Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fencing land for our demonstration gardens in Mitume Village, Kitale in Rift Valley Province

Here we are fencing the land we bought to establish our demonstration gardens to practice and teach sustainable, biointensive farming. By carefully tending our soil, planting intensively and rotating crops, I believe that we can grow a balanced diet on a small plot of land. By sharing the methods I have learned with local farmers, our community can become self-sustaining.

I trust that buying the land, which represented a great leap of faith, will be rewarded. Blessed are the growers and sowers willing to thrive in the torrent of the times. We embrace with gratitude the serene ferocity of this journey, witnessing abundance explode out of the emerging world.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kenyan farmers leverage their bargaining position through solar drying of fruits and vegetables

Last week OTEPIC trained farming group leaders how to dry fruit and vegetables using a solar dryer. Because they cannot store or preserve their surplus products, farmers often sell at very low prices during the harvest season. By using solar dryers, they will be able to preserve their food for future use, hence, enhancing food security and offering the potential to sell it later at higher prices.

I demonstrated how to dry bananas and how to prepare vegetables for drying. We dried carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, pineapple, vegetables and mangos.

Once the food was prepared, we put it into the solar dryer.

And then, we demonstrated how to prepare pumpkin fritters.

The participants represented farmers from far and wide. After these farm group leaders evaluated the training, we celebrated with a photo. I am in front, third from left.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Addressing Kenya's food crisis on a community level

My country Kenya is in crisis with food and fuel prices soaring and people starving. Through OTEPIC, I hope to bring low-water, organic techniques to my community where traditional approaches to producing food have been lost or are no longer possible. I believe that agriculture can have such profound effects on the environment, human health, and the social order, it is a critical part of any movement toward sustainability. I am looking for financial support for our community demonstration gardens. If you would like to help with our project, please contact me.

Here is a picture of me in the summer of 2008. I traveled from my small village in Kenya to the USA and learned about biointensive farming through my studies and work at the Ecology Action Center in Willits, CA.

I have spent my adult life learning about sustainability. In 2006-07, I worked with the Community Mobilization Against Poverty in Kitale, Kenya, increasing food security in the community by introducing women’s groups and small-scale farmers to farming practices that make efficient use of limited resources, require few external inputs, and protect natural resources, especially soil fertility, for future generations.

In 2003-'05, I studied biointensive farming at the Manor House Agricultural Centre in Kitale and I have worked with the Animal Care Initiative Network to teach humane care and protection of animals and encourage families to nurture their animals and thus themselves.

I hope some day to return to the US to get a degree in sustainable agriculture and then bring my skills and knowledge back to my community.