Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya

by Drylands Natural Resources Centre
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Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya
Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya
Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya
Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya
Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya
Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya
Nutrition through food forests & gardens in Kenya
kitchen garden showing traditional vegetable
kitchen garden showing traditional vegetable

INTRODUCTION

Greetings to us all from DNRC family and our 886 smallholder farmers and 12 schools we work with. We are always happy to share with you our quarterly reports which enable DNRC in achieving her goal of environmental, economical and social regeneration of the communities we work with in the drylands of Kenya. Nutrition through food forests and Kitchen gardens continue to be key project in achieving these goals. Your continued support on the same enable us to serve our farmers and schools to move towards long term sustainability as they balance development by equally addressing environmental social and economic pillars. Thank you so much for your kind support. As climate change effects continue to bite especially in the drylands, the food forests a kitchen gardens continue to cushion our farmers by providing adequate and nutritional food for domestic use and sell extra for income. The DNRC food forest and kitchen gardens continue also to provide food for the staff, visitors, interns and the surrounding farmers and schools. During this reporting period, the main activities involved maintaining the food forest and planting groundcover especially cowpeas during the rainy season. DNRC food forest has created nice microclimate to support diverse exotic plants, we have introduced coffee and they seem to be doing great. in terms of organic kitchen gardens, we have been renewing our kitchen gardens beds and maintaining them by watering, adding manure, mulching and frequent pest and disease control through integrated Pest Management (IPM). Below are detailed activities done during this reporting quarter.

DNRC FOOD FOREST

During this reporting quarter, DNRC staff in charge of the food forest majorly focused on maintaining the food forest through chop and drop so as to open up for the production trees to get enough sunlight. They were also involved in manuring and mulching the production trees. We managed to harvest the following products during the quarter from the food forest: 20kg of vegetables, 20 pieces of pawpaw and 50 cups of mulberry fruits.

 DNRC KITCHEN GARDEN

During the reporting quarter, the kitchen garden staff were busy renewing the gardens and planting diverse vegetables with emphasis on indigenous vegetables such as cowpeas, black night shade, amaranth among others. They also expanded spinach and kales beds as well as routinely controlled pests and diseases through Integrated Pest Management. During the quarter they also harvesting over 100kg of vegetables for staff and extra sold for income.

CHALLENGES

Water remain our biggest challenge as we don’t have permanent water source and rely of seasonal river hence limiting our expansion possibilities

FOCUS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER

  • Continue maintaining DNRC kitchen gardens as well as farmers
  • Continue maintaining DNRC food forests and those of the farmers
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DNRC kitchen garden 1
DNRC kitchen garden 1

INTRODUCTION

We hope this report finds you well and in good spirits despite very hard economic times posed by Covid- 19 pandemic, climate change effects and general global high cost of living. Drylands Natural Resources Centre (DNRC) continue her activities of addressing both economic, social and environmental challenges in the drylands of Kenya. One innovation of sustainably addressing these challenges is through food forest and organic kitchen gardens for nutrition and income. We are happy therefore to share with you this quarterly report on Nutrition through food forests and gardens in Kenya project. In this reporting period, DNRC continued to manage her food forest and gardens for both food, nutrition and income. The DNRC food forests and the gardens provide food and nutrition to DNRC staff, interns, visitors and the customers who buy their vegetables from DNRC since they are organic and freshly harvested. DNRC mature food forest produce different fruits including but not limited to: Paw paws, passion, guavas, Mulberry, bananas among others. During this reporting quarter, we have been busy tending the DNRC food forest, maintaining the gardens, harvesting and selling extra produce to the larger community. Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter.

DNRC FOOD FOREST

During this reporting quarter, we managed to harvest over 70 pieces of pawpaw from DNRC food forest as they were in season among other fruits. The food forest which is now mature have created micro- climate which has enabled the introduction of apples and pixes which could otherwise not be possible without the microclimate. By creating the microclimate is enabling us to increase diversity in the food forests at DNRC and also our farmers and schools farms. Other activities in the food forest involved chop and drop, weeding and manuring.

DNRC KITCHEN GARDENS

During this reporting quarter, main activities at the DNRC organic kitchen gardens were maintaining the gardens by watering them, mulching, pest and disease control through Integrated Pest Management (IPM), harvesting and selling of the vegetables mainly Kales, Spinach, black knight shade, spider weed and pigeon peas. More than 200 fed from our organic kitchen vegetables during this reporting period.

 CHALLENGES

  • Water remains our major challenge since DNRC has no permanent source of water and but nearby seasonal river which dries up within   months after the rains.

FOCUS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER

  • Continue maintaining and expanding both the food forest and the gardens at DNRC and across the farmers and schools
  • Propagation of fruit trees at DNRC nursery for food forests
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DNRC Organic Kitchen Gardens
DNRC Organic Kitchen Gardens

INTRODUCTION

We are happy to share with us our progress report on nutrition through food forest and gardens in Kenya. We are grateful for your continued financial support which has enabled us to come this far. During this reporting period, we continued to maintain DNRC food forest together with DNRC kitchen gardens as well as our school food forests. With the current economic constrains in Kenya leading to high food prices, both DNRC Food forests and kitchen gardens have been a big nutritional boost to DNRC staff, visitors and volunteers. Although the previous rains March-April rains failed, we were able to harvest the following: Cow peas, Bananas, pawpaw, passion fruits and cassavas. Our kitchen gardens also continued to flourish and provide organic vegetables to feed our staff and over 70 visitors to DNRC in the last three months who came for DNRC trainings in agro ecology/ permaculture trainings and or exchange visits.

Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter.

DNRC FOOD FOREST

During the reporting quarter, we managed to harvest the following:  5.5 kgs of beans, 2 pcs of pawpaw, 73 pcs of passion, 8.5kgs of Kunde and 6 kgs of sweet banana. We were also busy managing the food forest through chop and drop perving way for enough sunlight for the production trees.

DNRC KITCHEN GARDENS

During the reporting quarter, DNRC staff in charge of the kitchen gardens were busy maintaining the kitchen gardens to include: weeding, top dressing and integrated pest management. The staff in charge was also busy harvesting vegetables both to be consumed at DNRC cafeteria and extra to be sold for income.   

CHALLENGES

  • Lack of borehole for permanent source of water for DNRC growing activities continue to be our main challenge.

FOCUS FOR NEXT QUARTER

  • Continue maintaining the kitchen gardens as we harvest the vegetables and establish new gardens.
  • Add more manure in the food forest especially the production trees.
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DNRC staff enjoying malberry fruits
DNRC staff enjoying malberry fruits

INTRODUCTION

We hope this report finds us well. Much greetings from Drylands Natural Resources Centre. Once again we are delighted to share with us our progress report on Nutrition through Food forest and Gardens in Kenya. During this reporting period, we have continued to propagate and plant diverse vegetables at DNRC including and not limited to: kales, black night shade, spinach amaranths, eggplant, and tomatoes spinach among others. These organic vegetables are fed to DNRC staff and visitors and sale extra for income to slowly build DNRC sustainability program. Besides establishing vegetable gardens in DNRC, we continue to promote the same to our 800 farmers who are also achieving food security and income from the sale of the vegetables.

On food forest front, DNRC continued to propagate different food forest trees including but not limited to: avocados, guavas, mangoes, citrus trees, passion fruits and mulberry. The rains came in October-December and were able to expand DNRC food forest and issue tree seedlings to the farmers to expand their individual food forests. During the quarter, we continued to harvest mulberry, cassava, passion fruits, bananas and pawpaws. Besides the food production, the food forests continue to provide micro climate and climate change adaptation and mitigation through carbon sequestration. Other activities that took place during the reporting quarter were: establishing vegetable nurseries, planting and maintaining gardens, maintaining food forest and harvesting mature fruits from the food forest. Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter.

DNRC FOOD FOREST

During the reporting quarter, DNRC staff were busy maintaining the food forest especially chop and drop and doing a bit of selective pruning so as to allow enough light for the production trees to continue flourishing. We were also busy harvesting the mature fruits like: Paw Paw- 4kgs, beans -7 kg., cowpeas leaves -10kgs and mulberry -20 cups. Since the food forest has created microclimate, we introduced fruits like Apples and pixies which continue to flourish due to created microclimate.

DNRC AND FARMERS KITCHEN GARDENS

DNRC personnel in charge of the gardens were busy putting up vegetable nursery and maintaining the existing gardens by weeding, manuring and organic pest and disease control. They were also involved in vegetable sales. DNRC Outreach and training team continued to train and follow up with our farmers on kitchen gardens establishment and maintenance.  

  • Sustainable source of water to our program remains the major challenge. Need for more rain water harvesting storage tanks

 

FOCUS FOR NEXT QUARTER

  • Maintain the DNRC gardens and food forest
  • Propagate more vegetables for our farmers and DNRC gardens
  • Training and close follow ups of our farmers in their kitchen gardens activities
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DNRC organic veg. garden
DNRC organic veg. garden

INTRODUCTION

We hope this report finds you and yours well and safe from the Covid-19 pandemic. We are happy to share with you our quarterly progress report on nutrition through food forest and gardens which is another project of DNRC. Despite the setbacks of covid-19, DNRC continue with her programs; courtesy to your kind and generous donations through GlobalGiving platform. On behalf DNRC staff and the 800 smallholder farmers we serve, we salute you and continue to dream bearing in mind you got our backs. DNRC nutrition through food forest and gardens establishes edible forests among the farmers and organic kitchen gardens where they get nutritious fruits and vegetables for their family and extra for sale. DNRC has demonstration plots of both intervention at the site where farmers learn and replicate in their own farms. DNRC food forest and some of farmers are maturing and most of production trees (fruit trees) are producing. Our main food forest fruit trees include mainly; Pawpaw, oranges, bananas, mangoes, passion, guavas avocados and mull berry which are providing nutritious fruits. The food forests are also providing firewood from the prunnings of the bigger trees. DNRC organic gardens continue to provide vegetables. During this reporting quarter, the following activities were accomplished; managing the food forests at DNRC, harvesting ready fruits, maturing and mulching the production trees. We also continued follows up of the farmers and school food forests. In terms of organic vegetable garden, we concentrated on putting up vegetable nurseries, managing the gardens, harvesting vegetables, issuing farmers with vegetable saplings and selling the extras. Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter

DNRC FOOD FOREST

During this reporting quarter, main activities involved manuring and mulching the fruit trees in the food forest for fast growth, general food forest management (chop and drop), weeding, fruit harvesting. DNRC training and outreach team also continued to train farmers on food forest at DNRC site. The following products were harvested during this reporting quarter from DNRC food forest: 10 kgs of bananas, 100 pieces of passion fruits, and 30kgs of pawpaw. We also harvested about 60kg of cassava.

DNRC KITCHEN GARDENS

During this reporting quarter, DNRC staff in charge of the gardens was busy putting up vegetable nurseries to supply saplings for planting both at DNRC and farmers farms, preparing and fertilizing sunken beds for health vegetables, managing the gardens through weeding, Ecological Pest Management (EPM) and finally harvesting the vegetables for consumption and for sale. Training of farmers on the same also continued during this report period.

CHALLENGES

Water remains our main challenge which limits our expansion potential and we continue to appeal to our donors to support the same.

PLAN FOR THE NEXT QUARTER

  • Continue harvesting vegetables and selling.
  • Put up more vegetables nurseries.
  • Continue mulching the kitchen gardens to reduce evaporation as water becomes scarce.
  • Harvest more fruits from the food forest as well as tending it.
  • Propagating more fruit trees in our tree nursery for expanding food forests

 

DNRC farmer in his woodlot-food forest
DNRC farmer in his woodlot-food forest

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Organization Information

Drylands Natural Resources Centre

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
Daniel Pike
Nairobi , Nairobi Kenya
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