Friday, October 30, 2009

Look at the seed bed now!

It is just over a month since our very first lesson in trench-beds, when the seeds were sown in this bed, and see how they've grown!! By God's grace they've survived gale force winds, blistering heat, drenching rains and thunderstorms, all of which have happened here over the last month!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vegetables in containers

We are learning that any type of container is OK to grow veges in, as you can see from these pics. The mini-incubator on the left is cut from a plastic bottle, and is used to protect newly transplanted seedlings for up to 3 days, when it is removed. This gives the seedling a chance to recover after the shock of being transplanted!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Play dough with Sarah

The children from the Circle are treated to a fun session making play dough. For some, this is a first-time experience and they have no idea what to do with it. Patiently, Sarah shows them how to colour the dough and form it into shapes. The children love it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Compost making

To make a compost stack we layer newspaper, cardboard, dry leaves, wet organic waste, straw & manure and soil. The layers are repeated until you have a 1sq.meter stack. The whole thing is covered with an old blanket and a metal pole is inserted in the middle. This will indicate the temperature at the bottom of the stack, which should be warm and over a period of 3 months will begin to cool. The compost must be turned each month.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Potato Patch

We learn how to make a potato patch this week as Michael from Soil For Life demonstrates here. Layers of dry materials, straw, manure and soil are repeated in 1 sq.meter space. The seed potatoes are placed in deep holes and filled with compost. Looking forward to a pocket of potatoes in a few months time!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Eco Circle

Soil for life shows us how to make an eco-circle garden. The water bottle slowly waters the whole 'basin' while the sticks are placed in position to support the runner beans when they begin to climb. Once they grow, they will provide shade for the lettuces we planted in the middle of the 'basin'. Underneath the soil is a straw and manure mixture. Here the home-gardeners are mulching the eco-circle with dried leaves around each seedling.

Seedlings find a new home ...

This week our lesson from Soil for Life is how to plant vegetable seedlings. Earlier in the week, the home-gardeners got together to dig and prepare this trench bed at one of the resident's houses. Our motto (bringing the Community together) is really happening... we are getting to know (and help) our neighbours!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Flower beds in Children's Garden

Sarah, our Danish volunteer is working hard this week, creating interesting flower beds. Two loads of tree stumps have been sunk into the ground to create borders for the beds. We need lots more tree branches and stumps!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Outing to Zandvlei

It's the last day of the short school holiday, so we treat the children of the Circle to an outing at Zandvlei Environmental Nature Reserve. The weather is perfect, in fact it's 30 deg.C today! Here Mark, a conservationist, talks about the tortoise, one of the creatures they find on their tour. After the tour the children are shown how to propagate plants from cuttings. They are each given the opportunity to do it and will be able to collect their plants in 2 month's time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Seeds are put to bed.

Sandi, from Soil for Life, teaches us how to make a deep trench bed, using layers of dry and wet organic matter. Here she demonstrates how to sow the seeds and gives each runner bean a small twig to climb on. Note the cardboard which we are holding up as a wind-shield. The south-easter is blowing, which means summer is coming! Yippee!
The seed bed is in the Children's Garden, so that they can see the baby plants when they emerge from their sandy slumber...