Minnesota Farmer


Hoffenital

Health and wellness issues are a prime reason for these trips we make.  A major part of this project is the promotion of gardens.  Queen of the gardens and the largest success story is the garden at Hoffenital parish.

Hoffenital parish church has a school nearby, something very common in the area.  The uncommon part here is the orphanage and the 13 gogos (grandmothers) who run it.  These ladies have started a garden project to help support themselves and the orphans that has become a shining example of what could be.

One of our earliest groups to make the trip to the Ondini helped them along by installing a pump and pipes from a nearby creek to the garden.  When the sprinkler system was turned on, the ladies were dancing in the garden for it meant they no longer had to carry water.

Since then the ladies have expanded the garden to the point that they can not only support themselves and the children, but are also paying back by supporting the Zamani Garden Project (an Ondini Circuit, Shetek Conference joint project) that got them going.  Now they are taking another step up by expanding the garden.

Now a garden in this area needs fencing since many goats and cattle roam freely in the area.  The animals are owned by someone and carry the brands of those owners, but are basically let out to fend for themselves.

The Hoffenital garden was recently granted money to add new fencing, the sod had been turned over by a small tractor and plow, and we were there to help plant about 100 pounds of seed potatoes.

Now the sod could have used a few passes with a disk as far as we farmers were concerned, but it was planting day and plant we would.  Trenches were cut by hand with the traditional African hoe which works well for the job, a bit of fertilizer was placed in the trench, potatoes were placed in next and it was covered.  A bit of water from a leaky hose was sprinkled over the top and we were done.

I have no doubt that the ladies will have this part of the garden in shape eventually.  Labor is cheap, and they have plenty of people looking for work in these rural areas.  Members of the congregation volunteer their time to help keep the gardens going, and the parish pastor is likely to bring gifts of garden produce when she makes home visits.

The pastor has her own garden at her parsonage across the valley.  Some pastors can support themselves with diligent and energetic use of the garden.  It is part of the way they are showing members of their parish what can be done in a garden plot.

Since it rarely freezes here, produce can be grown year round.  Cooler season crops like potatoes, carrots and cabbage in the winter and corn, edible beans and squash in the summer.  The key here is access to water and fences.

We are proud to be supporting this project with our labor and money.  This is something that can really make a difference in this area of Africa.

Next, we make a visit tot he Weenen Game reserve.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: