Rebecca Eastwood, a summer field course volunteer from The United Kingdom, who stayed for a month and got to participate in the various activities carried out by A Rocha Kenya. Below is her story.
“It’s been a great experience for the past four weeks and we’ve had the opportunity to work on so many different projects which have been a major eye opener in terms of conservation. On Saturday 18/07/2015, we visited Kuvuka community plot in Gede where we learned about the ASSETS programme and Farming God’s Way.
It is amazing how one can practice sustainable farming on a small plot of land. For each crop, there were two plots, one depicting normal farming and the other one depicting Farming God’s Way. The key difference was that for Farming God’s Way, mulch was used to conserve the soil moisture and to suppress the growth of weeds and compost used as an organic fertilizer. The purpose of this plot is to demonstrate to the local people how farming sustainably can produce healthier crops with higher yields than normal farming, whilst being friendly to the environment in both short and long term. Having completed the short tour, we were set to harvest the maize.
This was a new experience for me, and I could definitely see a difference in the cobs harvested from the two plots. Once harvested, we uprooted the stalks and then dug new holes for the next crop which we filled with compost made of plant material collected from the plot, and then planted new maize seeds.
For the Farming God’s Way plot we had to cover the soil with mulch. This involved spreading back over the old layer of mulch, followed by the uprooted maize stalks, and then a final layer of grass which is grown specifically for the purpose round the back of the office. It really was amazing to see how sustainable farming can be, and how waste maize stalks can be reused.
As we worked ,we captured the interest of little kids who were playing nearby. This group of children who live in the vicinity came out to help; it was great involving them in the tasks and they got to learn a bit about Farming God’s Way as we worked. Our final job for the morning was filling little bags with sand to create pots for the seedlings in the tree nursery, before rounding off the trip with a taste of fresh coconuts. I must say it was a great experience to see how A Rocha Kenya is working with local coastal communities to promote sustainability and improving livelihoods.”