You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Unemployment rates dip in Clark, Champaign counties

Volunteer trip to Ecuador resonates

Last week in this space, I wrote about my Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener volunteer trip to Ecuador, and since I returned home I can’t stop thinking about this life-changing experience. I know that those who made the journey with me are thinking about it as well.

We have been so taken by this project that it has become a formal OSUE MGV international outreach project, and we are going back as often as we can.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work in the Andean mountains with the indigenous people and to learn about their culture and how they garden.

We are used to having tools of any kind to make our work easier. They have few tools yet accomplish a lot. I have a much greater appreciation of my gardening tools.

To help out, we delivered a suitcase of tools, including pruning shears, soil knives, kneeling pads and a hand lens. These will most definitely help Matias, the nursery manager, get his job done a little faster and easier. He was thrilled to receive these.

We couldn’t help but think about how long it would’ve taken Matias to get the amount of work done that our group accomplished. We weeded a large greenhouse, three planting beds and the aisles; cleared a hillside of weeds; dug drainage ditches to help with erosion issues; planted 40 trees at the nursery for a windbreak and erosion control and 200 trees at the school yard; moved 2,000 trees about the length of a football field down a rather steep hill (he would have moved these six at a time); collected 2,000 seedlings high in the mountains for the next crop; and planted about 1,000 of these seedlings.

Matias would have done all of the above by himself, without complaint because he is grateful to have this job. It may take him the equivalent of about six months or more to do what we did in a week.

The Tandana Foundation will continue their work in March and October with healthcare trips, and we are already planning more gardening trips in November and again in February of 2014.

The MGVs have also decided that our goal is to help raise the $4,000 needed for a water tank. Matias currently has to go up the hill to turn the water on, and the pressure is very poor. The water tank will be right at the greenhouse.

I am really hoping that some of you gardeners who have the good fortune of having your water source at your fingertips might be willing to donate a few dollars to this effort. If you are interested in sending a donation to assist, go online to and click on donate. Your contribution is tax deductible.

If you have any questions or your group would like a presentation about the trip, please contact me at (937) 521-3860.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’

A Wisconsin woman said she suffered second-degree burns on her arm after her Fitbit tracker “exploded” while she read a book, ABC News reported. >> Read more trending news Dina Mitchell said she had owned her Fitbit Flex 2 for about two weeks when the fitness tracking device allegedly caught fire on her arm Tuesday night. "...
What’s under your feet at the playground?
What’s under your feet at the playground?

The playground: a universal source of fun for children. It’s also a place to burn calories, make new friends and develop skills like how to judge risks and make decisions. A good playground challenges and engages children but is also designed to keep them safe. One of the best ways to lower the chances of serious injuries is to make sure there...
Nurse midwives help women beyond childbirth
Nurse midwives help women beyond childbirth

Stacy Hudepohl hopes to expand the perception that certified nurse midwives simply exist to help women through natural childbirth. “A midwife is very similar to a nurse practitioner in that we care for women throughout their entire lifespan,” said Ms. Hudepohl, a certified nurse midwife, who practices with the Center for Women’s Health...
Biking, blading and boarding? Protect yourself
Biking, blading and boarding? Protect yourself

With spring in full swing, you’re probably heading outside with your friends and family to spend time bicycling, in-line skating or skateboarding. But before you head outside, make sure you take a few safety precautions to avoid common problems that will land you in the ER. “Each year we see injuries associated with biking, in-line skating...
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity

Violet Mosse-Brown of Jamaica is officially the oldest living person in the world, at 117 years of age. Mosse-Brown earned the title after the death of Emma Morano of Italy, who died earlier this week at 117 years, 137 days old. Mosse-Brown has a simple secret to her longevity. “Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live...
More Stories