Fanm Kap Plante
women who plant project
“Fanm Kap Plante,” meaning “Women Who Plant,” is a side-project of We Are Neutral, an initiative to work with Jane Wynne of Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve to empower 100 women and children in Kenscoff, Haiti with resources and education to plant and care for trees.
The trees include mostly fruit trees such as mango, avocado, citrus, coffee, and fig trees, but also others like jimba. Planting fruit and jimba trees is a creative way to address the problem of tree cutting since the fruit from a mature tree is far more valuable to an individual than fuel, often yielding as much as $150 per year, and jimba trees re-grow at a quick enough rate to be a continuous living source of firewood.
The trees provide the women with both food and income for their families, and the project supports them to carry on this work indefinitely. While not the primary focus of We Are Neutral's efforts, We Are Neutral's board of directors return to Haiti once a year to continue supporting this project, which is close to their hearts.
The story takes place in Haiti, a country where 98% of forest has been deforested. The mere 2% of forest that still exists faces the everpresent problem of tree-cutting. This coupled with soil erosion are endemic compounding problems that, along with poverty, degrade the quality of Haitian life. These issues make life in Haiti difficult, and with gender oppression being a structural part of Haitian culture, women experience the toughest time not only supporting themselves and their families, but connecting with their value in life.
ZOOM IN to Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve, a beautiful contradiction, that grows green and bountiful in rural Kenscoff, Haiti. It’s safekeeper, Jane Wynne, with her charcoal and silver hair hinting at only some of her wisdom, knows the value of caring for the soil. Her father who founded the farm in 1930 raised her to understand soil’s profound meaning to Haitian life.
“If we let the soil go, it’s going to wash down, not only with everything we have from the soil, but the youth. It will wash them all down to the ocean.” – Jane Wynne