Saturday, August 28, 2010

Farming God’s Way – Timothy Centre


Just over a week ago, Karl conducted a two day Farming God’s Way workshop for community members living around the Timothy Centre.  Between 25-30 were expected - about 70 attended, a good number of them being community leaders.P1050376

The workshop focused on a biblical foundation for farming, simple technology, and sound management principles.  In 18 other African countries yields have been up to 10-20 times what is normally expected. 


Participants were able to see first hand the demonstration farm at the centre.


The two day workshop concluded with the planting of a “Well Watered Garden”.  A neighbour of ours allowed us to use a portion of her land to plant a 6mx6m garden.  Last season Nalongo harvested absolutely nothing!  Here she is with one of her maize plants.


From our small demonstration plot at the Timothy Centre (8mx16m) we harvested about 40 kg of maize!  (see first photo)  Yet she harvested no maize with which to feed her family.


The “Well Watered Garden” is laid out.

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Holes are dug every 60 cm apart; even Arleen gets in the act!


Fertilizer inputs are added…



Even children want to help.


Maize seeds and beans are carefully placed in the planting stations…

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Since this was planted in the dry season, we needed to water the planting stations.  Nalongo will continue watering every day until the rains start.


The ground is then covered with a blanket

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…and we pray for rain!

This picture was taken a week after the workshop…the maize is already pushing through the blanket.


Towards the end of the workshop, a Muslim lady was so struck by the practical biblical emphasis, and in particular for God’s provision for her, that she put her trust in God!


Many of the participants asked when the next workshop might take place.  It is hoped that through the relationships that were developed and with follow up, that many like this Jajja (grandmother) would be helped in providing for her household.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

African Bee Adventures

Uganda is blessed with abundant flora which attracts honey bees, providing a great opportunity for farmers to supplement their incomes. 

At the Timothy Centre we have begun workshops for those interested in learning more about beekeeping.  Lesster Leow, an expert in handling the African bee, has helped to get the beekeeping training program up and running.  In July we held a workshop and another is scheduled for the end of August.

P1030855 The workshop spans 6 days and most of the training is done in the on site apiary.  Participants learn proper apiary management, how to bait hives (to attract bees to enter empty hives)…


… placement of hives…


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…proper care and handling of a hive…P1030979


…and how to  identify the queen.



Participants were trained in caring for 4 types of hives:  log hives, traditional rattan hives, langstroth and top bar hives.

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At the end of the 6 day workshop we were able to harvest our first comb of honey!


The strength of the program is not only the hands on experience they gain, but that participants will receive on going follow up in assisting them to establish their own apiaries.


City Life


Even though our work is based in rural settings, much of it  requires trips to the city of Kampala for meetings, buying supplies, etc.  Last week we traveled in so Karl could attend a monthly meeting of the Farming God’s Way network group and Arleen could meet with one of the officers in the Ministry of Education.  Here are some typical scenes in the city…

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Driving requires keen attention, as roads are often very crowded with bicycle and motorbike “taxis” carrying passengers and various loads zipping in and out of all the other traffic.

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There are also many trucks transporting security guards back and forth the their work posts.

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Shopping venues range from very modern malls to roadside stalls selling fruits, vegetables and almost anything else you might need.

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There are also many street vendors taking advantage of traffic jams to sell all manner of goods including toys, shower curtains, mosquito nets, phone chargers and shoes…

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You do find rather unusual notices posted at times, as Lizabee  found out the other day…

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And at times there are animals grazing in small grassy spots and searching for tasty bites in rubbish piles.

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Kampala also has some beautiful and historic sites, such as Namirembe Cathedral, high on one of the main hills overlooking the city. 

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