Emmanuel’s swine facility began in 2002 with a total of nine pigs. Today, it is run by Santos and has grown to an operation that tends to between 50 and 100 pigs depending on sales. The pigs are fed twice a day -- 9am and 1pm -- by some of our youth and volunteers. The pigs are fed store bought feed as well as scraps from the kitchens at Emmanuel—nothing goes to waste here! Currently the swine facility produces pork that is used in the kitchen. Every month, at least five pigs are processed and consumed in Emmanuel’s kitchens.
Emmanuel also has an egg facility that is supervised by Javier. Through the years, thousands of eggs have been produced by our chickens. As of February 2014, we have roughly 400 chickens that produce an average of 300 eggs per day. All of the eggs are used for consumption by the children of Emmanuel.
Horses have always been at Emmanuel; however Tammy Young from Tennessee began a structured program in 2006 that has flourished into an outlet for the children as they learn how to properly have dominion over God's creatures. In the beginning there were many wild horses that were unusable around the children. Today, the horses that reside here at Emmanuel are very well mannered and work well with the children. Tammy has trained Andy and Miguel Angel, two of our youth, to lead a group of older boys in caring for the animals.
The dairy facility began production in October of 2007 and is now led by staff member Santos. Some of the cows at Emmanuel were purchased, and others were grown from embryos in a project here in Guaimaca. Currently, Emmanuel is getting milk from eight cows which collectively produce 14-20 gallons per day. The hard-working group of dairy boys are often the first to get to work and the last ones back home, as they milk at 6 am and 2:30 pm.
In this building, chickens, cows, and pigs are processed and stored in two giant walk-in freezers. This past year alone, 10,000 pounds of meat have been processed, and more than half a year still remains for more to be processed. The meat is stored in the freezers until it is ready for consumption in the kitchens.
The Tilapia farm is the newest of the farm projects. It has been in production for the past year, and has provided our children with over 5,000 pounds of food. We have so far processed approximately 19,000 fish and use the water to fertilize plants all over Emmanuel. The water from this Tilapia farm is rich in nutrients and is used in the Hydroponics. The project is currently in its early stages, but we have plans to build the race ways and other Hydroponics greenhouses in the future. The Tilapia farm is run by Arturo.
The hydroponics greenhouse is also run by Arturo. It is a new age technology that was originally built in July 2012 and then put into production in 2013. This is the newest of the greenhouse facilities and uses water from the Tilapia project to grow crops in a substance called perlite. This project is currently growing its first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers.
This project was started in 2005 when a greenhouse was donated, shipped to, and re-assembled at Emmanuel from Terrytown, Georgia and is now overseen by Arturo. We’ve used the clear plastic greenhouse to start crops in the past, but currently we have nothing growing in this greenhouse. The black, cloth shade house adjacent to the clear plastic greenhouse is used to grow ornamental plants of which 90% are propagated by a group of boys that work here. The plants are used to landscape areas around Emmanuel which help to beautify our home.
Emmanuel has various plots of land designated for crops, which produces a variety of vegetables, depending on the season and availability of resources. Often it is simply not cost effective to grow our own produce, however the program resumes from time to time if for no other purpose than to educate the boys on gardening. The crops are often attended to by volunteers as well as our own boys.