Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Planting Seeds for those in need

Here we are in Mozambique, Africa on an 18 day trip - the end of September 2012 with CNFA - Farmer to Farmer Project.
 We were privileged to teach Small Scale Intensive Agriculture workshops that we now call GO WILD! Gardening with "Black Gold" compost, which is part of Gardening for Life - planting seeds for those in need.

 New crop introduced:

Salmon River Pumpkins (a very rare squash plant) 6 planted 5 germinated in 5 days and in 9 days they had a 5 inch leaf spread (unheard of - that fast of growth here in the USA).  They were planted in native soils with dry cow manure mixed in, 2 meters apart.

Impact of our teaching:
7 full workshops on 3 farms and one school completed.

Student teaching students in the local school
All classes constructed their own compost (8 compost piles constructed in 4 different locations) 

Great acceptance of information (great translation by Mr. Rufu in his Community School for Organic Agriculture).  We tested our teaching by having students re-teach each session back to the group with prizes for those brave enough to stand up and give a talk.  They passed with flying colors (like almost word for word) we were amazed.   Some students then conducted their own workshops with other local famers as this was a community effort. 

We planted 2 Long Box gardens. Students then planted 3 more Long Box gardens when we were not there.
Photo of two Long Box gardens students planted by themselves

One big discovery for us was at the local markets at Nhangau, Mozambique. We were shocked!  We toured several different people selling vegetables and found out that no vegetables were from local gardens.  Which means that these markets were selling retail bought wholesale with very little profit.   WOW, what a difference growing local would mean to this African community.

We showed them how to double and triple vegetable production with much less labor.  They loved the words "Black Gold"  a soil based compost - the best homemade soil in the world. We explained this way of growing food ... the soils work for you, not you working the soils.  Also the compost piles heated up to 125 degrees F, a very good sign that they were working OK.  And even a cobra snake liked one of the piles.  This class jumped for safety!

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