First PAF Workshop on “Sack Gardening”

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.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

First PAF Workshop on “Sack Gardening”

Giving is a Gift

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

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. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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?

… 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.

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.

Go PAF! Love without boarders!

Giving is a Gift

The Kitchen Garden Concept

While most of us, on Easter Sunday, probably spent the day resting our members started a new project at PAF Center: the kitchen garden.

The plan is to raise a small, yet intensive patch comprising of vegetables, tomatoes, onions, chillies, beans and maize.

The aim is to educate our members and villagers to on how to grow enough relish and food for the kitchen on a small scale, organically and with minimal water usage.

As you can see Effeso, Smith anf Lloyd were preparing the soil for planting and watering.

We will update you on the progress soon ๐Ÿ™‚

The Kitchen Garden Concept

Ta Te Ti Tomato

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

Ta Te Ti Tomato