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Louis Rrig Falmngar
Golden Rule Intern from Yap

Kathryn in the Garden

Louis in the Garden

For Louis, who is teaching the 2-month interns, knowing how to make good-quality compost is one of the key components of the GB system that will be immediately useful when he returns home to Yap, his island home.

Everything about the GB system has impressed Louis since he came here, but perhaps what impresses him most is the soil's fertility at the mini-farm, especially knowing how long the farm has been in operation. In Yap, farmers still engage in a form of "slash and burn" agriculture: they burn the trees and experience a brief period of fertility, and then they have to move to new land.

There has been an interest in the GB method in Yap since the year 2000, when a group of teachers came to a 3-day workshop at EA. Louis' father, Stan Falmngar, is part of a group that was recently formed to help extend a successful GROW BIOINTENSIVE program to the community/farmer level. Louis' internship is the result of this larger effort.

Louis farms his own plot of land, which he has planted in trees: banana, coconut, betel nut, breadfruit, and chestnut. He has a garden for vegetables, but there isn't much variety in Yap. Taro, a starchy tuber, is a main staple of the diet. He has also been impressed by the variety of vegetables here and hopes he can take seeds home to increase the diversity of their diet.

Currently, Louis is a prison guard, and although he is on leave from the prison, he hopes he can continue to influence the prison garden and encourage those qualifying prisoners to work and learn at the farm, so their prison sentence is not altogether a loss. He would like to introduce changes in the process of composting—using the materials from within the prison—and also to try some of the other techniques he's learned here at the mini-farm. He feels like he's a good farmer and wants to help others learn what he knows.


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