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.
Finally! Julie made it back to Zambia after 2 years. And guess where she went: Chinkonono Village of course!
Check our awesome new Slideshow to see what happened in the village and what progress we made while Julie was there:
Julie had a big To-Do-List to check 😉 As you know we have been announcing a market place and kitchen for ages. So we planned to get both structures roofed within that week. We managed for the kitchen. So that is good. The market we only could do half because we lacked grass to that the roof the traditional Tonga way. But we are confident that it will be done very soon.
Also our building that houses the library and sewing room for now was supposed to be painted nicely. Unfortunately there was a lot of plastering to do to fix dents and window sills. But Jason and Albert worked hard. So with a slight delay the ladies, Julie, Wesley and many other hands could start painting.
For the rooms we chose water-based white paint and for the lower part white oil paint so we can wash of prints of dirty kids’ hands 😉 Door and window frames are painted in a dark green. For the front wall and pillars outside we chose white oil paint to be able to wash them too. Also Wesley and Julie practiced their sign writer skills and wrote Planting A Future onto the top part of the front wall.
What can I say? It looks beautiful and bright and people can see it from afar. Our members are so proud, especially the women. They say that nobody has a nicely painted wall our house at home. And to quote Media: “Not all men’s work has to be done by men only. We can do that too!”…she refers to the whole painting job, which was very interesting and exciting for our ladies.
But now lean back and take 12 minutes to watch the Slideshow! Please share if you like it! 🙂
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:
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 🙂
…yes, it has been quiet here. But do not think we have been sleeping. 😉
No…we have been quite active. New challenges are facing us now. I will just introduce 2 of them for now. 2 very exciting ones.
So check this one: Chief Nyawa requested us to supply his farmers with 5.000 Moringa tree seedlings. You might not know it, but right now Moringa is the most expensive of all plants because of its “miracle powers” and the ability to filter water and thus help irrigation. So farmers now will plant hectars for sale. The plan is that 200 households each plant 250 trees. Unfortunately we now lack seedbags…4.000 of them. Anyone got some spare ones?
One of the beneficiaries of our collaboration with Chief Nyawa is Mr Bramwell Hakumbila who already picked up some seedlings for his field.
The other big adventure we are working on right now is a building where our PAF women can sew. Means we will have to build a building for a storage and show room and also a place for the actual work. Our ladies are facing a tough time moulding bricks. But they know what they are doing it for. So they work hard and don’t complain.
Exciting news? Yeah, we agree. We are, as usual, struggling financially. But we will not give up. We will do our level best to make it all happen.
After the stress of all those agriculture shows now it has been a bit quiet for a while until summer break in Lloyds school. During this time we were thinking about the next steps and new perspectives.
But als we made big progress in planting our communal veggie garden. We started out with some test trials to find out if and how the veggies react to zambian weather…remember, it is winter time there now.
Now have a look at the results:
Grime also went out there to have a look at the garden and was more than happy about the results and how well all the veggies grow already.
Of course we also started to help local women. For example our Planting A Future memvber Mrs Munsaka recived a few packets of seeds. Dont they look healthy and yummy?
We are now making use of the school break to get ready for planting season. So we planted new fruit tree seedlings to provide further schools soon.
Right now we are all working on plans on how to make Planting A Future a self-sustaining Charity and create jobs. One idea is to plant different types of veggies like cowpeas or carrots or maize and give seeds to people to grow them in our behalf. So you see, we have a lot planned for the future. We are just trying to figure out on how best to do all those things 😉
But for now we urgently need to find a way to drill a borehole so we can improve irrigation and water all our plants.