As many of you know, I (Mike) just returned to Rwanda from a month-long adventure in Kitale, Kenya learning about agriculture and nutrition. I was a student in an OATS (Organic Agricultural Training Seminar) with an organization called Organics 4 Orphans. My initial reason for attending was to learn how best to grow gardens and crops in the rich, clay dense soil of Rwanda, which is so much different then the sand, loam, and silt soil of Saskatchewan. However, I was drawn into much larger and longer term concepts of growing health and growing soil. The idea is that in order to grow good food and make use of all the good nutrients in food, one first needs to have good soil. In order to have good soil you have to understand the living things involved: bacteria, bugs, molds, fungi, worms, nematodes and more. I learned about how they interrelate, and how I can work to encourage this living network to create healthy soil. As well, I wasn’t just learning for my own knowledge, but was taught how to teach others what I’ve learned in order to multiply the understanding of the value of land and its ability to produce so much here in Rwanda. Some of the exciting things I learned that I am bringing back to Rwanda include a more comprehensive understanding of composting, worm composting, manure fertilizing, and green manures. (At least, I’m excited about these things!) As well, how to grow intensively in small plots of land… which will go far to help the widows we will be working with to support their families and communities.
Hey, I got worms! I have had red wriggler worms since last year- they don’t produce as much as here in cold Canada as much as they would in a warm climate. That is so cool that you learned about them.