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Organic Food Gardens - What are we up to?

We have been developing an organic food garden prototype in our backyard. What we have learned through doing it on an experimental basis allowed us to duplicate the knowledge elsewhere. The gardens that are therefore established are designed to meet the optimal requirements to be able to sustain a healthy crop. Our aim is to make it as cost-effective as possible. It must be possible for anyone wanting to start a garden to do so and maintain it virtually cost-free. Organic materials for composting are sourced from the local communities where gardens are established. Herbicides, pesticides, and commercial fertilizers are avoided. 

Organic farming is based on holistic, ecologically b
alanced agricultural principles involving soil fertility, crop rotation, and natural pest control. The basis for organic farming is actually very simple: Allow nature to do what nature does best. Through our organic food garden projects, we help individuals and families to produce food in a sustainable way making use of land and resources that are available to them.

Fast forward to 2023 and here we go again. It finally seems that after 7 years the drought has been broken. Let us continue to pray! Here is our latest effort.

The methodology:
- Quality seedlings (if available)
- Well prepared soil
- Organic mix (homemade compost and bone meal)
- Water (no too much not too little)
- A spade and a hoe
- A little bit of sweat and a little bit of time every day
- A dog
- The tires are optional

 October 2020, after the first good rain in a very long time. And then the drought came again!

First the Basics 

For any crop to grow it needs the following:
- Water
- Soil
- Nutrients
- Sunlight
- And of course an enthusiastic gardener!!!

In turn, the gardener needs the following:
- A regular supply of unpolluted, ground, rain, or tap water.

- A piece of land that can be cultivated and safeguarded against animals and at times severe weather conditions. The size of the garden is usually determined by the needs of the consumer or consumers as well as the availability of land and resources.   
- Raw organic material that can be composted.
- A location that can provide adequate sunlight.
- Basic gardening tools.
- Seeds and/or seedlings.
- A seasonal crop planting guide.
A successful gardener needs to have:
- A basic knowledge of plant nutrition, plant diseases, local weather conditions, companion food planting, and a willingness to learn and experiment.  
- A good work ethic and a love for cultivating crops. A spade a day keeps the weeds away!
- A willingness to share its knowledge and the fruit of its labor with others.

Basic Objectives
The aim is to produce food in a sustainable way that is giving consumers (individuals, families, or communities) access to fresh foods on a consistent basis. It can also have a commercial purpose. We help others to establish their own or personal food gardens that meet these requirements while making use of land and resources that are available to them at no cost. In this case, the individual or the family very much determines the outcome of their efforts. Communal gardens do have a different dynamic as one often needs to involve other role-players, for instance, a school, church, local government, or property owner. The outcome is in this case determined by both the “gardener” as well as the other role-players.  

How can we help?
We do a simple assessment of the needs of the person or persons that wants to establish a garden. This differs from just a need to have a self-sustainable garden on the one end of the continuum, to establishing prototypes that can serve us training centers on the other side of the continuum. We set out a plan of action that includes
safeguarding the land, preparation of the land, crop selection, planting, weeding and watering, pest and disease management and lastly harvesting. The garden is the classroom. People are trained and assisted by working alongside them. Evaluation and follow-up. Progress is monitored continuously. Work ethic and standards. We incorporate the guidelines of Farming God's Way into our projects.

Our other resource pages:
► Composting
► Soil Biology
How to grow:
► Potatoes

Community Food Gardens


African Leafy Vegetables
Indigenous Foods

Organic Hydroponic
Farming Without Soil

Farming with Fish and Crops

Grow Together is an initiative of GAP Ministries