Tag Archives: environment

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 http://www.sendseedstoafrica.org.

Thanks Joanne

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

Note:

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!

www.sendseedstoafrica.org

For now you may still find out what we are doing on the blog medwoman.wordpress.com. 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

joanne@sendseedstoafrica.org

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!

Best,

Joanne

Big Hug!

Thank you and have a SEED FULL Day!

Watermelon with seeds please!

IMG_0501 IMG_0502 IMG_0503 IMG_0504 IMG_0505 IMG_0506

I started my trial seed garden around May 15th.

It is only about 6′ x 8′ but I managed to fit quite a few plants and seeds into it.

I cheated and bought some plants that were already started.

I knew it was early and I was a bit concerned about all of this cold weather we have been having this spring. I even covered everything with plastic bags on the night they predicted frost.

I learned a great trick from my mother in law to stop grubs from eating the leaves without killing them by drowning them in beer.

You put crushed egg shells around the plants and the grubs don’t like to pass over the sharp broken shells.

I think I will try crushing them by hand in future though as the blender turned some of them into powder.

Here they are spread around the plants

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Here is my seed garden now as of June 13, 2013. I say seed garden because I will be letting a lot of it go to seed so I can collect the seeds to send to Africa.

I have planted:

broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, climber beans, cucumbers, yellow zucchini, green onions, basil, thyme, rosemary, organo from plants.

red & white potatoes, sunflowers and sweet peppers of course from seed

coriander, tarragon, parsley and cherry tomatoes came up from seed

in the ground from last year.

I  have  a blackberry & blueberry bush squeezed in there as well.

Isn’t it beautiful!

Through saving seeds to send to Africa I have learned more than my stomach can handle. I say my stomach because I feel sick when I think of the way Monsanto, Dow and many companies are destroying our food supply by genetically modifying our vegetables.

Round up is a Monsanto pesticide that kills plants. Monsanto developed a genetically modified canola seed that is not susceptible to Round Up.

In 1997 Round up was introduced in Canada and three farmers in Saskatchewan planted round up resistant canola. Their farms were adjacent to 70 year old Percy Schmeiser’s farm.

Canola is a self pollinating crop so the Round up resistant gene is spread to surrounding fields naturally.

Monsanto sued Percy Schmeiser in 1998 for planting Round up proof canola seed which he didn’t plant. Therefore a farmer who has been saving CLEAN seed each year to re plant would have the round up resistant gene in his seeds if it was planted next to a Round up crop.

If you want to read more just do a google search on Monsanto in Canada. There are many cases where Monsanto has sued farmers for using their PATENT seed and now thankfully many farmers are suing Monsanto for having their seed on farmers fields who never planted it.

We Must Stop Monsanto or we will not have CLEAN seed much longer.

I wanted to buy a watermelon so I could save the seeds for Africa. I went to Sobeys and was told that they don’t order anything but SEEDLESS watermelons.

I was also told I could get one at Knob Hill Farms so I went there and bought one.

I subsequently emailed Sobeys to show my distain and emailed Knob Hill Farms to thank them and tell them to keep up the great work.

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Out of these two pieces of watermelon I got 59 seeds.

Wish me luck that they grow in Africa.

I will plant one in my trial seed garden and see.

So if you have a watermelon this summer, save the seeds as they may not be around much longer.

Also if anyone has any seed from those beautiful field tomatoes from days gone by, save those or donate a few to The Toronto Seed Bank. They will put them in a vault.

Save Those Seeds. Thankx

Compost making in a hot climate

I am so excited!

We are well under way in Zambia.

Fredrick has finally got the computer and printer set up. I sent him the money to buy a computer so I could send him articles and instructions of how to grow many things. It probably would have been less expensive and a newer computer if I had bought it here but it was going to cost me more to send it than purchasing the computer.

He has printed off the step by step instructions on how to make a compost pit in a hot climate like Zambia. They certainly don’t waste anything over there as all of the food scraps, if there are any, would go to the dogs, chickens, oxen or cattle.

Growing-trees-under-Chitanthali-Malawi

This is a chicken proof stand to grow seedlings. Note the roof over head to give some relief from the hot sun and the chickens cannot steal the young plants.

This picture is compliments of Ripple Africa and so is the composting process which Fredrick is using in Zambia.

COMPOST MAKING

  • Compost: Compost needs to be made in April so that it is ready for tube filling in June

( compost can be ready for use in six weeks). Typically, compost should be made in pits

– a pit of 2 metres( 6 1/2 ft.)  long by 1 metre (3 ¼ ft) wide and I metre ( 3 ¼ ft) deep will produce enough compost for up to 8,000 small polythene tubes.

  • Compost making process: The first layer in the bottom of the pit is 10cm (4 inches) of forest or dambo soil. The second layer is 10cm (4 inches) of leaves or grass which should be compacted by walking on top of it. The third layer is 10 cm (4 inches) of manure. Except for the first layer, each layer should be watered with three watering cans of water before adding the next layer. These layers are then repeated in the same order until the pit is full. Normally. There will be three layers of each material in a 1 metre deep pit. The compost pit should be completed with a final 10cm (4inches) layer of soil which is compacted by walking on it, and the finished compost heap should be the same level as the surrounding ground.

Compost Layers

Final Layer- Dambo or forest soil 10cm
Manure 10cm
Leaves/grass 10cm
Dambo or forest soil 10cm
Manure 10cm
Leaves/grass 10cm
Dambo or forest soil 10cm
Manure 10cm
Leaves/grass 10 cm
Dambo or forest soil 10cm

Tube filling mix

Dambo soil 2 parts

Compost 2 parts

Sand 1 part

Compost provides the nutrients for the tree seedlings and vegetable seeds. This picture is also from Ripple Africa.org.

Mwaya-fruit-tree-nursery-Ripple-Africa