I visited the Mombasa project last week in order to see how the garden/agriculture project is coming along and I left dancing and crying tears of joy. How incredible to see hard work paying off and to know that good things are happening!
The greenhouse at Portriez has already produced 150lbs of tomatoes, with an additional 200lbs expected to be harvested in the next week. That is colossal! Think for a moment that tomatoes are imported to Mombasa because they are impossible to grow in the heat, humidity and poor soil of the region. It is amazing that we can produce this volume of great tomatoes - tasty, colorful, full of vitamins. Spinach, kale, moringa, cassava, and sweet potatoes have also been harvested from outside the greenhouse where drip irrigation was set up.
This small piece of land has been producing food to feed those who just can't afford to purchase at the market. The food is sold at extremely discounted prices so that there is dignity in the purchase of it. The bits of money that are made are turned into more seed and to upkeep the greenhouse/farm.
We want to expand. We need to expand! How could we not? This project is such a success that we must reproduce it in the larger piece of land, producing tomatoes, peppers and other difficult to grow foods. Our dream? 10 greenhouses. Yep! Some of the veggies grown will be sold to hotels and restaurants for profit but the rest will be sold at reduced prices for those children and guardians who need food. If an orphan cannot afford to pay even that, it will be given to them.
Thank you for making this such a successful project, friends! It truly was inspirational to see what is going on in Portriez and then, to visit with women and toddlers who are doing great due to good food. Children are gaining weight. Things are looking good.
With gratitude and a million smiles,
Water is a rare commodity in Mombasa, Kenya. With a drought which has plagued this part of the country for the past 7 years, the land is dry and plants find it hard to grow. While greenhouses are a wonderful solution to production of good food, they also need water. The Portriez farm has a borehole, so the greenhouse and garden are doing wonderfully and veggies will be ready to harvest in one month.
The larger piece of land owned by our partners in Mombasa is 50 acres and we'd love to establish 10 greenhouses there. What is stopping us? Water. A borehole must be dug, but this is expensive (approximately $17k). AFCA is looking for partners who might be interested in helping meet this need. Maybe you know someone who'd like to donate specifically towards a borehole? Or, maybe you know someone who has a company who drills these boreholes and who'd like to lend their expertize? Or, maybe you know someone in an organization who does just this sort of thing and you'd be willing to speak on our behalf so that they will partner with us? If any of these ring true with you, please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you so that we can get these other greenhouses up and functioning, to benefit children who need good food in order to stay healthy.
Happy New Year, all of you. Thank you for helping our kids.
Friends, during this season of giving, we are giving back a small "thank you" to everyone who makes a $25 (or larger) donation to this particular project. Will you make a donation today? And, will you please tell your friends and family about this project so that they, too, will make a small donation that will change how a child eats?
This particular project is moving forward wonderfully. Our pilot greenhouse is housing tomato seedlings who look so neat growing straight up. They will be attached to hanging strings in order to use the space as best as we can, producing fruit for many, many children. It is our hope that all children in the Mombasa program will receive nutritious food and the training to grow their own one day and that we'll be able to expand the greenhouse project to include 10 additional ones. All this takes time, but from all reports, things are looking great and we are on the right path.
We thank you for your generosity and hope you'll remember our kids when you use the beautiful wallet we'll send you!
On behalf of our children,
The Portriez Shamba (garden) was started to benefit our clients with vegetables to add vitamins into their foodintake and since then, we have seen great improvement in their health
Sixty-seven clients and five support groups with 20 members each have benefited from the trainings regarding preparation of gardens, planting, weeding, harvesting, and other management skills. Some clients have really tried to build small kitchen gardens though the challenge they have is lack of water. Lack of water seems to be one of our biggest issues here in Mombasa. We don't lack hard working people or families who want to eat better and to do what they must do in order to eat more nutritionally. What we need is water!
With the lack of water in mind, we studies greenhouses and with the help of AFCA, we purchased on for this land. Right now, seedlings are ready for transplanting into the greenhouse and we hope to have the first harvest of tomatoes and sukuma wiki (Kale) in late January. When this happens, we will celebrate big because this will be a huge thing for our clients and the children in our program. I can't wait for this.
This week, this very week, is an important week for the project in Mombasa. This is the week when a greenhouse will be installed in Portriez, the smaller garden site. In it, tomatoes and peppers and melons will be grown - all items that are usually imported because they are so difficult to grow in Mombasa's hot and humid weather.
Why is this so exciting? Simple:
Thank you for being part of this, friends! We'll send updates as plants start growing and veggies are harvested.
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