Teaching Laredo’s Poor Self-Sufficiency Through Farming

We are very excited about the Ein Gedi Ranch and the potential for it to be such a great program.  We are already seeing the fruit from this labor of love.

The EIn Gedi Ranch is part of the second phase of The Bubble Home Project.  Some of the last few mobile homes were placed in Pueblo Nuevo, a subdivision in the outskirts of Laredo.  The area is rural in nature and its inhabitants are some of the poorest in Laredo and its surrounding regions.

Even though the residents of this community may live in trailers, it is common for them to own their own lots.  When the Bubble Homes were placed in this community, we were inspired to help those families maximize the resource they do have, land.  By teaching these families the farming and husbandry skills they need, they can make the best use of their land.

At Ein Gedi, the families are being taught how to plant and nurture their own produce.  This is not only a way for families to cut some of their costs by growing their own food, but it also connects them back to the land.  These are skills that have been forgotten, but essential for self-sufficiency, and skills they can put to use on their own lots.

At the ranch we are growing squash, cucumbers, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, for example.  We also have fruit trees and livestock.  The produce is then sold at the Laredo farmer’s market.  Earnings from the market are used back at the ranch to cover expenses.  Families that contribute and volunteer at the ranch also collect their share of the produce.

Watch the clip from a local news station on our Ranch.

The ranch will also offer an after-school program for the children.  Many of the adults in this community work late so the children typically spend a lot of time just roaming around the streets on their own.  We have built a center with a computer lab where the kids will be able to do their homework and have a place to hang out. The children will also be taught to care for farm animals not only to keep them occupied while their parents are at work, but also learn skills to that will help their families.

Once again, just like in the Bubble Home Project, this is a community effort with volunteers from different agencies and organizations.  A family with agricultural experience has left the comforts of their home to live in a trailer on the ranch and supervise and help with ranch activities.  Others will be coming to give classes for the children and adults.  The Bubble Home Families themselves have contributed through their fundraising activities. We have also had help from missionaries that have been instrumental in getting a lot of the infrastructure in place.  But the work is plentiful and there is so much more to do.  We are always looking for people willing to help make Ein Gedi a success.

We are making a concerted effort to grow the produce organically.  However, we have found that some of the pests here in Texas are making this difficult.  We would be interested in anyone that could provide their expertise in this area to minimize and/or eliminate the use of pesticides.  If you are interested in volunteering/donating to help us with the ranch in anyway, please contact us by filling out the form below.

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