Eleven year old María Luz and her family live on a small farm. This year their crop is poor, and they may not have enough to eat or to sell for other essentials, such as health care, school uniforms and books. When María's father must leave home to find work, she is left in charge of their garden.
Then a new teacher comes to María's school and introduces her to sustainable farming practices that yield good crops. As María begins to use the same methods at home, she too sees improvements that allow her family to edge their way out of the grip of the greedy "coyotes" — the middlemen who make profits on the backs of poor farmers.
Little by little, the farms — and the hopes — of María Luz and her neighbors are transformed as good gardens begin to grow. Learn more about the book
Watch a Video of Maria!
Today Maria Cecelia Vasquez (the real Maria Luz) is a community facilitator in Honduras helping over 300 families apply for small loans and providing advice and support to them as they work themselves out of poverty. Watch Maria's Journey from Hunger to Having Enough in the video player. This six minute documentary is a powerful educational resource to share with students in the classroom. Click here for Spanish version!
Learn About the Real Don Pedro
Don Elias Sanchez, the Real Don Pedro, helped more than 30,000 farmers learn sustainable agricultural practices that focused on saving and enriching the soil. Read more about his life's work.
Learn more about the book The Human Farm: A Tale of Changing Lives and Changing Lands a nonfiction book about sustainable farming in Honduras. Published in 1994 and written by Katie Smith Milway under the name Katie Smith. The Spanish translation, La Finca Humana, was published in 2004.
Students From Edward Everett School in Boston show The Good Garden’s author Katie Smith Milway and real life main character, Maria, their sustainable agriculture project and play Chutes & Ladders ®: The Good Garden Edition, which they helped game maker Habro to design.