It’s been a busy few months in the Dar Taliba gardens. Since our last report, the Dar Taliba students have participated in fourteen garden trainings covering a wide range of topics including making compost, taking plant cuttings and preparing green manure fertiliser.
“I love our garden trainings”, Dar Taliba student Meryam says. “I get to spend time with my friends outside while learning new planting techniques.” Meryam is not the only one who’s excited about being involved in the garden. At the beginning of the new year, Dar Taliba Director and ex-student Jamila took on a more active role in delivering weekly trainings together with permaculture experts and local partner Radiant Design. “I’m really excited to take an active part in educating the students and collaborating with them during the trainings this year”, Jamila says. “It’s a great opportunity for me to share the knowledge I’ve gathered from local communities over the years, especially since I come from a similar background as most of the girls and we share a lot of local traditional plant knowledge.”
Last month, we invited local plant expert Hamid, who collaborates with us and our partner Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA) and manages a successful community plant nursery in the High Atlas. Building on his experience as a plant nursery keeper, Hamid held an interactive session on Amazigh indigenous plants such as Moroccan wild thyme and how to select and take plant cuttings (a cutting is a small piece of plant which contains at least one stem cell of the parent (stock) plant). After the girls took several plant cuttings from the aromatic and medicinal garden, including lavender, mint and rosemary, they carefully prepared several plant trays and planted the cuttings according to the techniques they learned from Hamid. Once the plant cuttings are strong enough and start growing roots, the students will transplant them to plant bags and take them home to plant in their communities in the High Atlas mountains.
Another fun activity was the training on making compost during which the students learned more about how to take good care of the soil and improve its conditions. “Composting is a way of giving back healthy and nutrient rich soil to the Earth”, Cécile from Radiant Design explained. “Whenever we harvest vegetables or clear weeds, we remove nutrients from the soil. Composting is an essential practice to keep our soil healthy and fertile, so it can provide us with nutritious food”. The girls worked very hard to create a big compost pile and we look forward to seeing the result of their efforts in a few weeks when the compost will be ready for use!
We are really grateful for the generous support of our GlobalGiving donors in creating this green space and making these exciting learning opportunities happen. Thank you!
Although it’s winter still, we are all very excited about spring and watching the garden bloom. Only a few days ago, the Dar Taliba team spotted several ladybirds, and we all know these beautiful creatures are a gardener’s best friend. They feed on pests and keep our plants healthy, which is great news for all the vegetables the Dar Taliba students have been planting.
Over the next few weeks, the Dar Taliba team is planning to organise short sessions before trainings to talk about local plants and their traditional uses. First up will be rosemary. We look forward to sharing more about these upcoming garden activities in our next report. In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or visit our website for more updates.
Taking plant cuttings from lavender
Working hard to create a big pile of compost
We spotted some ladybirds!