Growing tree seedlings
Zahana has recently hired Bary, a second gardener to work in the village of Fiadanana, or first project site where Zahana’s participatory collaboration started in 2005. Bary is currently being trained by our original gardener in the second village (Fiarenana) and shows an equally amazing green thumb combined with great enthusiasm in planting what he learned right away.
Both of them are growing new tree seedlings. The good news is that both gardeners are happy to experiment. This allows Zahana to introduce new seeds with the caveat that they might not be suitable for the climate, but there is only one good way to find out: grow it and see if it takes. Apples that have been requested by the gardeners are a good example. It is tricky to grow apples from seed that “fall true” or turn out to be a desired variety. To compound the challenge the climate might be too hot for apples, plants that like colder winters or higher altitude in a tropical climate. But with two adventurous gardeners it is much better to try planting apples and find out what happens. In addition Zahana is planting fast growing trees that can be used for firewood so people will not need to walk long distances and kill the existing trees. We are hoping this will help with the ongoing deforestation disaster in Madagascar.
Zahana’s seed fund also introduced new varieties of zucchini, beans and corn from a supplier that claims a 100% germination rate for their seeds. The first zucchini are already big enough to harvest and the corn and beans are doing very well.
In addition to the tree nursery and food crops for farmers, both gardeners are growing vegetables with the children in their respective school gardens. More about that on our website and the progress reports for the schools.
More trees for the future
The new seeds are doing well