Thursday, December 29, 2011

OTEPIC builds communities in Kenya's Rift Valley

Since its inception, OTEPIC has made great progress in helping groups of women and youth learn how to integrate proven permaculture practices. Over 2,000 participants from approximately 25 community groups have been trained in ecological farming practices for their farms and gardens. OTEPIC has also promoted numerous grassroots initiatives such as growing portable gardens, making charcoal briquettes and building solar food driers. OTEPIC advocates for humane animal treatment, educates about nutrition for HIV/AIDS, and organizes trash clean-up days.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

OTEPIC Plants Trees for Life

OTEPIC organized a tree planting campaign and mobilized women and youths from several schools to plant native trees. Planting new indigenous trees and taking care of existing ones helped deepen the participants' commitment to protecting our environment.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Improving Irrigation for our Gardens

We are finishing up a training course for the farmers and are now in the process of fundraising to drill a borehole to be used for irrigation. Please contact OTEPIC if you can help. Thank you for your support!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Teaching Good Permaculture Practices

When practical permaculture principles are explained to farmers, gardening is transformed from a task to a craft. Farmers say that this type of agriculture is not complicated. It is a straightforward way of raising more food to feed people while protecting the environment. Permaculture is simple, sound, equitable, low cost and a biological-based alternative. As more farmers adopt it, the sustainabliity of their farms increases because farmers are learning to test and to refine these alternatives.
Farmers are helping each other become revolution artists who grow food so that their communities can be whole and powerful again.
All of the farmers groups are being taught to consider these factors before they start gardening:
(a) How to choose a field
(b) How to build soil
(c) How to rotate crops
(d) When is the best time to plant
(e) What plants should populate the garden
(f) What are the best seed practices
(g) How to fertilize
(h) How to control weeds
(i) How to control insects
(j) What are the principles of harvesting

Practical / field work
Experiential learning helps farmers internalize technological knowledge. OTEPIC programs take the farmer trainees into the garden to apply the principles taught in the classroom.

We encourage farmers to use open pollinated seed and explain the advantages of using local varieties. We teach them how to select seeds.

Farmers set up their small gardens and make compost and, as a result, get more food to eat and share with neighbors. These small farms are where agricultural advances are nurtured and new ideas conceived by people solving nature's puzzles.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

OTEPIC brings farmer groups together

OTEPIC brought farmer groups together to share their achievements and to learn from each other. They cooked their favorite traditional food to share with other groups that day. We talked about the importance of eating local healthy food from their own gardens.

We encouraged the formation of a seed exchange and also trained about indigenous and local open-pollinated seed that is drought- and pest-resistant.