In Gede, just 15 minutes from the A Rocha centre, there is a ‘shamba’ (farming plot) that A Rocha owns. It is being used for planting different crops, as an example of ‘Farming God’s Way’. About 2 months ago, many A Rocha volunteers and staff (including the cook and maintance staff!) went along to prepare the land for planting. This involved digging holes (or trenches) equal distances apart, filling with compost, then going round the forest collecting ‘mulch’ – dead leaves, to put around all the holes as ‘God’s blanket.’
We then waited a few weeks for the rainy season to start to come! We went back and carefully planted all the seeds, filled in the holes, and covered all the land with God’s blanket, a natural way of stopping the crops from drying out in the sun. The crops we planted were maize, beans and millet. We then waited for the crops to grow. Jimmy, who lives on site, will water the crops when the rains are low. We will use crop rotation after the grain from this planting has been harvested, to keep the soil rich, and ensure it is re-nourished with necessary nutrients. Seeing it a few days ago - the crops are all growing beautifully! We are now in the height of the rainy season; hopefully soon we shall have fully grown crops to provide healthy amounts of the three different foods. This land in Gede is coincidentally the place where the new ASSETS offices will be – right next to the shamba!
Robin Harris - volunteer
Some photos of the fun planting afternoon (photos by Benji)