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 😉
You already know that maize and tomato are 2 of the core ingredients of the majority of Zambian and sub-saharan African meals. But we also have to add cabbage to that list. It is full of nutrients and keeps the belly full for a long time.
Of course our villagers and PAF members in Chinkonono are growing cabbage for their own use. But our member Raphael is doing it big style. He has a huge cabbage garden and is growing it for his family’s consumption and for sale.
But Raphael doesn’t only grow cabbage. In his garden you will also find onion, egg plant and tomato.
We say: well done! But take a look!
Proud farmer 🙂
Hard work pays off
now that is one big cabbage
On a side note…Lloyd is also trying other good foods 😉
Since we moved our PAF garden closer to PAF Center it is much easier to grow veggies. People work hard to make sure they supply their families and the village with veggies. This season we focus on tomatoes. Besides cabbage tomatoes are among the most important and popular ibgredients in Zambian cuisine. So it only makes sense to grow a larger quantity of them at our PAF garden.
Unfortunately it doesn’t come that easy. With dry season around it is very difficult to water the plants. Mostly women have to carry buckets and buckets and buckets from the river or a well to water the plants. Not even mentioning the actual gardening work. You get the picture…
But just a few days ago all the work started to pay off and the first harvest could be brought in. What a joy 🙂
Of course we have to face the fact we cannot conserve tonatoes properly. But we are trying new methods to keep them longer. One of them is to keep ashes from cooking and put the fresh tomatoes in a box with cold ashes and store them away in a dry and cool place. Let’s hope it works out!
As you probably remember we moved our greenhouses to PAF Center a while ago. This turned out to be very convenient for everyone.
Now we decided to try again with a vegetable garden. So we are now planting our veggies and fixing the shade net to our garden. This has been long in the making and is bearing fruit as all materials are available.
transporting these poles for 15km to build our new shade netting
Our PAF kids helping unload the poles
PAF wired 😉
Our PAF members working hand in hand
Setting up the new shade netting
But don’t think all this has been easy. We used some of the money that PAF raised through donations and the annual fees of our supporting members to buy what was missing. But getting the materials from A to B to Chinkonono was a bit of a struggle. Some of those huge poles had to travel for more than 15km on an ox cart. Hard work.
We are using this project to educate members on effective vegetable farming and flower gardening. Kids and youths from Chinkonono can come to PAF Center and learn how to plant and take care of different types of seedlings and also when and how to harvest and re-plant.
Those little guys are getting a new shelter at PAF Center now
Our PAF Youth learns how to grow and water plants
Also the garden will be used as a means to raise funds by selling our products at PAF Market. We are planting cabbage, onions, sugar loaf, tomatoes and many other vegetables suitable for the climate and which can be consumed by local people.
You guys probably know that we do have our greenhouse and plantations. Right? Right. Up till the end of 2016 those places were located close to Lloyd’s house as to always have someone to watch over them and make sure our plants and belongings are safe.
Now that we started PAF Community Center the idea came up that it makes sense to move our greenhouse and fields and plantations to the Center grounds.
And guess what? That is exactly what we have been doing in the past weeks. Moving the greenhouse is one thing. But clearing the space for new fields and plantations and preparing those for the new planting season is another.
Working this dry and hard soil is a tough job. Everyone helped with that.
So basically our “garden” has now moved close to PAF center. And to make sure all is safe we had to fence the greenhouse and grounds as well.
As soon as we have solved the issue of securing our belongings at PAF Center we will also move the water tank and pipes and set them up there for irrigation purposes. But for now those remain close to Lloyd’s house to keep them safe.
And now that planting season started we can grow our plants at our PAF grounds. Pretty cool, huh?
So lets just say that things have been moving in Chinkonono 😉
As you all know the main objective of PAF is to promote household food security in Chinkonono and the surrounding villages.
It is in this vein that PAF, with the intention of supplementing members’ effort in securing household food security, embarked on a seed and fertiliser support programme. Eleven members who where willing to take part applied and were given 4.000 Kwacha (roughly 400 Euros) from the PAF bank account. This money was paid to the Ministry of Agriculture under FISP (Fertiliser Support Programme). This is a national programme in which farming inputs are subsidised at fifty percent to enable peasant farmers access farming inputs.
Each of the eleven members got three and half bags of fertiliser and one bag of seeds. Hence each of the beneficiaries are able to grow a hectare of maize. The expected harvest for each beneficiary is 75 to 80 bags of maize. Each of these beneficiaries will pay back 400 Kwacha to the project in May. That way we can already raise the money to attend in programme again end of 2017.
Due to this project plus very good rains Chinkonono village is gearing for a bumper harvest. People will have food to eat and the extra will be sold for soap and salt.
We are really loving without borders thanks to all those who contributed to the success of this fertiliser project by contributions and donations.
You probably all have heard about those huge African families, right? Well…you should meet Zaire. He is married to 4 women and lives with all of them and their children and even grandchildren. As you can imagine it is not easy for people in the village to provide for all of those people and feed all those hungry mouths.
So Zaire was really happy when PAF decided to donate a few trees for him and his families. We gave him 2 pawpaws and oranges and some other fruit trees in December 2015. Now check out how well he takes care of those plants and how big they have grown already!
Lloyd took us on a little visit to Zaire’s home. So check that video and meet Zaire: