Thursday, July 16, 2009

Site assignment & sustainable development lesson of the day

Yesterday we attempted to fight white fly in our school yard garden using a natural pesticide.  White flies were beginning to cause an issue on the underside of our watermelon leaves, so one of my fellow trainees made a fermented Neem leaf tea as a pest deterrant.  It may be the neem, or perhaps dirty water, but after waiting a week to apply this foliar spray, the solution stunk to high heaven.  We were afraid we might be doing more damage than good by applying it to our plants (flys started to swarm on this putrid smelling mixture as soon as it left the bottle). We hope to make another, fresh, batch to compare odors...We literally couldn´t handle the smell and it quickly penetrated the bandana I tied over my nose.  It was just another comical lesson in S.D.  Along the way we used a plastic soda bottle for yet another use-  By poking a very small hole in the cap of a used soda bottle, we were able to create a make shift spray bottle.  We filled the bottle with the neem tea and squeezed it on to the plants.  This fun tool could also double as a third world squirt gun in my opinion.


I received my site assignment today.  Starting in August I will be serving in a small community outside of the city of Jinotega, Nicaragua.  I am excited to get started in this mountainous village.


  1. By the time I posted this online, it had already happened over a week ago! I suppose that will happen every now and again since I am not on the computer every day...

  2. I read an article the other day that talked about natural & safe homemade said for whiteflies to use dishwasher detergent and mix it with water to spray on the leaves. Not sure if you have access to that...another said cornstarch, water and tomato leaf. I'm testing this theory with the greywater from my showers...I think most mild household soaps can be somewhat helpful for this. Perhaps not as effective or strong as you'd need. I'm interested to know what you all end up doing to solve this...

  3. i like the make shift spray bottle idea! way to be resourceful!!