Southeast Missouri charity takes seeds, lessons to Africa


Marissa Hollowed
Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

BERTRAND, Mo. - You might remember the story our Marissa Hollowed did about a garden in Missouri giving seeds to third world countries. Now, Hope Seeds in Bertrand is taking that gift to the next level.

This past week, they flew in men from Kenya, Haiti and Uganda to learn more about growing crops. They learned about the best ways to grow and save the seeds, along with ways to cook and prepare the vegetables.

Hope Seeds also introduced them to ways of pumping water.

Lecturers from around the world provided lessons, as well. One was about the moringa tree, a plant of Indian descent that grows well in Africa.

A handful of leaves from the moringa tree is packed with vitamins, nutrients and minerals. For example, it has 125 percent of the daily value of calcium, 75 percent of the daily value of iron and vitamins A and C. The leaves are packed with protein, as well.

These leaves can help lower blood pressure, improve the immune system's function, protect the stomach's lining and reduce the effects of common autoimmune disorders such as HIV and AIDS.

"Just this with rice and beans would curb malnutrition," said Mike Mueller with Hope Seeds. "It's hard to believe one plant could stop malnutrition. It is, rightfully so, called God's miracle plant."

Mueller adds that the leaves are easy to grow and, more importantly, grow quickly.

David Okong'o from Kenya expressed the importance of learning to cook and prepare the vegetables. He says that most people have never seen things like cucumber, radishes and watermelon until now and aren't exactly sure how to eat them.