| Dec 19, 2018
NUTRITION THROUGH FOOD FOREST AND GARDENS REPORT
By Nicholas M. Syano | CEO & Founder
Dryland Natural Resources Centre Wish to send Christmas greetings to all of us. We are happy once more to write back and share our progress report on Nutrition through food forests and gardens in Kenya. As we continue to tirelessly work towards achieving our goals of environmental regeneration, community strengthening and economic sustainability through diverse tree planting, we are also keen on the right nutrition for the community. DNRC as the demonstration centre as well as the Community Resource Centre has been keen to set exemplary kitchen gardens as well as the food forests for both the community, schools, interns, visitors to learn from.
The food forests we have established with our first schools continue to flourish and the pupils together with the teachers continue to receive countless benefits ranging from fruits, firewood, tubers (sweetpatoes) etc. Farmers’ food forests are getting mature and they have started getting harvests of early maturity fruits like: paws paws, guavas and bananas etc. DNRC has continued to train farmers on kitchen gardens to increase diversity of the food supply from the food forests and slowly move the households towards food security as well as right nutrition. Farmers continue to benefit from the kitchen gardens they have established as well as selling the extra vegetables for income. “Kitchen garden has saved me the hassle of daily buying of vegetables and home grown vegetables are best for my heath since they have no chemical residues and also I sale some for income”. One farmer confessed. At DNRC both staff and visitors have continued to enjoy fruits from the food forest as well as vegetables from the gardens. We can only say thank you so much for your continued financial support. We look forward to continue this beneficial relationship.
During the reporting quarter, the following activities took place: preparing holes for the food forest expansion, planting food crops (Beans and cow peas) in the food forest, maintaining the old food forest and replanting the kitchen gardens at DNRC and in the farmers’ farms.
Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter:
DNRC food forest
During the reporting quarter, DNRC personnel in charge of the food forest was busy working on the expansion of the food forest. He was involved with the following activities: Digging holes and treating and fertilising them with ash, dry matter and mature, planting of the new fruit trees as well as planting of the nitrogen fixer crops. He was also busy maintaining the old food forest. The activities included: pruning, mulching and manuring of trees. In terms of yield. During the reporting quarter we were able to harvest harvested 17.9 kgs of Bananas, 3kgs of pawpaw.
During the reporting quarter, we were busy maintaining the existing gardens. Activities included: Constant spraying of organic concoctions to prevent pests and disease, weeding and top dressing the vegetables using earthworm juice. We were also engaged in installing new gardens.
Water scarcity has always remains the biggest challenge for our activities in the DNRC due to lack of permanent water source. We depend on a seasonal river and use donkeys to fetch the water from the river.
Next quarter Focus
- Developing annual work plans for 2019
- Follow up farmers and school food forest and kitchen gardens
- Maintain DNRC food forest including cultivating and pruning of trees