As dry season goes on and on the water levels of rivers and lakes decrease gradually. This is a catastrophe for all farmers. The farmland, gardens and countryside turns brown and savanna gold.
But there is also one plus to this for our people in Chinkonono. It may sound aweful at first when I tell you now that due to the drought thousands of fish get stranded and die. But this is a blessing for our villagers and people in rural areas.
Those fish can easily be caught and collected. And that means an additional source of food.
Our Chinkonono people recieved a full truck load of fish today. Catfish. Wesley and young Rayton also went to catch fish themselves. Successfully.
Check that out:
This truck carried about 1000 fish to the surrounding villages. Of course the cold chain is impossible to keep up in rural Zambia.
So we had to be fast cleaning the many many fish and start to prepare them. To make them more durable to keep them for the months when food gets scarce we chose the method of smoking.
As you can see this is a loooot of work and all hands were needed.
Little Rayton is just in the process of learning how to hunt and fish. He was very successful as you can see. And proud. 😉
Of course after today’s hustle, of course, Wesley also got one of the catfish for dinner, roasted and yummy.
Guess what?! Just a few days ago Wesley was leading the first PAF Workshop on Sack Gardening. Five headmen of the area welcomed this workshop to be held by us. We don’t really have facilities at PAF Center yet to host events such as workshops. So our PAF members and their kids gathered underneath a tree where Wesley was preparing a blackboard with all necessary information.
Teaching a workshop was a first for Wesley as well. But his motivation to transfer knowledge to the villagers and the next generation made him a great teacher. And the audience has not only been our PAF ladies, but also young men and kids who are interestend in learning about securing their food supply.
Ever heard of sack gardening? No? Keep on reading then.
As the world grapples with the garbage scourge and does not know what to do with it, we at PAF have a solution:
You guys have probably seen banana stems after you cut them, right? Where do those go?
We at PAF use them as base for growing veggies. I mean…who would wanna waste all that moisture, nutrients and perfect temperature in the stem?
Now you wonder what happens to the used maize and fertiliser sacks?
Sack gardening basically means to turn your unwanted sacks into a veggie garden for your kitchen. Yes…that is right. We are using the banana stems and old sacks to plat veggies in them. Only little water is needed because the sack holds moisture for a long time, even in the scorching Zambian sun. Lets say 5 litres of water can last for close to a week. The soil never leaches the manure from it.
The sacks can be used up to six months, which means you are set for two times of harvest. Then due to the watering and nutrients in the soil the sacks decompose and basically turns into soil as well. Also we reduce the garbage because there is no sack littering.
Additionally to Sack Gardening the participants also learned more about Kitchen Gardening and the usage of old plastic buckets and trenches as pots to grow veggies in small scale for kitchen use.
The wokshop contained both, a theoretical and practical part. First the knowledge was transfered and people could take notes and ask questions. And then they learned how to prepare the banana stems, the sacks, the trenches and of course the plastic bucets filled with trench material.
Hungry for knowledge
Osten, Clive and Derby learning how to do it
Preparing the banana stems
Sack gardening in perfection
So what do you think? Did we find a good solution? We are quite happy. Since the workshop was well appreciated and a success we are planning on extending the offer of workshops at PAF Center. We are toying with, hopeflly, being able to hold workshops more regularly in the future.
If you have any suggestion for topics you consider helpful concerning farming, irrigation and fighting drought, please let us know! Thank you 🙂
Today PAF went back to our roots. Wesley has been out in the surrounding villages to hand out some plants to people in need.
And I know it doesn’t sound like much, but due to severe drought people struggle to plant enough maize and veggies to even feed themselves and provide for their families. Especially for old and disabled people it has become mere impossible to do farming nowadays.
So please meet 3 of those people whose faces showed a smile today after Wesley visited them:
Banene Naomi was born in 1920, so she turned 99 years. For many years Naomi took care of orphans in her house and yard. Even now she takes care of a boy called Alfred. Wow! What a woman. 😊
As you can imagine garden work and farming don’t come easy for her. She recieved Moringa, rape veggie, onions and tomato today, plus 2 sacks of organic material. Those sacks are filled with ant hill soil, top layer soil, chicken drops or goat manure. Up till now she only could plant and harvest a little bit of maize.
You wonder why we handed out the veggies and onions in 2 sacks? Well…It is more flexible and they can easily move it around. Of course Wesley made sure that there is a portable protective fence around the sacks. To water the plans in the easiest way that doesn’t involve too much work we installed an old water bottle for drip irrigation. Smart, huh?
Protection and Irrigation
Alfred gets used to tending to the drip irrigation
Bottle Drip Irrigation
… And Mary and her daughter Maluba
Mary is not able to work in her garden these days and so most of the work has to be done by little Maluba and some people who help her. Those two recieved Moringa plants and 2 sacks of organic material just like Banene Naomi got.
Growing Moringa will add valuable nutrients to their diet and meals. They will be able to harvest in a few months already because moringa grows very fast around Chinkonono.
Planting A Future…literally
This will help them a lot
Well… Let’s keep this up! Doing small things like that does not take much, but it has as huge impact on people’s lives.
Finally. Finally we were able to open the shop at PAF Center.
It took a while to sort things out and get our order done. But now the goods and items were all delivered.
Our PAF member Venuli, the shop manager, was doing a very good job checking the lists and bringing things in order.
You wonder what kind of goods we will be selling? Well…here you go:
Drinks (only sodas and no alcohol)
soap, washing paste
tea leaves matches
Of course we will add more items once the initial investment has been covered. We plan to also sell stationary goods such as pens, pencils, rubbers and rulers.
Maybe even eggs and fresh bread and cake, made in the village.
Another idea is to offer snacks and meals, perpares in our community kitchen. This could work well for events, lets say when our PAF Warriors have a soccer match..
First customer 🙂
Getting things in order
Our sweet shop staff
And we also have good news already. After just 20min of the shop being open we already sold items for 27 Kwacha (roughly 2.50 USD). That doesn’t sound like much. But we are happy and expect good revenues. We are sure the shop will attract even more people now. The next shop is several km away…
Thanks again to all our donors and membera for supporting us. Without you guys we would not be able to invest in projects like that. 🙂
And of course that money made will be used for other PAF projects.
You guys all know that PAF basically started with planting fruit trees and handing thm out to people in need. Of course back then we set up a greenhouse to protect the saplings. This one was, how can I say…quite improvised and by far too small for our needs.
So one of our major goals for 2018 was to get a better and bigger greenhouse, and have it close to PAF Center.
All that is easier said than done. A lot of research was needed on how to construct the new one, what kind of shade netting to get, what kind of poles etc. … Wesley and the guys have been running up and down to get the necessary info and samples of the materials.
So now the construction of our new PAF greenhouse has started. This time it is supposed to be much longer lasting and more professional.
That’s why we had our personal super pro advicers around at all times:
As usual we used our Zambian ways of doing things. Lets say you wanna bend a pole…well, we have been using a tree to do so:
Or drilling a whole into one of the poles…easy with the right equipment. We only had a hammer:
Or lets see how we cut the poles:
After all that it took a massive amount of hard work and even more teamwork. Everybody helped cementing the foundations of the poles, puzzling all the pieces together and last but not least painting the poles in a stylish green and grey colour.
Sorting through the puzzle pieces
The guys figuring “it” out
Wesley and Kanondo
Getting more stability here
Getting the paint and brushes ready for action 🙂
men at work
Women Power 😉
Green and Grey…that’s how we roll
Cementing the poles for stability
The only thing missing now is the shade netting. We will soon update you on this matter. Pinky Promise 😉