The first vegetable plot for the community garden in Tshezi village has been planted!  The BI sent their Peace Corps Volunteer Sam (their unofficial permagarden expert) with a bag of seedlings to teach a group of TEBA workers from the Community Workers Program how to plant a sustainable, low maintenance, food garden.  After collecting rusty cans, cardboard, food scraps, straw, and wheel barrows of cow manure, it was time to start digging!

Nearly all the Community Workers are women and ready for labor-intensive work.

Once the hole was deep enough, the rusty cans were put in the pit, crushed and watered and then the layering began with the help of an educational chant:  “Mulch, soil, amanzi!  Mulch, soil, amanzi!”

Sam explains how the cardboard, food scraps, manure, and straw are collectively mulch that will serve as a sponge to soak up the water and slowly decay into soil-enriching food for the vegetables.

Soil covers the mulch and then plenty of water is added.  The layers are repeated until all the soil that was dug up is used.  The women worked tirelessly and were relieved to learn that their hard work today would pay off as the garden plot will continue to provide strong healthy vegetables for years to come with minimal weeding and watering.

Explaining the benefits of their new garden

Final step: planting the seedlings!

The community garden will provide food for the disabled and elderly members of the community and distributed by the BI’s Home Based Care program.

Nice and cozy in their new home!