Many Hands is thrilled to announce its latest partnership with Driftwood Farms on Great Abaco Island, The Bahamas. The organizations believe that their partnership can address the food insecurity issues the people of the Bahamas face. The partnership will enable the organizations to meet these challenges through collaborative strategies and locally-focused training programs.
Aerial view of Driftwood Farms operation on Abaco
Driftwood Farms was founded to provide local, organically grown, farm-to-table produce that is otherwise unavailable on Abaco. While partnering with another couple, Tracy and Glen Kelly began with a small hydroponic operation on Abaco island in 2012. Since then, they have expanded to grow various vegetables, including green beans, tomatoes, sweet peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and more, selling their produce at local markets. They also manage pasture-raised chickens for eggs and fertilizer.
Produce grown by Driftwood Farms
Due to Abaco’s limited farmable land and need to import basic produce, access to cheap and healthy foods is an issue. Glen and Tracy wanted to address this with their farm-to-table business model. “We wanted to create an environment where customers could come and see firsthand how their food was grown and, in turn, build relationships with those that wanted a healthy alternative to “Grocery Store” imported produce,” explained Tracy Kelly. “Driftwood is one of the few vegetable producers in Abaco that can sell high-quality products directly to customers and at a fair price for all.”
Glen Kelly carrying produce from Driftwood Farms
Because Many Hands and Driftwood Farms share a common desire to address the issues of food insecurity on the island, the benefit of a partnership quickly became apparent. “With the help of Many Hands and their experience in farming practices in other areas, we can bring new ideas and resources to improve methods and outputs,” shared Tracy Kelly. Many Hands and Driftwood Farms are working together to put strategies in place to provide sustainable food sources to support a planned First 1,000 Days program and future IMPACT teams visiting Abaco. They are also working to establish training programs to teach food-insecure locals to grow their own food.
A hydroponic system at Driftwood Farms
“Our desire is to not only produce high-quality local produce but also share our knowledge and experience so that others will have the encouragement and “know-how” to grow their own,” shared Glen Kelly. “Hydroponic farming is often assumed to be complicated and has a high startup cost. We are privileged to share our experiences and give local proven ways to feed families affordably.”
Tracy and Glen Kelly believe this partnership will have a significant impact on the future of Abaco. They already see the fruits of Many Hands’ work on the island. “Many Hands has brought a focused and Christ-centered love and outreach to the Abacos that, even in a short period, has already had many positive impacts in the community. The dedication of team members on the ground and in the U.S. highlights their desire to see hearts changed in those who come to serve and those that are served.”
Laura Nicholson, Director of IMPACT, visits Driftwood Farms with an IMPACT team
Tim Brand, CEO of Many Hands, is excited about this future partnership. “Being newer to the island and the intricacies of growing in the Abacos, we are humbled and blessed to work with Driftwood Farms. They are incredibly talented people with a true heart to love, serve, and make the world a better place. We see this partnership flourishing and greatly improving the quality and quantity of food available to families on the island.”
About Many Hands:
Many Hands is an Iowa-based nonprofit creating local and global life transformation. Established in 2008, the organization aims to ignite generosity, grow community, and take people on IMPACT journeys to carve a new, better path to life. Each year, the organization reaches at least 25,000 people through its operations in the Caribbean, IMPACT Trips serving in Abaco, Bahamas, and Many Hands Thrift Markets located in Iowa.
Many Hands is called to transform together, to be love in action, in a broken world.