4th July 2017
Almost since we began in Lusangazi in 2007 we have employed a system callse Biointensive vegetable growing. It involves removing the top layer of soil carefully and then digging the next layer to break up what is often a very compact layer left after years of using hoes for cultivation. Cultivation here is generally done by women with hoes, which dig about 6 inches deep.
This system gives plant roots great freedom to grow downwards with about 12 inches of digging.
When the bottom layer is complete the organic manure and compost is spread and the topsoil cover is replaced and cultivated. This gives a raised bed about four feet wide.
The seeds are sown in boxes and when germinated they are planted as closely as possible to allow the plants to mature fully without spaces
This cover means few weeds, less water loss and prevents the strong sunshine from killing the useful organisms.
Over the years we have had varied success depending on the workers, but now we are making a big push.
In the middle of the picture is Prominence, who will be in charge of teaching our girls practical farming, if they don’t proceed to any higher level. She is an excellent teacher in her own right, but is here picking up on the practical skills with our biointensive expert Laston.
The idea of our course will be to provide girls with the practical skills to be able to grow food, trees, make improved stoves and generally develop into excellent farmers.