Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rainy season farm update!


The Vutakaka School shamba (farm) is off and running in this rainy season!  While the rains have not been quite as good as we wanted for maize and beans, they have really helped our gardeners with the year round crops that usually need A LOT of water.  In this first picture, Katana is holding one of the first good onion harvests that we have had.  Now that the gardeners know how to make sure the onions go from seed to full grown, we should be buying a lot less onions.
To the right you see the onions right after they were picked.  We are excited to cross one more vegetable off the list of things we need to purchase to provide nutritious lunches to our students every day!
We have received money from the FAWCO foundation (www.fawcofoundation.org) to install an irrigation system.  This will really increase yields year-round as the gardeners will be able to get more water onto the vegetables each day, and will have more time to expand the farm, weed, and track their progress.
One of the biggest successes so far from the Vutakaka shamba is mchicha.  Mchicha is a bitter green that is one of the staple foods in the Takaungu area because of how easily it grows.  Right from the start of the farm, the gardeners have been producing enough mchicha so that we have not had to buy any for the past one year.  This saves $10 a week, which might sound small, but adds up to more than $500 per year!  The gardeners have also started selling the surplus mchicha, and we are saving that income to build a small stand so that more people know mchicha is for sale at Vutakaka!

Thanks to everyone who has been involved in making this farm a success!  Keep checking back for more farm and food updates!

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