Thursday, 19 February 2009
The Kalahari Garden Project is happy to report that we have a new partner for our project in the Aminuis Corridor, Omaheke region, Namibia. GardenAfrica have recently joined us and will be supporting capacity building among the beneficiaries and partner NGOs. GardenAfrica is a UK based charity whose work is focused in Southern Africa. There they establish productive organic training gardens in schools, hospitals and clinics, growing nutritious food and medicinal plants. These gardens offer practical and effective solutions for building community health and livelihoods, ensuring the continuation of vital botanical and horticultural knowledge through to the next generation.
Thursday, 30 October 2008
The Kalahari Garden Project now has a total of forty gardens spread over five villages. Between September and October, all of these were planted with summer crops. New garden owners (and their families) were trained in basic gardening skills and organic pest control, and gardeners involved in the project since its inception received follow-up training. Our horticultural advisor from the UK, Ian Martin (Curator of the Dry Tropics Biome at the UK Eden Project), returned to the field site in September to assist with further training and garden maintenance.
Young plants have suffered from more aggressive attacks from pests and birds this year, so we have been experimenting with different forms of organic pest control. These include a variety of sprays made from chilli, onion, garlic and local plants. To protect the plants against the birds, we have encouraged attaching moving scrap materials in the gardens and some gardeners have also constructed scarecrows. More recently, we have experimented with low level micro shade tunnels. These have been extremely effective against both pests and birds, but being more costly, have meant that we are in need of more funds to enable each garden to have these shade tunnels. Despite these hurdles, the gardens are growing well and we expect to begin harvesting in December and January.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
During September, Simon Stronach started working on the kalahari gardens as a horticultural volunteer. He has helped build another 12 gardens and plant out all forty for the summer. In his own words, after two months of volunteering, he is enjoying his time greatly, learning lots about growing crops in the desert environment and about the day-to-day workings of the project.