Friday, October 31, 2008

Double digging results in better crops for Muchui and Ruuju women

Submitted by
Teresa Mellish
October 30, 2008

Double digging soil results in better crops for Muchui and Ruuju women
We visited the Muchui and Ruuju Women group members earlier this week and they showed us the results of double digging their soil in their kitchen gardens.
They learned the benefits of double digging and how to do it when we arranged for some of them to attend a training session at the Kaaga Bio-Intensive Resource Center in August.
The crops that were growing in soil that had been double dug were visibly greener and bigger that crops that were growing beside them in soil that was not double dug.
I understand that double digging means that the soil is dug twice as deep. First of all they spread some manure (or compost) on the top soil , then take off the top soil and set it aside. Then they loosen the sub-soil. Then the top soil is put back.
This allows the roots of the crop to reach down deeper for any nutrients or moisture that exist below the normal cultivation level.
This is quite a labour intensive process but it only has to be repeated in three years.
Now the other members of these two groups want to be trained at the Kaaga Bio intensive Centre.
We are always so impressed at how the women are so willing to implement new things on their shambas.
Photo shows Salome Kimathi and her mother, Rael, in Rael’s kitchen garden

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Othaya welcomes Farmers Helping Farmers

Othaya Dairy Cooperative and Farmers Helping Farmers continued to build a strong relation today, as we met with the board of directors and many of the employees. The objective today was to interview candidates for the agronomist position and we had five excellent people. We found it difficult to decide today, so we will postpone our decision until we have field interviews over the next few days.

The weather has been great so far! No rain, knock on wood and the temps are mid 20's with sun and cloud. It's muddy around the shamba's though, but the Napier grass is looking good and many farmers are getting ready to make silage.

We will begin seminars on Thursday, after we visit more local farms and see more cattle.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Group traveling to Kenya in October 2008

Five people are traveling to Kenya from October 23 until November 15 to work with Farmers Helping Farmers partner groups. Dr. Winston Johnston will be working with the Muchui Womens Group in Kiirua to support their crop diversification program. Ken Mellish will be working with the Othaya and Thubuku Dairy groups. Daniel Scothorn from Nova Scotia will be training the Othaya and Thubuku dairy groups on how to feed their cows for more milk production. Michael Whelton from New Brunswick will be assisting the Muchui Womens Group on their accounting practices. Teresa Mellish will be monitoring all groups.