It’s been a little over two months that I’ve been on the farm—I can’t believe how quickly time has passed.
We completed our first beekeeping training. With 10 participants, from ages 16 to 60, I was so impressed by their enthusiasm for learning this crazy, new skill. At times, beekeepers in this area are thought to engage in witchcraft, these new beekeepers are eager to train others and dispel this stereotype.
We’ve nearly completed construction on our second greenhouse, and are preparing to plant another generation of tomatoes in the other greenhouse.
In our weekly caregivers meeting, we made stories and laughed our hearts out. Pamela, Angeline, Helen, Carolyn, Rose, and Milka enjoyed my grasp of the local language, Dholuo, too much. Angeline told me, “Imora.” You make me happy. In fact, I was searching for a way to tell her how happy she makes me. No, rather, “imora malich”, you make me very happy.
I asked them, when the harvest is little, what keeps you coming back to the farm every week? “Our children.”
As far as we’ve come in building a stronger infrastructure at the farm, improving our assets, and investing in new ones, this is only the beginning of a journey to sustainability. We have inputs, and harvest, but securing access to a consistent market is still difficult. Most critical is providing means for self-sustainable strategies- that is taking our solutions and putting them into the caregivers’ homes. Along with that, is ensuring that the farm is a site for learning, so that the local community can transform our strategies into projects on their own farms.
What would make me tremendously happy would be to provide 50 kitchen garden kits to 50 caregivers, as a start. These modified drip irrigation kits represent a solution to water shortages. One study in Lesotho showed that such a solution can provide up to 90% of a household’s vegetable needs within 1-2 years. Rather than spending each day struggling to provide meals, this would mean years of caregivers growing their own food. Consider investing in these women’s ability to support their families for more than a day. Share our story with someone you know, and donate here: https://www.stayclassy.org/ritarose