Cassava pizza dough and purple yam dumplings aren’t the usual fare for recent college graduates, or really anyone in the United States. Next week, however, at ECHO’s Global Farm, Interns are eating only what they have grown with their own hands. ECHO interns call this “Farm Challenge.”
Farm Challenge intimately connects interns with the crops that they have been growing on the ECHO Global Farm throughout their training time. Using the bounty of small livestock, fruit, vegetables, grains, herbs and spices, interns craft three meals a day. The only external items allowed are salt and oil, both readily available in developing countries all around the world.
In preparation, Interns are milling rice, millet, sorghum, chia, beans and corn; harvesting two goats, a rabbit and a chicken; boiling down sugarcane juice into molasses and sorghum juice into syrup.
“The hardest part of ‘Farm Challenge’ is making the time to prepare and cook the meals,” says Stacy Reader, Senior Intern. Audrey Powell, who has only been at ECHO for a few months, will be experiencing Farm Challenge for the first time. “I am excited to see the creativity that goes into what we will eat. When I first heard about the idea, I thought that we would all be hungry and grumpy for a week but I’m actually surprised by the amount and variety of food we have prepared.”
The Global Farm is a hands-on, living classroom situated on 50 acres in southwest Florida. Home to the nonprofit ECHO for the past 30 years, this plot of land has been transformed from sandy Florida scrub into a demonstration farm so unique that you sometimes forget what country you are in. The humid rainforest and the tropical highlands known as “the mountain” are just two of the demonstrated settings faced by small-scale farmers around the world.
More information about ECHO’s services is available at: www.echonet.org
About: ECHO provides sustainable options to hunger through innovative options, agricultural training, and networking with community leaders and missionaries in 180 developing countries. ECHO seeks to find agricultural solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions. ECHO’s international headquarters is located in Fort Myers, FL.