Lettuce seeds for seed bank
Katie is doing an amazing job with he community garden in Mombasa. She has started doing Home Visits to guardians with small vegetable gardens for consultation. Katie loves these interactions, as they allow her to teach one on one, using what is available to plant and grow healthy veggies.
Katie also had the opportunity to work with Martin (assistant agronomist) 4 days this week, which was another highlight. They did some teaching about nutritious vegetables (katuk & chaya) while planting cuttings they received for them; they made chicken manure tea (this will set for 3 weeks then is diluted to make a natural plant fertilizer); they discussed working together to begin a hand-written copy of documenting garden activities and keep crop records. This last item will be something that stays with the project and will allow them to track what happens at the garden daily, while following the progress of the garden.
"As I was seeding the nursery bed with moringa, three little boys: Ali, Matmed, and Jo started peering through the fence at what I was doing. I greeted them and much to my suprise, they didn't just shout “muzungu, muzungu!” They asked me what my name was. I responded (in Swahili!) then asked them what their names were. Smiling, the boys each answered. Then they asked me if this was my home. I said... yes. It's where I feel at peace. I then asked them where their homes were... they smiled sheepishly and pointed down the road. ...I was having a conversation in Swahili with three curious young boys (not more than 7 years old, probably!) I told them that I was planting seeds and they smiled. While I went away to get some mulch they started to walk off; I called out, “kwaheri, rafiki” - goodbye friends! This was a real fun moment!"
Food is already being harvested, even when new crops are being put in the ground and trial beds are being planted with new and nutritious trees and veggies. Community members are purchasing entire plots of cowpea greens for their veggies, tomatoes, and peppers at discounted prices. And above all, a community is learning the value of keeping seeds, natural fertilizers and healthy eating.
Research & Planning
Want to look into what could help the cow
produce more milk - they have been changing the feeds to help her gain weight.
Martin said milk production is slowly increasing this week.
Acquired books for Garden Journal and Crop
Records - worked with Martin on how to keep the records and what information
was most important.
Meeting was schedule for today to meet with
Sister Veronica and Steve, but Steve said something came up for him. It's
postponed until next week. We were to discuss several details for marketing the
garden produce and working through some of the challenges of getting the
vegetables to the guardians that are far from the garden.
Seeing Martin's handwriting in the Crop Record
and Farm Activities book... he seemed interested when I showed him it for the
first time. We've been filling it out each day this week together.
Visiting another Guardian at the beginning of the week – it was a follow-up visit and she had already prepared three small beds and cleared away some of the trash from the area outside her home. It was
definitely encouraging to see a bit of progress for her!
- I'm not always sure what is happening in the garden as sometimes Sister Regina and Sister Veronica come and go, make decisions, and then sometime later I find out :) We started the Garden Journal
this week and hopefully it will catch on!
Peppers ready to be harvested