Due to extensive rains and related damage in the fields, we’re running about a month behind schedule, compared to last year. We have our new farmers signed up and although the aggregate is not so huge, about half-a dozen farmers, there is interest in starting a Producers’ Cooperative. This will both simplify linkages between farmers and the Hotel, and will also make it possible to apply to local donors for small grants to assist in the cooperative setup and training.
All of the seeds that were started are doing well, including radish, Kenya spinach, amaranth,sukuma wiki (collards), tomatoes, and a few others.
There are four hand-dug wells by which crops are watered every evening. Since the water table is quite shallow here, there is also excellent water uptake by the roots. Of course, during the heavy rainy season, the area is transformed into rice for several months.
We are beginning to integrate amaranth into companion (mixed) planting schemes. This is an excellent way to confuse insects and thus enhance organic planting and farming methods. However, it is a new strategy in the village that not all farmers are prepared to ‘risk’, and so we’re doing some demonstration plots. See also: Mixed Cropping: A Successful Organic Strategy
For more about other landraces and indigenous plants, see the following:
And, look here:
We have a variety of other seeds, which will go into the plots over the next several months.