Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Christmas is a time for love and fun,
A time to reshape souls and roots and skies,
A time to give your heart to everyone
Freely, like a rich and lavish sun,
Like a burning star to those whose lonely sighs
Show need of such a time for love and fun.
It's time to give your heart to every one


asante sana, rafiki,

Philip Munyasia (OTEPIC-Coordinator)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Teaching farmers about biointensive farming

Greeting from OTEPIC-Kenya!

We recently trained 83 farmers, sixty percent of whom were women, in growing foods using biointensive agriculture. We covered the basics, including:
Double digging to enhance root penetration and increase aerate soil
Composting, using locally available resources, to enhance soil fertility
Companion planting to reduce pests and diseases and attract beneficials.
Close plant spacing to conserve moisture, suppress weeds and in some instances, create a mini-climate
Use open-pollinated seeds adapted to local conditions and to preserve genetic diversity
Whole garden system that provides all of the inputs within one garden
Calorie efficient crops to select crops that provide a large amount of calories in limited space
Carbon efficient crops to produce components for making compost and thus, build soil

May rainbows stream endlessly through your heart,


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Garden and our Work Grow Strong

The crops are growing well — the sorghum sprouted out and corn is growing fast in this rainy season. See our pictures of tree collards from one of the community gardens.

We are doing everything possible to change a world in need of change. Our success is shared by everyone in our communities! Let's continue making a contribution to the bio-intensive agriculture movement.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OTEPIC Trains Kenyan Village Farmers

Representatives from farmer's groups gathered for a training. They were given start-up vegetable seeds, and they had the opportunity to exchange seeds. These farmers will train others, thus spreading information about biointensive farming.

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of the plants growing in the soil, about getting dirty without feeling guilty and soaking up a bit of peace and serenity.

Have the best day of your life with rainbows streaming through your heart and your soul expressing itself in all you say and do.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

How our Garden Grows . . . in Kenya

I hope you really enjoyed Earth Day! It's raining here, and the farmers are busy in their fields.

Our gardens are growing, and we had a work party to pull weeds. We are growing Irish potatoes that are large and drought resistant, beans, black nightshade, beets and leeks, drought-resistant cassava, and spinach. See our portable garden with onions and black nightshade. Did you know that young pumpkin leaves are edible?

The earth is a generous mother; she will provide in plentiful abundance food for all her children if its soil is cultivated in justice and in peace.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jambo from OTEPIC in KENYA

We are planting and weeding crops in our demonstration plot. We are tending kale, sweet potatoes, black nightshade,and making more charcoal briquettes. Here is an inspiring message for you:

At times you feel you want to cry
And life seems such a trial
Above the clouds there's a bright blue sky
So make your tears a smile.

As you travel on life's way
With its many ups and downs
Remember its quite true to say
One smile is worth a dozen frowns.

Peace and joy,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our villagers plant trees and our children learn how trees help us prosper

The children helped carry tree seedlings, in the process learning how important trees are to the health of our planet. We planted Grivela robusta because it is friendly to the crops. We are reforesting the bare field. In our village, it takes a child to raise a forest as they will be the caretakers of these trees long after we have passed on.
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

May your harvest be rich and bumper!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaching our Youth about HIV/AIDS in Kenya's Rift Valley

It is raining here in Kenya, and it’s the best time for women and men in our communities to put seed in the ground and begin to nurture it 'til it matures. In this way, we do our part to assure a bumper harvest in future.
This weekend OTEPIC did some nurturing of our youth through Youth C.R.E.W. (Cultivating Respect for the Environment and the World). We organized an HIV/AIDS campaign for the residents of Mitume and taught about the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
We instructed the young people about prevention as well as how to care for AIDS patients. Youths came in large numbers to learn and to enjoy music, a dancing and singing competition, poetry recitations and plays. I believe that the youths bring people down to earth. They encourage us to learn the ways of our grandparents, and in doing so, help our nation and civilization to rest upon the strong foundation our ancestors created.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Making Charcoal Briquettes in Kenya

Our community came together to make charcoal briquettes and show our guests, including Deborah who was visiting from Switzerland, how to go about making these magical orbs. We collect charcoal dust that would ordinarily be thrown away and then combine it with materials such as grass, corn cobs, etc. We all work together wetting the material and making orbs that we leave to dry in the sun. The combination of materials in the briquettes makes them burn hot and well, and we have created something useful and environmentally friendly out of what would ordinarily be considered trash.

Our Village Tends the Garden

Our garden is growing, and we are grateful. The row of spider herbs forms a beautiful pattern. We are growing "gardens in a bag". See how bountiful our portable garden is! Eric is tending the onions, and we had a visitor from Switzerland, Deborah, who is an environmental student.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kenyan farmers plant and tend compost in community classes

We are determined to reach many people by teaching sustainable farming even though our community is going through hard times. Recently I read a book about the shakers that really encouraged me:

"The shakers were practical idealists. They did not dream vaguely of the conditions they would like to see realized. They went to work to make these conditions an actuality. They wasted no time on raging against competitive society or in complaining bitterly that they had no power to change it. Instead they build a domain of their own, where they could arrange their lives to their liking.”

Over time and with continued effort, I know we will succeed. Thank you very much for being with us during this difficult time. Attached are pictures of another farmers training that we did.
In solidarity, in friendship, in hope for a better tomorrow . . ..Philip

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Training farmers in biointensive farming in Kenya

Our second farmers training has taken place at our demonstration center and now we have taught a good number of farmers and continue to teach more. We do follow up training to ensure that farmers are able to push through the clay and cultivate a new world. Donations toward our work are greatly appreciated.

In solidarity, in friendship and in hope for a better tomorrow,