Green Dreams Ltd started in 2000 on 10 beautiful acres in Tigoni, Kenya. We were the first locally certified Organic farm in Kenya in 2004. Our company produces fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy and poultry products. We have a passion for healthy living and knowledge sharing with small-scale rural farmers.

Is development in Africa a cause of famine?


The cows came home the other evening whilst preparing for a presentation. It suddenly dawned on me that what I had been trying to articulate for years was staring me in the face. It’s simple really. Imagine this……….you need a bus driver to carry commuters from A to B. Which of the two senario’s would you follow…..pick a guy off the street and give him a set of bus keys and a map….no , forget the map, just the keys……….or ……look for a guy who could drive and failing to find any, get someone trained tested and approved before giving him a map from A to B and letting him take charge of your bus.

Supposing we went with the first option. Imagine the chaos, the risk and the failure of anyone in getting from A to B alive let alone on time. No one in their right mind would do this. And possibly few who were mindless too. Yet, this in a nut shell is why we suffer from famine in much of Africa.

It all stems around the fact that a) We have been lucky and b) We have misappropriated the word ‘farmer’ or rather , perhaps confused ourselves (as well as development agencies) into believing we are a continent of farmers.

We have been lucky for many reasons
1. Our continent lies in a strategic zone, enabling us to grow crops most months of the year
2. We have had an abundance of rainfall
3. Parts of our continent have super soils
4. We have alot of labor

Misappropriating the term ‘farmer’.
The ‘farmers’ in most of the developing world are like the unskilled bus driver in my earlier analogy. In Africa we define a farmer as being someone who works the land to produce agri products. In most parts of Europe the term used is ‘Field hand’.

A farmer in most of Europe is defined as a person who has been trained, is armed with a certificate of sorts and can use this to leverage benefits from their Government. Subsidies etc. Their Governments invest in them as they are the food producers for the nation. And if they were to disappear what then? They are assets to the country.

How many farmers in Africa are trained? If we have had any training at all it is at the agro dealer shop where we buy our inputs. We are given seed, the fertilizers to grow them with, and the pesticides to kill the bugs that feast on our crops. But how many of us know more than that? About the workings of the crops, the needs, how to identify the problems they have. How many of us know about the soils?

Back to my earlier analogy, if the unskilled and skilled bus drivers have no idea how to change tyres or do basic maintenance on the bus they drive, they will always have to have a mechanic either on board or on stand by. Another expense. In our AFrican agriculture, this mechanic is the agro dealer, who may or may not be a practitioner but who will definitely sell you something. It’s in his interest.

As for our Governments, we have been lucky to a degree in that with the little skills we have we have managed to feed our nations in the past however, as our countries ‘develop’ farmers are downing their tools and joining the ‘real work’ train. It’s logical, given the option of breaking your back in the hot sun, playing russian roulette with your life based on the changing weather patterns, taking risk after risk after risk……..or the option of a ‘job’, any job that is less arduous, what would YOU choose? Farming in Africa as it stands today is possibly the hardest job on the planet, and the riskiest too.

It’s no wonder farming is failing in Africa. We’re not really farmers after all. We are survivors. Largely depending on ‘shauri ya mungu’ (the will of God) and our mechanics, the agro dealers.
And if we are given another option to survive, we will jump at it. So in a nutshell development on the one hand is perhaps causing famine as ‘farmers’ flock to the ever growing towns and cities funnily enough, in search of greener pastures ( that inevitably turn out to be concreted chaotic jungles).

Now that I feel we have a root to the problem, what can be done to turn it around? How do we make farming sexier, less risky, and something people want to do rather than wish to get away from?

Next post coming up. I have an idea

Innovators need resilience like cockroaches and rats.


Beyond the brilliance of their innovations, innovators need to have characters made of steel. Implementation and scaling of an innovation requires cash,which is often in short supply when most needed. The word out is that an innovation without a working prototype is simply an idea. And everyone has a bright idea right?
Wrong.
Most people do not have bright ideas.

On the topic of cash, due to this warped idea that assumes everyone in the world to be a passive brilliant innovator, real innovators have to jump through hoops time and time again in their struggle to get funding to show the ‘idea’ is in fact doable, through the all allusive proof of concept in a working prototype.

Welcome to the vicious cycle faced by innovators every day.

The newest kid on the block, attracting innovators by the droves is the Innovation Competition ilk. Luring innovators into a bevy of competitions with attractive irresistible prizes ranging from USD 2,000 to USD 1,000,000! . Naturally this is an extremely attractive proposition to someone who otherwise is unable to raise funding to develop the ‘working prototype’.
And this is where innovators are either propelled into success or failure, baring their souls in the process to an ecosystem and environment that is often on a different wave length. And this is where I recommend innovators need to be cautioned into going into these competitions with guts of steel.

Innovators the world over have one thing in common. They and their innovations are often not understood by the average layman (the one with all the bright ideas). These competitions however, pit them into a process where they will be judged by the same. And perhaps this is where the dilemma lies.

I have a few tips for innovators entering these competitions.

1. Do not be afraid to ask the competition organisers for a bio on each of the judges.
2. Ensure that at least one of the judges is an expert in your field
3. Enquire how many hours of due diligence will be given to each entrant

From experience I have seen that this is critical in ensuring that your innovation gets equal viewing as well as understanding. Judges often do not understand the subject matter nor do they investigate fully the innovative claims of entrants. They are mortals like you and me and they have a day job.

If you are unable to extract this info from the competition organisers and are still attracted to the prize money, making a few judgements of your own will at least give you an idea of what to expect.

1. Look closely at the time between the competition closing and the finalist being announced. When the dates are very close together, be ready for some interesting shocks. This competition is as good as entering the lottery. And your guess is as good as mine on protection of your IP

2. If the competition is an annual event as many are, search for info on past winners. Have they disappeared into oblivion or are they now budding enterprises? Your choice

In a nutshell, some competitions should be avoided or at least entered into with eyes wide open and guts of steel. Many companies and organisations use competitions for their own agenda, marketing, advertising, CSR etc.

So why the cockroach and rat analogy. ?

In a recent themed competition I entered,there were 458 entrants. The competition sought to highlight and promote scalable and replicable solutions to Africas burning problems. Entrants ranged from solar solutions, education solutions, green tecnologies, solutions in agriculture etc etc.

I am still wondering if the Africa I know and the Africa known by the judges were two different continents considering one of the top prizes went to a solution to eradicate cockroaches and rats from our awesome continent. This implies one of two things, 1) Africa is indeed infested with cockroaches and rats or 2) The judges failed to do their due diligence.

I suspect the latter.

Going forward with eyes open and guts of steel, I will ask the questions next time. If I feel I have an innovative solution that can create impact for my continent and am prepared to spend time and effort filling in documents, attending interviews and days in competition conferences as a dedicated innovator, then frankly I expect, and am prepared to demand the same professionalism from the judges.

iCow


Agri mobile app developed by Su Kahumbu Stephanou of Green Dreams Ltd.

First Prize Winner of Apps4Africa Competition 2010

What you didn’t know about a COW

Cows like humans have a 9 month gestation period and a healthy cow will produce a calf a year plus milk for 10 months (305 days)of the year. In order to produce a healthy calf and optimal milk production, a cow must be given a 2 month ‘break’ from milking prior to calving. During this time she should be fed extra nutritious feed to enable her have a successful calving and subsequent good health for her milking period.

2-3 months after calving she is served again and the cycle resumes. Serving her before this period will result in possible abortion as she has not recovered from her last calving, and serving her much after this period will mean she gives birth at a later date whereby reducing her value economically.

The value of a cow thus is in her yearly milk yield and yearly production of a calf . Preferably a female calf that will grow into a strong healthy heifer for the same milk and calf production, or for sale.

Cows estrus cycle
Cows have a very short receptive period within their estrus cycle, only 11-12hrs, and will come on heat every 17-25 days until impregnated. It is therefore imperative that this window of opportunity is not missed when at the appropriate time.
In order to optimally manage livestock breeding, a farmer will try to avoid inbreeding and will either try to upgrade his stock using artificial insemination (AI) or ferry his cow to a chosen bull. In order to do this, he must be very aware of the estrus cycle of the cow by keeping good records on a variety of issues, birthing dates, bulling dates, insemination dates etc. Simply put a farmer needs to know when the 11-12 hr window occurs.

The current situation

Few farmers keep records. Some keep the AI ‘straw’ from the vet that indicates the bull ID. Most resort to using neighbourly bulls resulting in a high percentage of inbreeding thus poor quality livestock in the long run and deteriorating economics.
Using a bull can also result is reproductive diseases from the bull.

Most small scale farmers have 1-3 cattle and do not use AI for a variety of reasons. There is no service available in the area, they do not know about the reasons for using AI, they do not know how to identify the cow cycle thus miss the opportunity of using AI and finally AI may be too expensive.

Conventional Cow Calenders
Cow calenders have been used for many years to help farmers track the cycles of their cows. They normally consist of either a conventional calender showing important cow dates or a double wheel rotating cardboard tool. The problem with the conventional cow calenders are :

1. They are not readily available and normally only given out as incentive gifts with other cow inputs, medicines feed etc.
2. The cardboard wheel system is complicated and difficult to understand thus not used even when given as a gift.

Why iCow

1. All cow owners need to track the fertility cycle of their cows……..somehow, right?.
2. Most rural farmers have mobile phones or access to mobile phones ?

iCow is a tool that will help farmers track their cow cycles through their mobile phone. iCow is an agri mobile app.

How iCow works

iCow is a simple voice based mobile application that will help farmers track the estrus stages of their cows helping them to manage their breeding as well as cow nutrition leading up to the calving day. This will be done via a series of voice prompts and sms messages that will be sent to the farmer during the course of the 365 day cow cycle.

Farmers first register on the app and input relevant confirmed/known ‘cow’ dates. These include the cow ID, last date served, or last date calved.

iCow will send voice prompts to the farmer at intervals throughout the year, relevant to each specific cow at that particular time of it’s cycle. These prompts will not only be reminders, but also educational . In some instances the prompts will be followed up with an sms delivering important information e.g vet phone number.

E.g 1
Farmer inputs cow last date served as Oct 1 st 2010

iCow will send a voice message exactly 3 months later to the farmer advising him to have a PD test (Pregnancy determination) and will even explain the method and meaning of such a test to the farmer.

E.g 2

Farmer inputs cow last date served as Oct 1st 2010

iCow will send a voice message to the farmer 20 days later reminding him to observe his cow for the following week looking for any signs of being on heat as this would suggest that the last serving did not result in pregnancy thus the farmer must arrange for insemination once again.

This information is vital if the farmer is to maximize on his dairy production.

What you need to know …….

About iCow

iCow is one of many mobile agri apps being developed by Green Dreams Ltd.
These agri apps are plugins for the larger app Mkulima Farmer Information Service & Helpline (Mkulima FISH) currently under development.

Once plugged into Mkulima FISH , iCow will also be able to send the farmer an sms with the phone number of the closest AI service in his/her area and closest veterinary officer.

Kibera Youth Reform Organic Farm one year later!


A year after the Kibera Youth Reform Group started their Organic farm, the farm is looking better than ever with an abundance of healthy crops ranging from Kales, cabbage, spinach, carrots, onions, okra, sugarcane, maize, tomatoes, eggplants, passion fruit, comfrey, dania and amaranthus to name a few!
(I can’t load new photos, seem to have run out of space and not sure what to do…….until I figure it out you can see them on my face book page

Su Kahumbu

also on this reuters report

Victor, Moha, Hassan and the others are probably the most interviewed and filmed folk in the Kibera slum home to over 1,000,000 inhabitants.
The success of the farm is now being looked upon as an interesting solution to urban food security and as a role model farm being emulated by a number of Youth Groups within Kibera and Dagoretti slums.

Kenya is now in it’s fourth year of failed rains, with the effects of famine being felt country wide, resulting in power rationing in the capital city of Nairobi due to low water levels in the hydro electric dams. Crop failure is the norm, talks of food security are high on donor and government agendas, the next few months as we wait for the November rains, will be telling. Kenya sadly is facing a huge famine……………again…………………sigh

And what have we done?
We’ve given our farmers subsidised fertilizer and ‘improved’ seed varieties …….and left them up to ‘shauri ya mungu’………….God will take care of us from then on, we have resorted to praying for rain.
And when and if it comes , no doubt it will come down in bucket loads flooding the plains and damaging the soil resulting in sweeping erosion before disappearing again , for years?
And we will blame the Government again. Where are the dams? The water catchment areas? The rain harvesting plans etc. And the Government will figure on bigger priorities, why build dams when the rains have gone afterall?

So this is the way I see it. The farm in Kibera is green productive and sustainable. Why? Drip irrigation and hard work that repays. It is small in size. But then so are most of our small scale rural farms. So why are our small scale farmers not doing the same. Simple, they do not know how to.

The avarage age of Kenya’s small scale farmers is 65yrs old, 70% of whom are women. Many have never left their villages and sell their goods at farm gate to brokers. How would they ever know about drip irrigation? Could they afford it? Would they know how to install it? Are they too old and is it too late? The fact simply is with global climate change we must change our production methods with the biggest change being made around our water use. So we must make drip irrigation, installation maintenance and affordability, available to our small scale farmers in order to feed ourselves as a nation.
Kibera is a great example. The Youth are longing for employment, are not interested in the hard labour of digging the hardpan soils yet are easily converted to agriculture with exciting new technologies. They require capacity building, skills support and encouragement which will ultimately result in employment. If we can make this happen for the Youth they will feed the nation. Green Dreams Foundation is working on the journey.

Breeding like Rabitts in Gilgil :)


Gilgil is a town resting on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, about half an hours drive up towards Nakuru from famous Lake Naivasha. The land rises around the town in spectacular volcanic ridges upon which most of our small scale farmers in the area live.
Great volcanic soil enable farmers to produce without much need for artificial inputs, however, water is a problem. Whilst there are a few scenic dams and lush river valleys, due to the deforrestation in the Aberdares area, the rivers now run dry for most of the year.

Transporting products down these perilous ridges is also a huge challenge and is mainly done by bicycle, donkey and of late motorcycle. For large harvests like potatoes, lorries are used, and are more often seen stuck in the muddy gullies which become treacherous during the rain season.

Given the above senario, it’s not suprising that farmers struggling with all of these external factors and infrastructures remain poor most of the year.
In 2006 we took an Organic training program sponsored by BioVision to the farmers in Kigogo. We trained over 60 men and women on organic production emphasising the need to retain and build on soil fertility. Most of the farmers have a mixed cropping system which means there is availability of animal manures, however not all knew how to compost effectively, and some found it less laboursome to simply use artificial fertilizers. Given that an acre of land requires 4 tonnes of compost compared to 50kg of artificial fertilizer, what would you choose to apply under the blazing African sun?

Artificial fertilizers are lighter, can be applied quicker, and produce instant results. How do we then convince farmers that they should look at a more labour intensive and slower form of farming?
In Gilgil many cannot afford artificial fertilizers, so not alot of convincing was needed, just capacity building on effective composting.
No one will work excessively hard unless they get a good enough reward and thus, we set out to find markets for the products coming from the hills. Over the course of the past two years, we have had an intersting stream of organic products coming into our store The Organic Shop, the most famous of which is the Gilgil asparagus. This crop was originally identified due to it’s close resemblance to an indigenous weed in the area. It was soon seen as a cash crop and many farmers were taught how to produce it even though it takes 2 years from seed to viable production!!
When the international buyers eventually stopped purchasing and abandoned the crops, some farmers continued to grow it and began looking for local markets. So what has all of this got to do with rabitts???

Asparagus is harvested every day yet brought down to market every three days. It has a fairly good shelf life and is hardy when being transported (unlike pawpaws :)It has it’s own niche in the market place as no one else really grows the crop.Gilgil just has the perfect conditions.
It makes logical sense then to figure that if other products could find a niche, be exclusive and of high value, then perhaps all was not lost but rather about to begin for the farmers in the area.

During our training we talked about value addittion and gave examples of organic products including meats , most of our farmers have never been to Nairobi let alone into a supermarket and were very suprised to learn of the possibilities……………….but……………where would they get the knowledge?

About 6 months ago, an elderly man called me and said he wanted to talk to me about rabitts. I immediatly thought ‘Salamonella’!! I’d seen farmers with skinned rabbits in plastic bags festering in the sun at farmers markets .!! None-the-less and not to be put off, the old man and his daughter travelled to Nairobi to discuss the possibilities. I gave them as much information as I could about the cold chain, statutory labelling requirements, slaughter house hygiene etc. The old man asked me to put my requirements in writing, which I did and off they went. I felt mean as the obstacles were simply too high for these guys to meet up in the hills.

So I was pleasantly suprised when last week we recieved our first batch of rabitt meat samples!!! Frozen in half kg packets, labelled and looking very professional!!!

The couple had taken our recommendations to the Government and managed to get an entire project funded that now has 4 farmer groups growing 2000 rabitts!!! ……and not just any rabitts, serious hybrid types too from Denmark and California.

Yesterday we sent out our quality assurance expert Davis Nalika to do an assessment as well as to help the farmers improve on packaing details and as soon as this is done, Nairobi will have a supply of rabitt!!!

Asides from a serious feel good factor, I have learn’t never to underestimate an old farmer.

And I have just learnt that I have met my limit and cannot upload the photos. So have to figure this out but will definitely send some soon!!

On another topic got a mail this morning that said we were listed on Africas top 100 Best Blogs for learning about Africa. What an honour!!!

http://www.bachelorsdegreeonline.com/blog/2009/100-best-blogs-for-learning-about-africa/

Help Kenyan farmers petition against the flawed Biosafety Bill 2008


The President of Kenya his Excellency Mwai Kibaki is soon set to sign a flawed Biosafety Bill that has caused much uproar and seen farmers in Kenya staging a week long campaign to stop the signing.

On the 22nd Dec farmers took the streets and staged peaceful demonstrations in the major cities of Nairobi, Machakos, and Kitale where they carried placards portraying their messages of discontent about the flawed Biosafety Bill to the President.
Petitioins are underway on the ground as well as online for concerned citizens of the world to assist the farmers in this cause. Dec 31st is the final day this year the Bill can be signed. Petitions will run up until the 27th before they are presented to the President.

Whilst aknowledging that a Biosafety Bill is indeed needed, the current Bill having been already passed in Parliament, does not cater for the following issues

1) There is no allocation for LABELLING of GMO ingredients on products .
Consumers will therefore have NO choice on whether they consumer GM products

2) There is inadequate measure of redress against any contamination, fall out etc in the Bill. Thus, should the environment or human health suffer as a consequence of GM products , Kenyans will have no way of getting adequate compensation according to the Bill as it stands today.

3)Finally , we at the Kenya Biodiversity Coalition believe the Bill has not involved the stakeholders in the industries it will impact upon. It was not based on an all inclusive transparent process, but rather a quick fast tracked bill which we feel is inadequate.

We would like to see the Bill taken back to the drawing board and only passed when the people of Kenya are both knowledeable and in agreement on its contents.

Please help us in our endeavours to STOP the Presdidential signing of this Bill until it is the best Biosafety Bill Kenya can produce.

To join our online petition, go to

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/stop-the-kenyan-president

Be part of something that is bigger than the sum of us all!!

Thanking all who stand up for our cause,

Su

Zero Tillage- A Testimonial


THE GREAT DISCOVOREY
On 5th Sep 2007; at 8.00am I took the farm tractor mounted with the planter with a mission to do the craziest thing in the farm. To plant baby corn seeds in block m03; a block which was still green with vegetation having done the last frenchbeans harvest the previous day. Everyone that morning could not understand what I had woken up for. As I told the driver to move on, he reluctantly obliged, although you could tell from his eyes he was skeptical of the new planting system. I remember the then baby corn supervisor asking me in private that evening if I’m intending to deny them job by having a poor baby corn crop.
One year down the line the no till technology or zero tillage as my agronomy consultant Mr. Pierluigi Maggioni prefers to call it, has made a turn around to the production yield for baby corn and frenchbeans in Kantara farm. The average yields for baby corn shot up by over 40% while on beans by around 20%.This is on top of the savings that has been experienced with the reduction of fuel consumption by slightly over 75%per month. The labor cost has drastically reduced by over 50%. Weeds population has reduced to a manageable level. You don’t have to do any weeding on baby corn throughout the crop cycle if you have a post emergence herbicide done in time. On frenchbeans there’s only one weeding down from three at the late stage of the crop cycle. The incidences of pests and diseases have proportionally reduced to a normal threshold automatically reducing our sprays by a very good margin.
“No till technology is the way to go”, commented the agronomist while reacting to the new innovation. Most horticultural farms are still working on their soils with heavy machinery with a lot of investment. Although known to be an expensive business in terms of imputs; it’s the time for the policy makers in the industry to look for other ways of keeping the business profitable judging from the current economic handicaps that has hit hard on the business industry. With the current inflations, the cost of inputs is rising every other day while the market is still a challenge on competition and fluctuations of prices. No till can also be easily adoptable in the Organic Farming Sector which is rapidly gaining roots in the world’s food safety protocols. Despite the no till option being around in many parts of the world for several decades, not many of us are in touch with its possibility. More campaigns should also be put in place to promote such farming techniques to the benefit of business investors and even local community.This could add several other tones of produce in Kenya’s production accounts.

Jorum ndiritu
The writer is the Farm manager Kantara Farm (VEGPRO) – Thika


Note from Su:

It makes me happy to read this. Lets hope more exporters turn to this form of farming. Not only is it cost effective, more interestingly though less obvious, it is also a ‘soil biota friendly’ method of production. ……………a stones throw away from organic production………..:)

Sunflowers in Kibera


Hello, this is Paula. I’m a guest blogger for Su. I wrote about this farm on my blog called Baraza at WildilfeDirect and on a blog about African innovations on Afrigadget and in both cases readers were amazed with what is happening in Kibera. I felt I had to follow up here.

Sunflowers shading the cabbages and transforming the look of the farm

Su called me to tell me that the sunflowers have opened! Recall that They were planted at the end of July using our seed planting gadget (a simple plastic water pipe with a twig taped at the end to create the hole and direct the seed while saving the planters from endless backaches) – I wrote about this and other innovations in Kibera on Afrigadget blog here. It had been months since I’d seen the farm, Peter (BBC Correspondent for East Africa) and I rushed over with Su to get photos knowing that the sight had to be spectacular. Don’t tell him but “Yes” we’re trying to get BBC interested in covering this wonderful positive story out of Africa

sue and Abdulahi

We met Abdulahi at the entrance of the farm which is nicely fenced – he had erected a sign banning all photographers!

Bee on sunflower

I discovered that the sunflowers were there for a purpose, and it was not to beautify the farm. Earlier in this blog Su had mentioned slightly elevated levels of heavy metals in some parts of the shamba (farm). It turns out that sunflowers have a unique ability to extract zinc! It’s complicated interaction between the secretions from earthworms which causes the binding of heavy metals which in turn allows plants to take them up. Sunflowers are extraordinarily efficient at this.

The sad news is that you can’t eat the seeds or compost the leaves as this is where the zinc accumulates. The flowers and leaves sadly have to be burned (even though I’d love to take some home to adorn my living room).

The worm farm has evolved! Here’s the new look, a half barrel filled to the brim with material and worms. The litter around is about to go into the tank.

Su and Mohammed spent some time digging in to look at the little critters which were buried deep because the top few inches were quite dry. He was advised to add more water. The worms digest all the household and crop waste and every month the team pour water ontop of the entire tank and catch what comes out. The worm poo which is conveniently called ‘casts’ dissolves and out comes a nutritious brown liquid that is imaginatively called ‘worm tea’. Anyone for a cuppa?

The worms here are a peculiar blue colour …I hope it’s not a bad sign!

Someone on the afrigadget blog asked how the water for irrigation is paid for? Well, here’s the story. The youth reform group own a watertank and they provide a clean water service to anyone in the community. They sell water by the 20 litre jerrycan to anyone in the community. This generates the income needed to pay for the farm irrigation water.

We also heard how these ex criminals challenged a mafia like group up stream the previous week – these guys had disconnected water to the community of hundreds of thousands of people. I can only imagine the image of ex criminals walking over to the water control valve where they organized the permanent opening of the water supply line! The community was so pleased to have water again that all manner of in kind donations for the construction of the community center were received.

Abdulahi

Here’s Abdulahi

Victor

Victor

Moha

And Moha

Su in Kibera

And here’s Su with the guys during the ‘inspection’

Ok, for some reason lay out is completely all over the place!

A Bridge too far!!!


Dom just works silently in the background. He recently walked over 8 kilometers (he calls it a nice stroll) with the guys from Kibera to get the vermiculture tanks………..True to his nature he took pictures along the way, of all things interesting including an almost 500 meter bridge spanning a 20 meter wide road crossing………..why the bridge had to do this is anyones guess? AND FOLK JUST LOVE IT!!!

This is Dom :)

It gets better and better!!!!


I believe in the saying ‘A river will always flow it’s course’………..no matter what we do, what we think , how we plan………….somethings take on a life of their own…………and now once a dangerous dump site our Organic Farm in Kibera is taking off in all sorts of directions.

Yesterday was the first commercial sale of product !! Totally awesome!!
So added to the advantages of food production, food security, environmental conservation, Youth Reform, we can now add INCOME GENERATION………….

Dominic has been keeping close tabs with the group and is largely responsible for their success. Hats off to you Dom!!
Yesterday whilst helping sort out the infrastructure for their vermiculture tanks, he managed to get these pictures of the group’s first commercial sale of kales and spinach.

The girl in the picture didn’t want her pic taken but the guys insisted as they are so totally proud of their farm :)

Notice the sunflowers growing with the crops. We’re hoping they will act as both a shade canopy as the weather heats up as well as a crop to help extract heavy metals within the soil. Today we are submitting leaf samples of all the crops (kales, cabbage, corriander, spinach and sunflower) for testing and will post the results asap.
Fingers crossed!!!!!