Much regards from Drylands Natural Resource Center (DNRC) family. Your generous support has enabled us to recruit other 50 famers to join the already existing 450 farmers making accumulative of 500 farmers. Thank you very much and we look forward to continue this partnership. The impact of our project is quite significant now; as the food forests get to maturity, famers are experiencing micro climates as the timber trees grow taller and form canopies, soils are becoming more fertile as the falling leaves continue to decompose and as they form the spongy layers, water retention is improved. This translates to increased crop production. As the food forest emphasizes on the 7 layers of natural forest, this layers are chosen carefully in the farmer’s farms to meet their health, nutrition needs and financial needs too. The layers include tubers, cover crops, shrubs, climbers, understory and climax. So in our nursery, we raise tree samplings including fruit trees to meet these layers which mimic natural forest.
During the quarter, the following activities where achieved.
More propagation of tree saplings.
Our target for the year is 60,000 tree samplings. This being our major propagation period, the nursery staff where majorly involved in propagation of over 25 different tree species which included: timber trees, fruit tree, fodder trees, medicinal trees among others. By the end of this quarter, 50,000 seedlings were propagated which the farmers will be issued to establish and or expand their food forests.
Outreach trainings and field visits
During the quarter, the outreach staff visited farmers in their farms and tackled their issues majorly on food forest management, emphasis on cover crops as a natural way to tame weeds as well as increasing food production by mimicking the seven layers of natural forest.
Maintaining the DNRC food forest demonstration farm
During the quarter, major activity in the DNRC food forest was earthing and planting more cover crops and general maintenance of chop and drop. We also harvested 20kgs of bananas, (shrubs), 30 kgs of beans, (herbs) and 20pcs of passion fruits (climbers)
- Visiting all the 500 farmers is posing a challenge of transport and there is need for a motorbike.
- There is also a challenge of water in that’s as our tree nursery capacity increases to meet the demand of the increasing farmers, more water is needed to sustain the nursery.
Focus for the next quarter
- Site preparation for both incoming farmers and the old ones in readiness of tree seedlings planting in their food forests during October-December rains.
- Propagate the remaining seedlings and maintain the seedlings in the nursery as they wait planting during the rainy season.