By Frank Juvenal
Just like animals, all other living things need water and care for their survival. Since I started working on the garden project, it looks like people in the community are excited as they come and help out. I was very impressed on how young people came in to help and sow the seeds. Not only did young men come but they also offered to water the garden so that it can be sustainable since it is near the borehole (well).
Then, twelve beds were made and we sowed ten different veggies that includes: Greens such as Mustard, Rape, Chinese cabbage, and a local one called “Bonogwe.” In addition, Tomatoes were decided to be in two beds so that they can have enough to harvest and also because they take up much space, Red Onions also took two different beds since people use it often. Cabbage, Pumpkin and Bush beans were also sowed. I then thought of introducing Carrots just because I was told that no one in Makupo has ever tried to plant them. In addition, not many people eat carrots as they are scarce. It was such an amazing experience since people who were volunteering were first giving ideas on how big we want the beds to be and in what direction the beds should face. However, I was surprised to see how they reached a conclusion after such a short discussion since everyone in the group had their own ideas that were different from each other. I then had a chance of introducing the “Foundation for Farming” techniques that involve mulching all the crops as the mulch will eventually decompose and form manure and thus improve soil structure.
After the sowing was done, I was impressed to see four guys willing to go and cut grass to put on top of the beds as mulch. Therefore, all the beds were mulched as seen in the picture and finally we watered the seeds. At that point, everyone in the community was curious about how the seeds would come out. We eventually waited patiently and all the seeds took three to four days to germinate. The crops finally came up and they all look healthy just because of the care and effort that was put by the people in the community. When I look at how fast the garden has been constructed, I think of the words that I was told by ‘Alinafe,’ one of the young men that was helping out. He said “Umodzi muli mphavu” which means ‘There is Power in Unity.’