Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women

Mission: Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women is an NGO working with Women in the slums and rural areas of Uganda. We provide training in craft making, business skills, and money management, while paying our Artisans fair wages for their work. Our Mission is to give our women a hand up, instead of a hand out, so that they can pull themselves out of poverty. Founding Principles and Our Purpose: Women are the backbone of Uganda. They carry out all the domestic duties of life without running water, electricity, or any of the basic conveniences of modern life. Th...
Mar 24, 2015

raised garden beds from recycled glass bottles

making raised beds from recycled bottles 1
making raised beds from recycled bottles 1

Asparagus is delicious. It is also a cold weather crop that we are attempting to grow here in the tropics. To make this happen, we are building a series of raised garden beds using recycled glass bottles, and filling the beds with cow manure to plant the seelding in.

Why raised beds? Because asparagus takes about 3 years to establish itself before we can start harvesting, and the raised bed will help protect it from randomly wandering pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, turkeys, ducks, and random other livestock which periodically escape the neighbor's ropes and wander through our farm. The beds also help keep the asparagus sectioned off so we do not accidentally step on it or (heaven forbid) accidentally dig it up! It will also allow us to contain the fertilizer and limit weed growth. Plus, garden beds made of colorful wine bottles are pretty awesome.

We collect the bottles from our subscribers to our CSA Bountiful Basket, and from bars and restaraunts looking to recycle them. They are free building material, and they are much stronger and durrable than the locally made bricks. When our asparagus is successful, we will of course distribute the roots to other villagers around the farm and give them bottles to make their own raised beds.

making raised beds from recycled bottles 2
making raised beds from recycled bottles 2
making raised beds from recycled bottles 3
making raised beds from recycled bottles 3
Asparagus seedlings
Asparagus seedlings
Mar 11, 2015

Opening a New Library in Walakuba!

Teenage girl (in pink) helping the kids
Teenage girl (in pink) helping the kids 'read'

I love books. They make me happy. Even being around books makes me happy. But when I see other people enjoying books as much as I do, that's possibly the best feeling ever.

We recently opened a new Library in Walakuba- a slum area outside Jinja. The Library is located inside Florence Anwar's home- a member of our partner organization Lubanga Twero Women's Group.

As usual, when we started offloading the books from the car, random children started popping up (those who unfortunately do not attend school). I invited them over, but they did not speak english and had no clue what picture books were, let alone know how to read. After a few minutes a teenage girl came over and joined. She knew a little bit of english but could not read. When I tried reading the book aloud she could not understand me, so I told her the story of the book using simple words. (Farm animals had taken over the farmers house and were wearing his socks, using his toothbrush- ect. While the farmer and family were forced to move into the barn.) When she heard the simple version she laughed and laughed then told the story to the young children as well, pointing out the story through the photos. They were all laughing and having a wonderful time. After a few minutes of this, all the kids started making up their own stories to follow the pictures.

It made my heart happy.

Piles of BOOKS!
Piles of BOOKS!
Yes, walls do need to be neon green
Yes, walls do need to be neon green
Library from the outside
Library from the outside
neighborhood around the Library
neighborhood around the Library
neighborhood around the Library
neighborhood around the Library
neighborhood around the Library
neighborhood around the Library
Dec 29, 2014

Beautiful Babies

mountain papaya and lyche seedlings
mountain papaya and lyche seedlings

I love teeny tiny baby plants. They are fragile and delicate and absolute perfection. It amazes me how a tiny inch high seedling can grow into a majestic ninety foot tree and live for hundreds of years.

As you know- at Peace Farm- one of our focuses is on diversity, and teaching people about higher priced cash crops so that they can sustainably support their families. Variety also provides the consumer with new and exciting crops, filling a special place in the market. After all, it gets rather tiring eating bananas every day!
Fortunately for us, we recently received an order of seeds which are just starting to pop up out of the soil. We plant the seeds in a mix of pumice and palm peat fertilized with vermi-compost from the worms I keep in my kitchen. The tiny babies are just starting to pop up out of the soil, and it is so exciting to watch their little bodies uncurl and their leaves unfold.
Our current babies include lyche trees, mountain papayas, cashew trees, oyster nut vines, horseradish, tamarillo, rhubarb, and pineapples. We have a lot more seeds to plant as well, so I'll update you on how the dragon fruit and persimmons turn out.
We are growing these crops at the farm, and we are also distributing them to the villagers to grow as well. We currently had our first tree distribution meeting and gave away sour sop trees, mulberry trees, oyster nut vines, cashew nut trees, and tamarillo trees. It was wonderful to hear the positive feedback from the community as they laughed about planting and creating miniature forests. I'm excited for the day when we can give out some of these new babies as well!

horseradish roots
horseradish roots
rubarb buds emerging from the soil
rubarb buds emerging from the soil
cashew apples
cashew apples
oyster nuts
oyster nuts

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