Ms Sunshine Organic Farms, Samoa presents … Growing with Mother Nature 2022
By Floris Niu, Initiative Creator/Cocoa Farmer for Ms Sunshine Organic Farms
Samoa’s first Women’s Farming Calendar, featuring 12 cocoa and mixed-crop growers, their stories, and the attempt to revive traditional or organic farming practices, at grassroots level.
Farming by the Moon:
The ancients observed how the moon affected the tides and by tracking it alongside the sun, they developed calendars to predict agricultural rhythms. The sun was the life giving force, but the moon played an important role in predicting rainfall.
Polynesians understood and moved with the Moon as it proved to them that everything is connected. They followed the Moon phases to plant certain crops and to fish in particular ways or at a particular time, to prevent over fishing.
They thrived under the guidance of the Moon’s harmony with the rest of Nature and existence.
As the Moon waxed, certain activities would flourish, and as the Moon waned, it was time for restraint, to rest. It was the Moon’s guidelines and seasons that ancient Polynesians became attuned to, until now, when almost all this knowledge and wisdom is lost to progress.
This Calendar is not yet a traditional Moon Phase Calendar … that is still to come in 2023. However, we have begun with what has evolved as an introduction into Samoa’s rapidly changing farm-scape.
Women, who have traditionally been in the background of their father, husband or brother’s work on the land, are coming forth to share their own wisdom and experiences through growing food for their family and communities. The significant changes they bring are more gentle and an organic approach to the land, an awareness of humankind’s impact on biodiversity, and an acute concern for our waning food security.
Why Publish a Calendar?
The Samoan Women’s farming Calendar is an opportunity to assist 12 farmers to improve their livelihoods, by raising the level of activity and enterprise on their farms.
This initiative is part of our Agri-tourism work under the Project, “Improved livelihoods through the improved protection of the premium cocoa value chain.”; a project supported by the New Zealand Aid Program (MFAT), and implemented by SPS Biosecurity NZ.
Funds from the sale of the Calendar will support the improvement and development of post-harvest processing operations for each farmer; increasing production of raw or value-added products to supply the premium and organic market.
Since COVID 19, some of the farmers have begun to develop alternative local agri-tourism initiatives to supplement their usual crop incomes.
How can you help improve the livelihoods of farmers in the Pacific?
Immediately you can;
· share our trailer video (above) and the full video about the calendar on our public Facebook page Growing with Mother Nature 2022
· buy this Calendar in Samoa from June 4th 2021; New Zealand from July 1st 2021; from American Samoa in July 2021; via the SSAB stores or their website and Facebook page
· be one of our Sponsors for various awareness activities and events beginning on May 1st, until June 4th 2021
· Make a bulk order for your office via the SSAB website www.ssab.ws
· In Samoa, you can buy high quality local produce in the markets. In other countries, you can buy Pacific produce or goods made with Pacific ingredients.
Samoa's women featured in the first women's farming calendar:
1. Cilla and Ane Betham, Aleisa Coffee, (Coffee and Cocoa)
2. Chenanaiah and Lefiu Hurrell, Faleula, (Cocoa)
3. Tua and Lise Taeaoalii, Fasitoo-uta, (Cocoa, Taro, Cucumbers, Sugar cane)
4. Siliaga Tatupu, Faleasiu, (Cocoa)
5. Penina Puni Khan, Fasitoo-tai & Samatau, (Cocoa and traditional crops)
6. Floris Niu, Tuanai, (Cocoa, Coffee and tropical fruits)
7. Tausala Cook, Saleimoa, (Cocoa and tropical fruits)
8. Fuatino Moli, Faleasiu, (Cocoa and vegetables)
9. Agnes and Melanie Erichsen, Vaivase-uta, (Tropical plants, Flowers and Fruits)
10. Aiva Aukuso and Saunoa Sauila, Faleasiu, (Cocoa, Laufala, Fruit and Vegetables)
11. Sesilia Faatali Iosefa, Aleisa, (Cocoa and exotic Flowers)
12. Lili Aiesi, Tafaigata, (Cocoa, Herbs and Vegetables)
Fa’afetai tele lava,
Faalualuo Floris Niu
Initiative Creator/Cocoa Farmer
Ms Sunshine Organic Farms
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