Successful, small-scale organic farming in the city

 

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Writes: Tjonane Matla

 

As we face the unknown challenges ahead. The Silo will continue to put our fellow farmers and regular readers first during the lockdown. COVID19 has changed the way we live, study, pray and even the way we interact with each other. Now, we are slowly coming to grips with the fact that many of these changes and costs will be felt far into the future. The Silo magazine therefore encourages individuals to make it a habit to grow their own vegetables. As we wait for the unknown we can take time off and practise what we call urban farming. A life time opportunity to assuage growing food to feed the nation.

When people think of farming they often think of big space, gigantic infrastructure and resources. A lot of people do not realise that farming can be done anywhere anytime. I have over the years fed my family, friends and neighbours with fresh vegetables grown from my farm in Leribe, in Maseru I opted to grow food in old car tyres in my backyard and through vertical containers due to the limited space. With time I learned that other farmers around the world including Lesotho have been on a quest to developed efficient and better ways to grow food.

The innovation presented today is an exciting technology for year round vegetable gardening in any country called Wonder Innovation. The product was founded in 2013 by Mr. Daniel Gitau and his nephew Mr. Dennis Muriithi. This innovation evolved from bag farming commonly known as “temo ea mekotla” in Lesotho. It is suitable for urban gardening and was first developed and tested where land farming has greatly reduced due to urbanisation. Farming is an important human activity in Africa and many parts of the world. The gardens are reputable for utilising minimal land and water as the conical shape takes advantage of vertical space; multi story gardens are also suitable for dry, non-fertile areas where soils are not suitable for conventional gardening and for large to small sized plots. You can plant a variety of crops such as spinach, rape, mint, beans, strawberries, tomatoes and onions. Other advantages associated with the Wonder multi-storey garden is that it can with stand any type of weather like floods and excessive heat. It is very economical on land use. One saves on labour. The conventional method allows one to plant 16 plants in a space of 0.37m² whereas this innovation allows plantation of about 120 plants or up to 150 depending on the variety of plants being planted.

 

 

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The Silo found it worthy to make the technology available to address the national outcry of food security. The Silo in partnership with Farming Wonder Kenya will launch the new product at the end of August 2020 in Maseru Lesotho. Training will also be offered and upon completion of the course the product will be made readily available for use. For training, installation and maintaining of the Wonder innovation storey garden please contact us email at; editor@thesilo.co.ls call +266 69500916.

 

 

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