For quick food around the home, Rizaeli Samweli, a Champion Farmer in Mwembe village in Kilimanjaro region, got creative and set up a vegetable kitchen garden in front of her house. These usually come in handy for people living in apartments who lack the necessary land to grow crops. They hang pots from the roofs; make use of the balcony and whatever available space they can pack a pot.
However, it wasn’t for lack of land that Rizaeli planted spinach in a sack. Rather, it was for convenience. She wanted something close enough from which she could pluck vegetables for a quick meal in her home.
How did she do this?
All she needed was a sack, a mixture of fertile soil, sand and farmyard manure, gravel, a bucket and a big strong stick/pole.
For measurements, she mixed one bag of soil, half a bag of sand and quarter of manure. She fixed the strong pole in the ground, cut the sack at the bottom to create two gaping holes, and dressed the pole. Using a small bucket, also open at both ends, she placed it inside the sack to straddle the pole. Once the bucket was at the bottom of the sack, she filled it with gravel on the inside and the sand, soil and manure mixture on the outside. She then lifted the bucket out and repeated the process of filling gravel in the middle and the soil-sand-manure mixture on the outside. Once the sack was full, the pole was able to hold it in place.
Thereafter, she poked holes in the side of the sack and placed transplanted seedlings through the holes and into the soil on the side of the sack.
Rizaeli prepared this garden in May this year by planting spinach (locally known as sukuma wiki) and has already harvested three times. She intends to keep the garden for another eight months.
“The beauty about this garden is that it requires very little maintenance,” she says. “For water, I ask the children to wash their faces over the sack in the morning and their hands before meal times.”
This little water is all the garden needs to survive. Due to the gravel, there is very little weeding required.
GWI EA, Uganda