Gerald, and his team, Happy Grove is flourishing. Gerald has one other full-time employee who is paid alongside him, he also has a couple of volunteers who work during harvest times and they are usually compensated in crops.
In a season where food has been more difficult to find and afford due to unrest, lack of fuel for transportation, and overall dangers in the country; Happy Grove has helped provide fresh, organic foods to families and members of our local community.
Through this garden, God has helped provide in ways we didn't know were possible.
Happy Grove's abundant harvests have been an incredible blessing in a season that otherwise has been wrought with gang violence, political unrest, and despair in Haiti. We are so grateful for all the hard work of our Happy Grove team to help feed our local community.