Life Expectancy in Zambia

Amazing stats from an amazing woman. Thanks

Letters from Lusaka

Yesterday the road in front of our house was like the Santa Monica Freeway, which is especially odd when you consider that we live 3 km out on a very poor pot-hole rock-laden dusty red-dirt road.  It’s nearly impossible to find someone’s home back here because the dozens of crisscrossing roads are unnamed, and there are no numbers or addresses on homes.  (When people come to visit us I have to give them road markers, “turn right at the three-way split and follow the bougainvilleas on your left,” then “turn left at the corner house with three German Shepherds who will escape through the electric fence and try to block your path,” etc.)

I figured the traffic was due to the half-dozen cardboard “Funeral Home” signs directing people how to get from Leopards Hill road (the main drag) to the neighbor three plots down from us who had erected a…

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We built the resource garden & tree nursery!

We did it! Mukutele (Welcome in Silozi)

I arrived back home to Canada on May 1st. 16lbs lighter in weight but gained a ton in knowledge. You don’t realize how much you can learn about survival, compassion and hard work until you have seen it done with your own eyes. I spent 30 days in Zambia Africa and came home with a renewed zest for what SEEDS is trying to do and confidence that we can do it.

I stayed in a guest house ran by Sister Cathy of the Catholic Church of Zambia, met the famous UBC-O nurses from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada, who have been training and learning in the hospital in Mongu and met other NGO’s all trying to do their bit to help.

With such a need for every thing there it is hard not to give. I ran out of money so I ate like they ate (sparsely), I slept with a net over my bed, shared a room with spiders and cock roaches that would put Texas to shame and struggled to get things done in constant heat that burns.

I met the rest of Freddrick’s (our manager) amazing family whom I now call my own, met amazing farmers of all ages and played with the wonderful innocent children whom we are trying to help. We had a hard working crew, lead by Freddrick and I had my little followers who helped me clear up brush and plastic garbage and plant the vegetable garden and trees.

We built the resource garden for farmers complete with drip irrigation and the tree nursery. We even painted a big sign on the gate! I had to make green paint as I could only find black & white and even made my own paint brush out of a duck feather.

In three weeks time, we handed out vegetable seeds from Canada to 12 female and 23 male farmers who lived fairly close (within an hours bike ride) to our Resource Centre. We are tracking the numbers in their families and I guesstimate we provided additional food crops for 350 people . That means we are potentially helping 315 children have a better variety of vegetables.

These crops should harvest in July which is during their dry season when they need the food most. The rainy season starts in October/November and their normal harvest is in January/February/March. Therefore they have to make that harvest last until the next harvest. A long time!

We have computer software to track our results so I will know more as our Assistant Manager Matindo records our stats and reports back to me in Canada.

We even received our first lot of tree seeds that were handed in by a 67 year old female farmer who we then gave a second batch of seeds.

I saw a wild Lion on the side of the road while on the bus in Kafue National Park and the orphaned Elephants at Lilayi.

I am blessed to be able to do this, thanks to the people who have donated funds so far. I raised the $600.00 Canadian dollars which it cost to build the garden and tree nursery and the rest of the money was my own. We still have much more to do and I look forward to a seed full year.

I am saving seeds again and hope to send the next batch in July 2014 so if you could help in any way please go to

Thanks Joanne

We are off on a new adventure!

SEEDS logo white

Socio-Economic And Environmental Development Solutions(SEEDS)

Is a registered Canadian charity # 80157 2736 RR0001. Your contribution is helping SEEDS to operate a seed bank to help the needy become self-supporting in Zambia Africa.

What Exactly Do We Do at SEEDS?

We collect non-GMO vegetable seeds in Toronto Canada, from two catering companies, a banquet hall, a pizza parlor and an organic grocery store and then we dry and package them.

Then we send the vegetable seeds to the people of Zambia, Africa.


Who in exchange gather tree seeds for our local and fruit tree nursery. We plant those trees in communities and also sell to National & Private Game Parks to plant to feed Elephants. The trees will be planted by our local staff and through our Echo-tourism tree planting projects.

If you are interested in coming to Zambia in August 2015 for a week to plant trees and a week at the famous Victoria Falls in Livingstone, one of the 7 wonders of the world, email and put eco-tourism in the subject line.


We are  currently sending seeds and “How to Grow” binders to connections in five cities in Zambia and have established relationships with governments and other echo-tourism establishments to provide trees to them.


Your contribution is helping SEEDS to operate a seed bank to help the needy become self-supporting in Zambia Africa. By providing the vegetable seeds, people are able to plant, grow, eat and save their own seed. They may sell the fruits of their labours or eat a healthier diet themselves.

It is through donations such as yours that SEEDS has sent almost 3.5 million seeds to Zambia.

We have assembled a team in Canada and Zambia whose sole vision is to protect the environment for the benefit of the public by conserving ecosystems or restoring ecosystems and bio-diversity on a long-term basis. We are helping people to grow a better variety of vegetables, earn a bit of extra income by selling the excess,  and selling trees to National & Private Game Parks to plant to feed Elephants and reforest local communities.

You are helping to raise funds, which help these programs immediately as we send vegetable seeds every two months. We provide “How to Grow” handouts for all of the seeds, both the seeds we send and the tree seeds they provide. It is our goal to grow trees for, food, shade, fuel, fertilizer and erosion control of the soil. We stress that the soil is the key to healthy plants so we teach “How to make a compost pit” which is so most important to replenish the soil.

Thus providing all the many benefits of trees and food to the marginalized peoples and elephants of Zambia.

The purpose of this web site is to provide environmental ideas, “How to Grow”instructions and hope to Zambian people.

I have purposely left the “How to Grow “instructions for our Western Climates in the instructions so anyone can grow any of the seeds listed on this site. Maybe you would like to start saving your own seed?

Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Tip: For a more detailed version. Download the printer-friendly version here.

Thank you for your support!

Email us at:

Check us out on Facebook:

Watch some video’s on Youtube:

Send us a Tweet:

That is my new adventure!

The web site is not quite finished yet but I expect to launch it towards the end of March 2014.

That is where you will find my new blog Seedful Sundays!

If you” click “to follow it you will get an email sent to you every time I write a blog.

We have many things in the works for 2014 and I hope you will join our adventure.

I am very excited as I was able to get a really good price on a flight to Zambia for the whole month of April in 2014.

I will be taking seeds and growing instructions to my connections  in Lusaka, Chipata, Kaoma, Mongu and Kalabo, Zambia.

I started packing in Dec.2013. I have a binder with planting and growing instructions for each area. I can’t wait.

I hope to build the enclosure for seedlings in the tree nursery, choose the sites to allow the trees to get big and set out the plan for the whole year. This photo is courtesy of Ripple in Malawi. They have been a big help to me. Thank you Ripple Africa!

The following list is an example of the seeds I am sending to each of my four connections.

Note:  it is best to let seed pods dry completely on the plant before picking seeds

STORE BOUGHT- I bought packaged seeds at the end of our planting season last July 2013 for 25 cents per package. I emailed the company and they confirmed they do not carry GMO seeds so they are good to send.

1 pkg-Bush beans, will grow like a small bush

2 pkgs-Broccoli, likes cooler weather, plant in winter

2 pkgs-carrots, will go to seed second year in ground

2 pkgs-Cabbage, also likes cooler weather

2 pkgs cauliflower, also prefers cool weather

1 pkg-cayenne(hot) pepper, good to grow around garden to keep out animals

2 pkgs-radish, quick growing, eat when young so not too hot, but let some go to seed.

2 pkgs-spinach,

2 pkgs-lettuce

1 pkg -red bell pepper

2 pkgs-tomatoes

1pkg-cucumber, mound soil

2 pkgs-peas, plant near cauliflower as it likes nitrogen

1 pkg- Italian parsley, good for soups, will keep growing and go to seed if you just pick leaves

1 pkg-dill, good herb with fish or pickling vegetables, will also go to seed

HOME GROWN- from my garden or locally grown in Ontario where ever possible.

Amounts are approximate:

3000-Sweet pepper seeds, not sure if they will grow, please let me know

2 peach pits, worth a try as they grow in SA.

20 watermelon seeds, hard to get in Canada

150 butternut squash, likes cooler weather

200 pumpkin seeds

200 yellow zucchini

20 pole beans, will grow up 8 feet tall, see trellis building instructions

10 sunflower seeds, will also need support as grow tall

200 papaya, paw paw seeds, worth a try for future generations, plant many.

50 coriander, lovely herb with rice

500 Honey Dew melon- you must plant melons 11/2 miles from each other

500 Cantaloupe melon- as they will cross pollinate and seeds will not be the best.

10 pomegranate seeds

1000 feed corn- plant squash under corn as pests don’t like stepping on prickly squash leaves

IMG_1204So join me in 2014′ as the adventure propagates and grows to full bloom, as I hope your 2014 will as well.

All the best! and Thank you again for the support!

Love Joanne!

You may contact me at

Donate Through Paypal

If you wish to donate with your credit card through paypal you may do so by clicking here

paypal-donate (1)

Thank you and have a SEED FULL Day!

Seeds has Charitable Status-Wueeee!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I just found out yesterday morning that we have an official charitable number  801 572 736 RR0001 so we may issue tax receipts.

We are only issuing receipts for $15.00 and up at this time, but any amount you can spare is welcome.

To issue the receipt I will need your full name, including middle initial, address and amount  and I will send the receipts to you prior to the end of February 2014.

Socio-Economic And Environmental Development Solutions (SEEDS), is our legal name.

Donate Through Paypal

If you wish to donate with your credit card through paypal you may do so by clicking here

paypal-donate (1)

You may also mail a cheque to:

 Socio-Economic And Environmental Development Solutions (SEEDS)

4 Browning Ave.,

Toronto, On., M4K 1V7

Or if you prefer, you may go to any Bank Of Montreal and deposit directly into our non-profit Business Account with the following information:

Transit # 0417

Account # 8986-442


Canada Revenue Agency has started a temporary supplement with an added 25% to the rates used to calculate monetary donations up to $1000.00.

So if you have not donated in the past 5 years and claimed it on your income tax, nows the time!

Our web site is growing at the moment but I will let you know when it is in full bloom!

For now you may still find out what we are doing on the blog We presently have four locations to send seeds to in Africa and are working on sending them to our Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

If you have any questions you may email me and I will sprout up to get back to you

Wishing you all a very Berry Christmas and Seedy New Year!LOL.

If you have already donated, Many, Many thanks. May you Stay Blessed!

Please pass this to anyone you think may want to assist in preserving our seed diversity, trees and elephants in the world or help people less fortunate than ourselves!



Big Hug!

Thank you and have a SEED FULL Day!

New First Time Donor’s Super Credit-CRA

Canada Revenue Agency has started a new supplement with an added 25% to the rates used to calculate monetary donations.

So if you have not donated in the past 5 years and claimed it on your income tax, nows the time!

Donate Through Paypal

If you wish to donate with your credit card through paypal you may do so by clicking here

paypal-donate (1)

We have saved many seeds but do not have the funds to courier them to Zambia.

It costs approximately $200.00 to send the seeds and now I have two connections in Eastern Province and one connection in Western Province to send the seeds to. Therefore I need to collect $600.00 in donations to send the seeds now as the rainy season has started.

Any donation would be appreciated as it all adds up.

See the explanation of how it all works with the CRA below.

Thank you! Joanne

What is the new First-Time Donor’s Super Credit (FDSC)?

A2. Starting in the 2013-2017  taxation year, the budget proposes to introduce a temporary non-refundable FDSC that will supplement the CDTC for individuals. This new credit effectively adds 25% to the rates used in the calculation of the CDTC for up to $1,000 of monetary donations. As a result, a first-time donor will be allowed a 40% federal credit for donations of $200 or less, and a 54% federal credit for the portion of donations over $200 but not exceeding $1,000.

Example 1: An eligible first-time donor claims $500 of charitable donations in 2013. All of the donations are donations of money. The first-time donor’s FDSC and CDTC would be calculated as follows:

First $200 of charitable donations claimed: $200 x 15% = $30
Charitable donations claimed in excess of $200: $300 x 29% = $87
First-Time Donor’s Super Credit: $500 x 25% = $125
Total FDSC and CDTC: $242

Example 2: An eligible first-time donor claims $700 of charitable donations in 2013. Only $300 of the donations are donations of money. The first-time donor’s FDSC and CDTC would be calculated as follows:

First $200 of charitable donations claimed: $200 x 15% = $30
Charitable donations claimed in excess of $200: $500 x 29% = $145
First-Time Donor’s Super Credit: $300 x 25% = $75
Total FDSC and CDTC: $250

Q3. When can I claim the FDSC?

A3. As the FDSC is a temporary credit, you can only claim it once from the 2013 to 2017 taxation years.

Q4. Who is considered a first-time donor?

A4. For the 2013 taxation year, an individual will be considered a first-time donor if neither the individual nor the individual’s spouse or common-law partner has claimed the CDTC in any of the five preceding tax years.

Q5. Can both my spouse or common-law partner and I claim the FDSC?

A5. As a first-time donor, the FDSC, along with the corresponding CDTC, may be shared by you and your spouse or common-law partner in a particular taxation year. However, the total amount of donations that may be claimed for the FDSC by both individuals cannot exceed $1,000. When it cannot be agreed on the amount of the credit that each of you will claim, the CRA may apportion the credit.

Q6. Do all of my donations qualify for the FDSC?

A6. No. Only donations of money that are made after March 20, 2013 will qualify for the FDSC. For taxation years from 2013 to 2017, a new line will be added to Schedule 9, Donations and Gifts to identify the eligible portion of the charitable donations that you have claimed that are donations of money.

Q7. Where can I get more information about the FDSC?

A7. The CRA is committed to providing taxpayers with up-to-date information. The CRA encourages taxpayers to check its Web site often. All new forms, policies, and guidelines will be posted as they become available.

In the meantime, please see the Department of Finance Canada’s Budget 2013 documents for details.

Date Modified: 2013-03-27

We are expanding with Lisa Shamai!

Well things just keep getting better!

Lisa Shamai Cuisiniere and her staff are now saving seeds for us as well.

follow us on facebook!/pinkysplate

Here are some pictures of what Lisa’s staff saved for me and I separated last evening to dry. They are sweet peppers, pear( not sure if they will grow in Zambia but we will try), papaya, Honey Due melon and cantaloupe.

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 My dog loves it when there are pieces of pepper that come with the seeds. She sits and waits very patiently. This was a bonus score as Lisa did a canning workshop, where they made salsa. Each child had the opportunity to customize their own to taste and take a case home.

The kids had left a lot of the pepper with the seeds so it was great for Wylie, but not so great for Lisa’s food costs.

Lisa is quite amazing with all of the things she does and I do so appreciate her saving seeds for me. Thanks Lisa. 

If you would like to make a monetary donation through paypal, please click the link below. I will have the actual DONATE button in the new  SEEDS blog coming soon!

Thank you soooo much! 

The Silozi Seed Bank & Trees For Elephants Benefit Dinner

Well our first benefit dinner was a lot of fun.


We had great food, great company and great prizes.


Here are some pictures prior to the event and of our great volunteers. Enjoy


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African Dinner Benefit

Please join us for dinner or after for the entertainment.



You will have a great time and it is for a great cause!

Note the damage done to the trees by the Elephants.

Note the damage done to the trees by the Elephants.

Date: September 28, 2013

Where: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10

1083 Pape Ave (South of O’connor Dr.)

6:00 Cocktails (Cash Bar)

7:00 Dinner


African Babotie: Meat or Vegetarian Kale, Mango and Peanut Salad

Corn on the Cob                         Dessert Assortment


Advance Ticket $45 (Sept 20) Price at the Door $50

ALL Proceeds are used for The Silozi Seed Bank and Trees for Elephants

For Tickets or Inquiries please Contact Joanne

Zambia garage Sale a huge success

What a great two days!

My friends Sabrina, Sorcha, Heather and Anne donated items to sell for The Silozi Seed Bank & Trees for Elephants.

We had great weather and considering it was a long week end we did very well.

We made $400.00 which will pay for the hall rental and bar tenders for the African dinner benefit on Sept 28,2013

The best part was the lemonade stand and cookie sale.

Thanks to all for a great success!


If you can spare $5.00 or $10.00 to donate I would really appreciate it. You may donate from your credit card via pay pal. Just click on the link below. Thank you so much!

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Fenced enclosures for Tree Nursery

Hello everyone,

It is amazing how things fall into place.

Ellena mailed the last batch of seeds to Fredrick on May 1st but I did not put the Post Office Box number in the address I gave her so the seeds did not make it. Live and learn!

Now My friend Erin is going on a trip to many countries in Africa and will take 100,000 pepper seeds plus a variety of other seeds and mail or courier them to Fredrick in July 2013.

This is the package I am getting ready for Erin to take.

Note the seeds in jars now in a plastic bag in the 2nd photo.

100,000 sweet pepper seeds + variety of other seeds

100,000 sweet pepper seeds + variety of other seeds


Once Fredrick gets the seeds he can start handing them out 100 per envelope and then start collecting 25 tree seeds in the plastic milk bags so we can grow more trees. He has already collected some tree seeds himself but I want to start the three step Silozi Seed Bank project trial.

It will take at least 1 year for the trees to be hardy enough to sell to the national & private game parks to feed Elephants.

I am hoping Erin can mail them or send them via DHL or Fed Ex. I am still working out the details.

From my research it will cost me approximately $184.00 to send the seeds from Toronto via DHL and I hope to send them every two months as that is how long it has taken to collect 100,000 seeds this time.

Fredrick has to build pole and grass fenced enclosures for the tree nursery so people don’t steal the growing seedlings. I think that should cost about $200USD.

If you can spare $5.00 or $10.00 to donate to build these fences I would really appreciate it. You may donate from your credit card via pay pal. just click on the link below. Thank you so much!