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!
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 😉
Surely you remember that Planting A Future just recently donated fruit trees to Singwamba clinic and school. As it is in the African bush animals are hungry too and enjoy some fresh and sweet fruits or juicy green leaves. So to protect our seedlings it is necessary to build fences around them. So Planting A Future taught Singwamba pupils how to build a living fence for their orchard.
Since time immemorial the abbysinian myrrh tre has played a pivotal role in the life of Tongas. It has been used both as a religious symbol of continuity and as a hedge to keep goats, chickens and pigs away from homesteads. It was also used to protect trees and vegetables from being eaten by livestock.
It is in this vein that Planting A Future has captaised on this knowledge and is now encouraging schools and homes with orchards to make living fences around them.
The abyssinian myrrh or paperback tree is ideal for this as it does not easily rot or is eaten by termites. Once cut and planted in the soil the stem begins to sprout and within two months you don’t only have a hedge protecting your pawpaws and guavas but also living plants adding beauty and greenery to your home.
The religious among us can select the most beautiful stem and put a string of white beads as a welcome sign to spirits of departed forefathers.
Ok there we go as Planting A Future is bringing back lost knowledge in order to ensure food security in our village.
You know how Planting A Future started out, right? Supplying fruit trees to vulnerable households and institutions?
We still do that. Just recently Lloyd went on a little tour to Singwamba Primary School and Singwamba Clinic to deliver the donated trees.
As you can imagine everyone was really excited and curious. So lots of people gathered at both spots when Lloyd showed up. Lloyd took the time to explain everything about the new trees: how to plant, how to take care of the seedlings, how and when to water them.
The kids at Singwamba Primary School got a free gardening lesson as well. Lloyd showed them how to choose a good spot for their school’s orchard and where to plant each tree to benefit best. He also explained how to plan and do the digging and planting. So after theoretical knowledge was gained it was all about getting the hands dirty and plant and water the little trees. Each and everyone helped, full of enthusiasm. 🙂 Those little guys can’t wait to have juicy and yummy fruits for lunch!
But also the Singwamba Clinic recieved some seedlings. Especially for a clinic it is important to offer nutritious food to the patients. Malnutrition very often affects sick people even worse than healthy ones because the side effects of medication worsen too.
Lloyd helped the clinic’s staff to plant the trees and explained all about them. He put extra focus on the moringa seedlings because, as you might know, this superfood is used to treat so many diseases is very nutritious. So Lloyd talked a lot to the women at Singwamba Clinic to explain and educate about the importance and use of Moringa as food and medicine. Especially for the maternity wing it was a very interesting day.
What a day for Singwamba people! We are very happy to have started 2 orchards around there. In just a few months they will be able to harvest their first Moringa leaves. And soon the first home grown fruits will be served for the patients and kids 🙂