Holiday greetings from DNRC family. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year 2016. Thank so much for your continued support through global giving. Your continuous and generous donation is enabling us to serve 450 farmers to take care of their fragile dryland environment in a model that improves social welfare, environmental regeneration and economical sustainability. One way of achieving the above goal is to introduce, train and help to establish food forests among the farmers and the schools in the communities we serve. Food forests is a food production and agro forestry system-based on woodland ecosystem incorporating fruits trees, nut trees, shrubs, vines, vegetables and perennials. Its self-perpetuating ecosystem exhibiting 7 layers as seen in a natural forest.(see attached pictures)
What was done during the quarter
a. Tree saplings for food forest
During the quarter, DNRC staff concentrated on maintenance of tree species in the tree nursery for establishment of food forest in the farmers’ farms. In November, the rainy season kicked in and the farmers were issued with tree saplings to establish food forests. Also DNRC extended and maintained the existing food forest at the site. This demo food forest is for field training, research and demonstration for DNRC farmers and visitors.
b. Food forest establishment training
During the quarter, farmer were trained on how to establish food forests and helped to establish them in their individual farms during the rainy season (Nov-Dec). The emphasis was to establish a food forest where they could meet most of the farmers needs including herbs, fruits, timber, fodder, firewood, medicinal, biodiversity etc. The emphasis was to try to have 7 layers as found in a natural food.
c. Farmers get-together
During the quarter, the 450 farmers convened for a get-together meeting to cook and share a meal as well as experiences as a way of strengthening their social capital which is key to success of this project. During this time, farmers were also informed why food forest and the way forward as far as the project is concerned.
Challenges faced during the quarter
• Water supply for the nursery was limited due to dry spell
• Limited wild fruit trees for the food forest. Plans are underway to collect wildings for its a challenge to propagate them.
Focus for next quarterAttachments:
• Propagation of tree saplings
• More trainings on food forests
• Maintenance of the existing food forest demo.