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Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda

by Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda
Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm, Uganda

It is with great excitement that we announce that our Water System for Peace Demonstration Farm has been fully funded! HUGE Thank You to all of our donors and supporters who have stood by us these past few years.

If you would like to keep contributing towards our empowerment cause, we do have other ongoing projects with GlobalGiving in need of support. These include: Libraries in Rural Uganda, Fruit Trees for Uganda, House of Hope Orphanage and School, and Support Orphans in Uganda.

Again, Thank You all for your continued support. It may seem small to you- but your dedication has been MASSIVE to the people’s lives we have touched.      

Links:

Self-watering planters are a great way to grow a single, healthy plant efficiently while conserving water and minimizing the growing space needed. They provide a constant supply of water so the plant does not get stressed by constantly fluctuating between dry and drenched. The cotton wick allows the plant to wrap its roots around it and use it as a straw, allowing the plant to absorb as much or as little water as it wants. As they are stand-alone planters, weeding is almost nonexistent, and the planters can stand independently- or many of them can be bunched together.

Plants we’ve grown successfully in them include strawberries, oregano, thyme, basil, tomatoes, sage, cucumbers, kiwano melons, and tarragon.

For our self-watering planters, we use 5 gallon (non-reusable) Rwenzori water bottles. We cut them in half just above the mid line. The top section is inverted with a long wick of cotton (we use t-Shirt fabric) extending from the top half to the bottom of the lower half then the two halves are combined. Soil is then poured into the top half and packed around the cotton wick, and a seedling is planted in the center. A hole is punched on the side of the bottom water receptacle even with or near the end of the inverted bottle spout. This allows excess water to drain out so the plant does not get water-logged. Fill the lower receptacle with water and WHALLAH! A self-watering planter.

We have these planters at the farm, teach villagers to make them, and I even have a few at my home. There are a few plants that do not like the planters. They are not effective for growing root crops, plants that grow very tall, or plants with a an extremely shallow root system.

All in all, self-watering planters are a great way to beat the hot African sun, conserve water, and have fresh herbs, berries, and veggies all year long.

Links:

I love shallots. They are the perfect mix of sweet onion flavor and garlicy tang.

Fortunately, they are also very easy to grow! All they need is some good dirt, a little bit of rain to start them off, and occasional weeding. So we grew shallots! I was amazed at how fast and easily they grew, and the amount of shallots we got in our final harvest. 

As only part of our farm has drip irrigation, and none of our partner farmers in the village do, it was very beneficial to grow a crop that produced a financial yield, yet did not require everyone to haul water for wattering. 

I see more shallots in our future!

Links:

Our bore hole (water well) broke again. Actually, this happens fairly regularly as it is the main source of water for a couple thousand people and it gets A LOT of use… but this time was a doozie! The bore hole was down for about a week while repairs were being made. The repair men came out twice and replaced a few worn out parts, and basically gave the whole thing an over-haul where they tightened everything that needed to be tightened, greased it up, and now it’s back working perfectly again!

As the repairs cost about $1,500 USD, the support of our donors and GlobalGiving were truly instrumental in getting the borehole working again. And quite honestly- supplying clean water to families in rural Uganda is gift that is priceless.

Again, thank you for all your love and support. Without the dedication of donors like you, our work would not be possible.

Links:

This report, we wanted to introduce you to another Demonstration Farm, who was actually our inspiration in starting ours. This is St Isaac’s Training Center run by a very dedicated man named Chris. His farm covers about 4 acres and is AMAZING! They practice raised bed gardening and a technique that they call ‘double dug’ which is constantly digging and fluffing the soil to keep it loose so the roots do not have to work as hard to spread out. It is also excellent for underground crops such as potatoes, carrots, and peanuts.

St Isaac’s is completely organic with the manure from the pigs, cows, and chickens fertilizing the garden. They have kitchen key hole gardens which are basically raised bed circular gardens with a bamboo-lined compost pile in the middle, so that the kitchen waste is feeding the garden bed.

The beds are built in rows often called swales, which curve with the topography of the land so when it rains the water is caught between the beds conserving it, so it does not just run down hill. Trees are planted strategically to both acre the soil, and create a wind break for more delicate crops.

To conserve space, the chicken house is actually the roof above the cow shade. Don’t worry! The floor is solid so no waste drips onto the cows. The cows are fed garden produce waste such as potato greens, carrot tops, and chopped up banana trees.

In addition, Chris has a team of volunteers who go to people’s homes in his community and surrounding villages and help them set up their gardens.

We think St Isaac’s is pretty amazing, and someday, we hope to reach the same level of community impact that they have.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women

Location: Mukono - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Lee Koelzer
Mukono Town, Mukono Uganda

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