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.
One of our aims was to build up a communal veggie garden where we could raise veggies for sale and consumption and also teach people how to grow certain veggies to educate them and pass on the knowledge.
Unfortunately this project failed as such due to lack of water and the heat spell. We had planted seedlings in our green house and around it. These grew well until the river dried up. It was difficult to get water for the trees since people had to walk kilometres to fetch it. The heat spell destroyed the seedlings remaing.
This doesn’t mean we have given up on the whole veggie thing. Having failed to have the garden, we now shared the seeds amongst our PAF members and each planted in his or her garden.
The seeds we manage to get from those plants we will be used for next planting season. And people will alway bring back a share of the seeds to PAF so that we can keep on providing at least our community with healthy veggies.
Also we plan to exhibit the veggies and seeds alongside our trees and products at the upcoming agriculture shows this year.
We already planted new seeds into the fields at the onset of the rainy season. Look at how nice those veggies grow. Thanks again to our sponsors from Germany and Hawaii for making this possible. 🙂
Planting A Future…that is not just sacrificing. But also bringing joy, hope and food to those who need it.
One very good example is Bina Eliza (mother to Eliza). She suffers from asthma and can barely support her family.
So Planting A Future gave her a few packs of veggie seeds. She now grows them and then sells the veggies to drunks and poor people. That way she earns a bit of money to buy maize to feed her own family.
That is the salt behind what we do. It is all about the poor…the stronger ones reach outto support the weak.
Fun Fact: Zambians don’t seem to like the slightly bitter taste of those kinds of turnips. So they just grow them, sell them to Europeans in town and use the leaves for cooking. 😉
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.