Can you believe we found this in Nicaragua?

Yesterday, ECHO Staff and Interns got to visit a nearby town of Masaya and enjoyed a private tour of one of the demonstration farms that will be part of the post-conference workshops. We learned a LOT about Bio-Intensive farming, a hot topic at this conference, and got to see first hand how an area that the local people had given up trying to farm was being transformed into beautiful gardens. The soil was so hard we could not force a machete more than a couple of centimeters into it, but where they had been working on restoring the carbon balance in the soil the machete could be pushed to it's handle with nearly no effort. The bio-mass and organic life in the soil was incredible.

Intern Meg was looking around in one of the plots and found an ECHO seed packet! Way cool! We know that people receive them and grow them around the world, but to be able to see them growing was very encouraging. Then, Meg looked closely at the back of the packet. It was a packet of seeds that SHE had helped grow, harvest, germinate and package in Florida, and now they were serving the people of Nicaragua. 

Thanks for your ongoing support of ECHO's mission! It is truly making a world of difference! 

The Passing Of ECHO's Founder - Dick Dugger

It is especially gratifying and a blessing to look back on the history of ECHO and see how God has brought together many talents into a cohesive union that touches lives around the World.
— Dick Dugger, ECHO Founder

Dr. Martin Price, left, and Dick Dugger, right, at ECHO's 20th Anniversary in 2001. 

Dr. Martin Price, left, and Dick Dugger, right, at ECHO's 20th Anniversary in 2001. 

After a long illness, we are saddened to share the news that Dick Dugger, Founder of ECHO, passed away on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. 

We are so grateful for Dick’s life of service which extends to all of the 5.8 million people that ECHO has served around the world. Truly, ECHO would not exist without Dick Dugger.

ECHO was founded through the extraordinary efforts and vision of this Indiana businessman named Richard (Dick) Dugger. In the early 1970's Dick led a group of high school students on a visit to Haiti and was deeply moved by the plight of people in this developing country. After that trip, he worked, prayed, dreamed, and mobilized others to personally commit their time and resources to help respond to the needs that they had encountered. As other Christian laymen and clergy from Indiana and Florida caught the vision, ECHO (Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization) was born. Through a series of timely events, Dick and the newly formed ECHO Board were led to meet Dr. Martin and Bonnie Price, resulting in Dr. Price leading ECHO for over 20 years.

L-R Mr. and Mrs. Dick and Jo Dugger with Dr. and Mrs. Martin and Bonnie Price celebrating the Price's retirement from ECHO in 2008.

L-R Mr. and Mrs. Dick and Jo Dugger with Dr. and Mrs. Martin and Bonnie Price celebrating the Price's retirement from ECHO in 2008.

Over the 35-plus years of ECHO’s existence, Dick remained engaged as both an active promoter and supporter of ECHO. Dick continued to champion the cause of ECHO from his home in Indiana. Dick also worked closely with Africa University in Zimbabwe in researching the sustainability of Moringa and grain Amaranth, as well as promoting their nutritional benefits for many HIV/AIDS sufferers and malnourished children. 

His family contacted ECHO and shared that in recent years, “even though his health was frail, he never lost his desire to help the ‘hungry children’ of the world. ECHO was his dream and he was so proud of what it has become with God's blessings and through the dedicated work of so many wonderfully like-minded people.” 

"Dick was a man of great vision and has been the conduit of blessing to many around the world. His legacy has been felt by millions and will continue to grow through ECHO's mission," shared President/CEO David Erickson

In an interview with ECHO staff in 2015, Dick was asked what it was like to look at almost 35 years of ECHO's mission. He shared the following: 

It is especially gratifying and a blessing to look back on the history of ECHO and see how God has brought together many talents into a cohesive union that touches lives around the World.
— Dick Dugger, ECHO Founder

Summer Vegetable Feature

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Featuring: Winged Bean

Fun Facts, a Recipe and More!

About: Did you know that Winged Beans are known and grown primarily for their edible "winged" pods? Although the origination of this vegetable is unknown, it has been a staple in the Sri Lankan diet, traditionally used in curries and served with rice. These beans are excellent sources of dietary protein and oil. 

Unique to this veggie, the immature pods, seeds, tuberous roots, leaves and flowers can all be consumed and are a rich protein source. Also, the seeds are noted as a rich source of the antioxidant tocopherol, a substance important in Vitamin A utilization. To see a full explanation of each part of the plant and its cultivation and uses, be sure to check out the Winged Bean ECHO Development Note.

Dr. Martin Price, ECHO's Co-Founder, has written a Summer Vegetable Guide for SW Florida describing uses, cultivation details and fun facts. Check it out here.

Recipe: Mixed Curry *Serves 2-4*

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup winged bean pods, sliced 
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped onion
  • 2 Teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of curry powder (feel free to add more based on personal taste)
  •  1/4 Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of ground mustard
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup of thin coconut milk*
  • 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk*
  • dash of salt (up to your discretion) 

* Canned coconut milk generally contains both thick and thin milk with the thick milk on top.

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together, except the thick coconut milk.
  2. Simmer in a covered pot until the winged beans and potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the thick milk, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.