It has been some time since the last progress report for Sinkunia's community garden in Sinkunia village, Sierra Leone. This is because Issa Kamara, the Executive Director of Sinkunia spent five weeks in Sierra Leone at the beginning of this year, in part to check in with the community garden in person, and understand its impact first-hand. So, we apologize for the delayed report, and appreciate your patience.
Issa commented that the garden has grown both in physical size, as well as in community engagement since the last time he visited a number of years ago. While the garden has expanded to include more planting space for staple crops and to include 20 acres for oil palm cultivation, the garden has also begun to engage more members of the community, and in more ways. Women still constitute the core participants, and have taken on more leadership roles in planning its planting, and organizing its members. The number of participants in the garden has also grown, and the garden has become one of the central features of Sinkunia village itself. This speaks to the garden's overall impact not just in terms of food security, but its impact on collaboration and community building as well.
At the time of Issa's visit, the garden members were planting its next crop, which will be ready for harvest in June. Because this crop will span the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season, the gardeners planted vegetables that can grow well in both weather conditions, such as tomatoes, beans, and sesame. The community gardeners have also been diligent in nurturing its oil palm crop. These were planted in 2017, and require extra care in their initial four years before they produce the fruit which can be harvested for its oil. The garden members have invested in tending to the oil palms over the past year, and the crop is currently in good health. They anticipate the palms being ready for harvest in a few years' time. With continued tending by the garden members, the oil palms will provide sufficient fruit to be sold at regional markets, which will then generate an income for the gardeners and community as a whole.
Issa commented that he was amazed by how well the community garden is being organized, and how successful it appears to be in terms of generating income and providing food security in the village. Issa's stories and descriptions are inspiration both to Sinkunia Organization as well as its supporters to continue the good work that has been started at the community garden in Sinkunia village. As always, we thank you for your continued support of Sinkunia's endeavours in building a healthy, strong community.