Update from the United African Farm Project
With the storage shed up and installed, the next structure to build is a covered washing station where the harvests can be washed and prepared for market. The green manure crop has been cut and ploughed into the ground, adding vital nutrients and organic matter to build the soil, ready to form more beds.
Vicki, Mama Queyea, Thuch Ajak and Max spoke at the June meeting of the West Gippsland Permaculture group where they were well-received and offered so much support. An exciting conversation was had with a local beekeeper to catch a swarm to form a hive to aid in pollination during the growing seasons.
I've never seen a farm spring from the ground so quickly - these folks have super-human farming powers! The next working bee is scheduled to happen. Soon to go in the ground are their prized crops such as okra, cassava, Egyptian spinach. Traditionally grown in a dry climate, it will be interesting to see how these crops will perform in Gippsland.
Congratulations to the United African Farm, who via an application auspiced by Sustain, were awarded by the Andrews Foundation a $20,000 grant to further support further strengthening and expansion with the purchase of critical equipment and infrastructure, including a cool room and a rototiller.
This is in addition to the award of a Pick My Project grant for the Pakenham Community School Farm, allowing a major expansion of the edible garden spaces at Pakenham Secondary College as well as the planting of a garlic crop cultivated by members of the United African Farm. For both projects, this has been made possible by the extraordinary generosity of Vicki Jones and her family farm Tarago Valley in making an acre of land available for community use.
Congratulations to Thuch Ajak, Mama Queyea Tuazama, Abiola Ajetomobi and all members of The United African Farm!
Read a recent media article about the United African Farm initiative here.