Saturday, July 17, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
dan giving ashleigh a tour of the FfF demo plots
Friday, July 2, 2010
It’s a mouthful, and it’s one of the communities in which we work with farmers and church leaders. DZ (which is what most people refer to it as) is on the outskirts of Harare, just next to Kuwadzana (which I might talk about a lot). People are packed like sardines inside the suburb, but DZ is surrounded by huge tracts of open land, most of it too swampy or otherwise unattractive to developers. Consequently every little pieces is grabbed and farmed by someone.One of the farmers we work with is Mr. Gaihai, and he has claim to about an acre in this open space. After coming to our meetings for five months now, his field (“munda”) looks quite different from those around it—primarily because of the absence of WEEDS (“masora”). Most fields at this point in the year are teeming with weeds, some of them still green (because, of course, weeds are skilled at finding any available food and water), all of them stealing these valuable resources from future crops and all of them making (or have made) millions of seeds for next season. Anybody weeding this time of year is constantly approached by bewildered passers-by, making for a great opportunity to share about faithfulness and stewardship. Now, Mr. Gaihai is a good model, but not perfect. He has still held on to his old habit of digging trenches and burying crop residue (very common here). We teach that any undecomposed material is much more effective on top of the soil as mulch, whereas decomposed material (e.g. compost) is better suited to be put under the soil, preferable in individual holes (as soil inversion has more minuses than pluses). But he’s only completed that exercise on half his field, so I think he’s going to leave the other half un-dug as a comparison. I’m thrilled about this, because experimentation on a farmer’s part is a great way to effect lasting change. So I had a great day yesterday, visiting him and two other farmers, stopping for tea and bread, meeting people along the paths, and praying together.
His go-the-extra-mile compost pile (and my friend Innocent next to him)