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pollinator
Posts: 419
Location: Western Kenya
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Now that I can post again... some updates.  Geez its been so long I don't know where to begin...

One of my last permies posts was a plea for help in time and energy management.  I wasn't doing very well keeping up with the workload.  It did not escape my husbands notice, and led to some big ugly arguments, and the involuntary reduction of my garden area. 

But after the initial anger and offence, I decided a smaller area was quite okay, as I was better able to manage it and manage it well.  So currently I manage the toilet bowl (a ravine that probably covers 1/2 an acre), the upper banana forest (Maybe 1/16th of an acre) and the yard (maybe 1/8th of an acre).  And  the husband leased out about an acre, and has his projects in the remaining.  Of course one of the leasees is planting maize with chemical fertilizers, but that is beyond my control at this point.

Anyway, I'm okay with this arrangement, and I think I'll keep it this way, and refuse to take on any more space, even if its offered back to me.  I sat down, replanned everything so that I still get everything I want, albeit squeezed in smaller space.  In fact since I am doing so much better in managing the smaller area, I don't think the actual quantity of production will be adversely affected.

I have been working at it faithfully.  I terraced the hillside going down into the ravine, creating additional growing space, which will be mostly for perennial vegetables and cassavas.  I have a 3 sisters plot, a couple rows of sweet potatoes, a plot of peanuts, a plot of bambura ground nuts, and my standard veggie garden.  Scattered inside all the plots are bananas, taro, sugarcane, Napier grass, pineapples, papayas, pigeon pea, and tropical fruit trees... I'm probably forgetting some stuff.

I have also added some to our animal production since my last report. 4 new ducklings were hatched, and 5 chicks (which will be four soon, as one is dying).  I sold and/or ate most of the young roosters from the previous hatch.  (9 chicks hatched, only 1 hen and 8 roosters!). I used the profits to buy 2 new hens - and add some much needed fresh genetics to my little flock.  (One if them is the naked-neck variety.).

I had one lonely old rabbit who has lived alone for a couple years because the rabbit hutch at our old house was in terrible condition.  I finally designed and started building a new hutch at our new house for a new rabbit project.  It will have five large cages: one for the breeding buck, one for does, one maternity ward, one for weanlings, and one for sale/eating stock.  I have finished two cages (doing one a month) and have added my poor lonely male two lovely wives.  The first if which has already given us 5 beautiful kits.  I LOVE baby rabbits second only to baby ducks.

I have also rented a shop which has on-grid electricity power with the plan of running my incubator again.  I hope to raise Poultry for sale as well as rebuild my own flocks.

Well, that's a good overview of what's growing on here.  Are we making progress or going backward?  I hope we are making progress!
 
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
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Hi Maureen, I always love hearing what you're up to!

I think you are progressing, a lot! Doing more with less is what the future is all about, isn't it?

Terracing the hillside going down into the toilet bowl sounds like quite an undertaking, and a very good idea! Any chance you can post a photo? Are your terraces perfectly level (or as much as you can make them)? Or do they tilt back into the hillside or down into the ravine, or to one side or the other to run the water a bit? Are you pretty confident the terracing will survive the rainy season?

You seem to have gotten back into the animal business very quickly after previous reverses, good on you! How far away is this shop you're renting? You always describe your property as being so far from everything!

Anyway, glad to have you back!

 
Posts: 8
Location: Talakag/Bukidnon/Mindanao/Philippines
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Maureen Atsali wrote:The challenges...
-All of the soil issues I have touched on before.  It has improved, but it is still pretty pathetic.  I dump all the mulch and compost on it I can, but the tropical conditions eat through it faster than I produce it.  As for the erosion factor, I haven't done much about that yet, except to try and keep the soil covered in mulch, planted, or otherwise undisturbed.  More erosion control is on the to do list this year.
- By far my biggest losses come from my nearby neighbors - on two fronts.  Their domestic animals which escape or free range onto my property.  Cows, pigs and chickens.  And its not just accidental... I have found their cows TIED in my garden. Secondly thieves of the two legged variety.  They will steal anything.  Sugarcane, greens, fruits, fish from the pond, the dog's chains. The man next door tries to sneak in and cut my Napier grass for his cows.  This last fall my husband caught 4 of that man's kids digging up sweet potatoes and hiding them in the coat of the littlest one.  A few weeks ago someone dug up two young papaya trees that were about 4 feet tall and took the whole trees.  This is a cultural problem here...people pull each other down.  This mentality of "if I can't succeed, neither should you."  Aside from that, especially during the dry season, people are experiencing hunger. 

My husband thinks a good fence will curb that problem.  I am not so optimistic.  It might deter the animals, but I think it will just be a challenge to the people.  Either way, we can't afford to fence the entire 2.5 acres right now, and we have so many other projects on the table.  And projects are a subject for another post.

- The third challenge is ME.  I pretty much handle all the farm work alone.  My husband hates farm work, probably because he was forced to do it as a child.  He runs a tree and timber service.  I love the farm work, but find 2.5 acres an awful lot for one person to manage.  And I am slightly disabled and there is no mechanization.  I can only put in about 2 hours of hard labor a day.  Ohh and add to that that I am highly distractable.  I get side tracked, have too many things going at once, and have a hard time finishing a project.

Fourth is finances.  We survive on 400 USD a month, give or take.  Because we have no debt and no bills and life is fairly cheap here, we are able to survive. But it doesn't leave much for savings, investments, improvements, or emergencies.  We had a terrible problem last month when my 13 yo needed an emergency surgery.  Really opened my eyes for the need of some reserve, which really requires more income.

Always open to new ideas in solving these problems!



Hi Maureen,

I am on the Philippines since 2008. There I work on 4.5 ha. I have made much similar experiences and so I have also thought about solutions to problems we have in common. At least it's great, that you are already able to feed many people with what you grow on your farm. I just go through this post from the beginning:
- Erosion: I am planing to make canals along the niveau lines. For this I mow down the bushy area with a bush scythe and then find the niveau lines using a hoss niveller. The hoss niveller ismade od 2 straight stcks, 2 nails and a 5+m transparent hoss. The ends of the hoss are nailed on the upper end on a 1.5m and 1.65m long stick. The longer stick gets a mark at the hight of 15 cm. This Stick is pushed into the soil unto the mark. Then you let the other stick stand beside the first and mark both at the same hight around 50cm below the top. Then you fill the hoss with water (may be colored) up to the mark. Then you go with the second stick along the niveau line. In a distance of 2 to 3 m you look for the point with the same level than the 1st stick. This is there where the water level is at the mark when you let the stick stand on the soil. There you push another stick into the soil as marker. Then you go back to the 1st stick and push another stick as marker into the soil. Then you go with the longer stick of your niveller to the 1st mark and repeat the process. I plan to digg above the lines and bud up and compact the soil below. Then pull the mulch over the so created hill. The hill I plant with a dense line of Nappier grass and maybe Vetiver Grass which is very good for erosion controll and even naturally forming terasses. The young shoots (up to 1.5m high of Nappier grass we (My 5 year old son Pasquale and I) eat. They are sweet and juicy. The fibres which we can not cut with our teath we spit out after removing the juice and soft tissues through thorough jewing. This is a complete food and if you eat additional leaves of herbs, bushes and trees and flowers, you get the cross-yests for digesting the grass and additional clorophyll. In the nght, I can feel that my body repairs its cells after I had eaten like 10 to 20 sticks of Naper grass. And a month ago I had 3 single weeks with little interruption, where I ate much Napier grass beside fern, other greens and few fruits. There a tooth which was broken and already covered with meat, started to grow again. On the hill I want also to plant other plants like Banana and Papaya. Above the canal I want to plant cover crops to be mowed regularly to get mulch for the hils. The more the area shapes into terasses, the more you can plant higher feeding plants on the terrases. The problem with hale, we don't have. Strong rain we have also. I saw to 2 drawings about rainfall. The first showed a land bare of forest and only the high mountains are having forest. There around the high mountans are short (few minutes to few hours) strong rains. Ths is our situation and we are near high mountains. The other drawing showed a land covered with forest and there is longer equal distributed misty rain. In Malaysa (on Borneo) is a project were a big forest was planted and they got regular rain back. Even neighboring areas benefith from this project. Only during tmes of strong winds the clowds are blown away. I came also across Mucuna bracteata, a Velvet bean which can buid up 30cm of humus and organic matter in 3 years. I red you planted already amaranth which brings P into the soil. This is what the Mucuna bracteata needs. In the first year it grows slow. From then on very fast. It's not easy to get seeds. It's also still on my list. Else I also started to collect different kinds of cover crops locally. I also made the experience that seeds are hard to import and if this was possible, many didn't grow.
- I want to plant thorny bamboo around my farm. This makes a dense unpassable thicket. The shoots are eadible (at least cooked). I tried already to make seedlings from cuttings. Most are growing. First I have to secure the boundaries, which is a complicated thing because our neighbours trespassed on almost each side of the farm, there is no law, the local Government don't work and the Department for Environment and Natural Resources is affraid to go there to settle the boundaries. There is one Ombudsman for the whole Island of Mindanao. Currently I write a report when I have some spare time. We have here the same cultural problem. My brother in law said it is different in his town. If somebody is successfull with something, others try to make it even better. This seems to be few excemptions.
- Your third challenge ist also my challenge. Except that I am not disabled and my wife loves farm work but wants her own projects where she want to ignore that the soil is infertil which reflects in the results and on. Principally I don't need my own projects, if I have somebody to guide on a meaningfull way that makes sense and is sound, I am verry willing to follow. But this I don't have, so I have to deside for the projects to be done and I have to do them as well. In one or two weeks I want to go to the capital of our Province to look for Nastus Elatus (good to eate raw - another Power food) Bamboo cuttngs. There I want to post a bill at the universitiy for agriculture students who want to be my companions. I offer food, accommodation and a share of profit.
I am interested, how you keep your animals. We had pigs, but they didn't grow well, maybe because of the infertil soil. May be I can adapt some of your practices.
best regards
Christoph
 
Christoph Day
Posts: 8
Location: Talakag/Bukidnon/Mindanao/Philippines
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I was reading further in your posts and give some thoughts together:
You said, you made a salad from the weeds. That is very good, because weeds have 10 to 80 and more times the nutrients than their cultivated relatives have. In addition I red in “Die Kulturpflanzen der Tropen und Subtropen” that people in those regions should eat more green leaves to escape protein deficiency. At the moment I eat mostly cooked food and I observed that If I have around 60% non-starch vegetables, I can stand the time between meals easy, while if I eat maize or rice with very little dried fish (very salty). I am mostly hungry before the next meal even I had eaten twice as much rice or maize than if I have vegetables.
Head-Letuce seeds are sold in tropical countries, because they can grow in the highlands at 1500m and above.
The same with Lentils. We planted Lentils on around 700m above sea level and they did not flower even after one year.
Sweet Pepper: it germinates very irregularly. This also the Bingenheimer Saatgut AG stated. When I was sewing Sweet Pepper this year in a seedbox with 1” diameter rolls of banana leaves filled with compost, Seedlings germinated over a period of 3 month. The fastest were those we had forgotten for a few weeks in a bowl. The bowl was exposed to rain and so the seeds were soaked in water for weeks.
Unsupportive spouses: as you might have also noticed already – I also have this. And I just let her now doing what she wants, anyway she don’t make much changes on the farm. I engage myself with others and since she noticed that I did this, she even became a little bit nicer. Lately a Moslem bought some trees (fast growing Legium- and shade tree) from me. He saw my ram pump and invited me to come over to his uncle and to his father in law to plan and realize water supply systems with ram pump. When I arrived at the father in laws place, I learned that he is also practicing organic farming. They directly started digging for a reservoir. Sadly later the son of the owner of the place, which had allowed the operation, stopped us. Now they must look for another spring. What I want to say with this is: It’s much more enjoyable to be with conscious people with a progressive drive.
When you were talking about carrying the water I thought this could be something for you. Small Ram Pumps can work with as little as 3l/min of Water. After I was with the people which started digging for the reservoir, I finished and published my report about my own Ram Pump Project. I Still had some questions and the owner of the forum answered them and now I have a bunch of tasks which shall insure, that my Ram Pump will run smooth as soon as I have accomplished my tasks. He encurraged me also to make additional a small Ram Pump for drinking water. While doing this, I could also help you with planning your own Ram Pump. This small Ram Pump could cost you around $100.- + piping and may be a storage tank and some labour for digging canals for the pipes and reservoir and may be a little foundation or core (for safety with lid) for the Ram Pump.
I would be interested in the seed source from china which you found. That’s also interesting for my location.
Do I understand it correct, that your house is made of mud? Did you use a foundation? If Yes what material did you use and how thick? Did you make a wall out of natural stones one to two feet above ground and started with the cob then or did you start with cob direct on the ground? I saw a sketches and pictures of houses in Ghana where they start with the cob direct above ground, but it looks like arid climate there. The climate on your place is more similar to ours. That’s why I ask. What is the make of your floor? I live in a house with lots of wood borer and I want to build houses of mud in the future.
Pleasant thoughts and best regards
Christoph
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
Posts: 419
Location: Western Kenya
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Hi Dave,
Thanks for your comments, sorry I am late to respond!  I don't think I have any pics of the terraces on this phone... But I'll take a look when I finish typing.  They are not perfectly level.  On the ends of each terrace are bananas, which are planted in holes... My attempt was to angle each terrace to direct water flow into the banana holes, which would then overflow to the next lower terrace.  Aside from that they tip slightly away from the hillside, but have a "lip" of stones along the edge in an attempt to prevent water from sheeting over the edge.  They held up great through the first rainy season, and are midway through the second.  The upper terraces didn't have any soil - it was already eroded away, so I was digging directly into the subsoil. I have added compost and mulch and it has mostly stayed in place.  Some of it ended up in the bananas, but that just made happy bananas!  Now the question is... What will happen during the drought?

I just checked... No good pictures. I have one pointed in that general direction but the three sisters and cassavas are too overgrown to see the hillside behind them.  I'll take new pics... After I weed them!
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
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Hi Christoph, thanks for your comments!  it's great to hear from someone who has a similar climate and (unfortunately) so many of the same challenges.

I had no idea Napier grass was edible for humans!  I learn something new everyday on this forum.  I have always grown it as animal fodder.  We have sugarcane to chew, but now I'll have to try the Napier grass.  But what do you do about the nasty little itchy hairs?

I found the Chinese seeds through aliexpress.com. A lot of funky stuff there, but most of the seeds I ordered did well... Better than the seeds I bought from certified Kenyan seed companies.  And they were cheap, with free shipping.  So if they failed, I was out less than a dollar.  It was a good gamble.

I made my terraces with a primitive A frame level.  Just a cheap spirit bubble level on a frame.  A lot of eyeballing and guess work.  I can't say my terraces slope x degrees away from the hill... But it seems to have worked.

Interesting about your teeth... I have really bad teeth and have had to have most of my back molars pulled.  I wish I'd had the tools and information that might have saved them sooner. 

A lot of stuff in your posts...for the sake of time I'll pm you about some of your other points.  Great info though, I hope to hear more from you!
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
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Location: Western Kenya
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I am having a sleepless night, so I have time for a quick update.

  I have been crazy busy.  My employee quit again... Its become an embarrassment, as no one seems to stay more than 6 months, even though we pay about 150% of the area average and are pretty undemanding.  I went about 2 months with no help.  Just hired someone last week.

I have been starting to harvest the second season stuff.  The beans in my 3 sisters did crazy good.  The maize... Not great, but not horrible.  The squash... They are still going.  They always seem to start slow...then when I am about to give up and rip out the vines, they suddenly go wild.  So I am waiting and hoping they will take off.  But the beans were fantastic.  I grow a lovely purplish semi vining type.  I don't know their real name, so I named them Amethyst beans.  They are NOT popular with the locals. I think because they want a bush bean that won't tangle in their maize.  Two problems with my 3 sisters this season:  1) the dogs are trained to chase hawks.  They chased the hawks through my 3 sisters... Got all tangled up in the beans, and pulled over a bunch of maize... Several times.  2) I was late to harvest the beans.  Some germinated right in the pods. Some pods opened and dropped their beans.  Some got mold and mildew.  I guesstimate I lost a quarter of my harvest because I was late.  But still managed to get more beans than ever before.

The weeds won out...I can't even find the bambura groundnuts in my wetland garden.  I started trying to dig them out... But it was too hard.  Luckily I have another planting in my upper bananas that has done well and out paced the weeds.

Some experiments that succeeded this season:  an unknown mildly hot pepper seed I got from China.  Labeled simply "giant chili pepper".  Has done fantastic.  Delicious peppers, not too hot, as long as my hand.  Still flowering and setting fruits.  Carrots.  Its against my rules to grow carrots because they won't go to seed in my climate... But I wanted some carrots.  And they did well, even in my heavy clay.  Can't keep my kid's out of them.  Tomatoes.  I have bombed at tomatoes almost every season.  I think there might be blight in the soil.  But I spread plants everywhere, in every garden, including my flower beds.  I have green fruits.  I think I will get some tomatoes.  Bunching onions.  The cow ate my bulb onions out of the nursery bed (I didn't even know cows like onions!) But the green bunching onions are doing awesome.  Tree collards.  Happy in my terraces.  Eggplants.  First time ever in my life to grow egg plant.  No fruits yet, but the plants look good.

I make nursery beds wherever my husband burns charcoal.  After he is done there is always a lot of charcoal dust and bits left, the weed seeds have been burned out...I go in and dump the pee bucket there and throw on some raw compost... I call it lazy mans biochar.  I reuse the same spots until they get too weedy.  So I was cleaning the nursery bed for my last planting when I came across something that looked like a gooseberry or a small yellow ground cherry.  Just found the berries on the ground, couldn't find or identify the mother plant.  Tasted  them.  Yum!  A little sweet, a little citrus-y.  My 3 year old also ate them and loved them.  Forgot about them, went on to plant the bed with black nightshade, tomatoes, onions, and egg plants.  Now I've never grown egg plants. Turns out as seedlings, they look a lot like black nightshade...and a lot like a third identical plant that popped up...except the third plant had a hairy stem.  I didn't know if eggplants are supposed to be hairy.  Tomatoes are hairy, and they are related... And I was too lazy to google it.  So I transplanted them all - laughing at myself because I knew one of the three did not belong, and I was planting a weed.  Well, by happy good fortune the hairy weed has turned out to be the mysterious gooseberry like fruit.  Do they have gooseberries in Africa?  I know, I know, that's what the internet is for.  I'll try to get a pic of it tomorrow to post.  Hopefully its not toxic.  But my daughter and I had no I'll effects the day we ate the berries off the ground.

Still trying to catch up... Weeding. Planting out more taro whenever I find new baby plants and suckers.  Trying to tame down the wetland so that its ready to plant for the dry season.  Putting in more sweet potatoes... Trying to time it so there will be an almost continual harvest throughout the year.  Storm blew over sine cassavas, so I need to chop up those stems and replant.  Kids have already started stealing the peanuts, even though they are not mature...oh what I wouldn't give for a little of the high voltage electric fence we used on our horse farm in Vermont...  And my chick brooding project is going very well...my flock has gone from 7 to 44...with another 20 or so eggs pipping as I type.

By the way Dave...my shop is 3 miles from my home... And we have no car.  So I am walking six miles every day to go turn eggs and feed and water the chicks.  Time to fix my bicycle I think.
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
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Location: Western Kenya
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My thread is boring. It needs a pic.  This was taken back in sept...that tangled crazy mess in the maize are the beans which did so well.  Behind that I think you see cassavas.  Somewhere behind the cassavas are those terraces!  I promise to take some new photos in the coming week!
 
Christoph Day
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Location: Talakag/Bukidnon/Mindanao/Philippines
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Hi Maureen,

Middle October I visited my former landlord in Cagayan de Oro. He told me, that he and the kids around him ate the young shoots of Napier grass when he was small because it was so sweet. He became a tall guy.
Yes, there are these tiny hairs. I can not confirm, that they are itchy. After removing them from the skin there is no irritation anymore. I don't mind the hairs. Maybe J figured out how to hold it without getting much of then stuck in the skin. Maybe I make a slight turning movement with my hand so that the hairs break and don't enter into the skin anymore. There are different varieties of Napier grass. There are with many, little and no hairs. On my farm, I think I have a variety with moderate hairiness. On the place of my wife, the Napier has many hairs but I don't treat them differently. In traditional Celtic medicine, they used branches with thorns and needles to spread and by this weaken the energy of illnesses. So by handling the Napier grass, you get a free reflex-zone treatment on your palms. I can not remember when I had to pull out the hairs of Napier grass from my skin anymore and I remember, years ago, I did pull out hairs of Napier grass from my skin.

Thank you for the tip with aliexpress and sharing your experiences with it. I think I will also try to order there.

I would be interested, to see your chick brooding project. I am planning on making Paddock shift with goats and chickens. Maybe I can get some impulse of how to start.

best regards

Christoph
 
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Hi Maureen

I love your project thread and I thank you for keeping us updated. I wish you more and more success.

Would the fruit you're talking about be a cape gooseberry or a tomatillo? I am not good at plant identification but we have a similar looking fruit here in Kiambu, referred to as nathi.

On your problems with neighbours and employees, have you considered that it could be witchcraft? I used to live in an urban area and with my faith, discounted such stories but having lived in a rural set up recently and seen what I've seen, I would be remiss to not inform you of the sad possibility.😔
 
Maureen Atsali
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Location: Western Kenya
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Well. I am going to attempt to post a photo of the goose-berry like plant that I accidentally (but happily) cultivated and planted out.  My brother inlaw confirms that it is indeed edible, but he didn't know its English name.  And I have forgotten the Luhya name.
 
pollinator
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looks like cape gooseberry ( its from South America )
popular here in France for putting on cakes as a decoration . sells for 40 euro a kilo! ( organic ) I have some my GF likes it for breakfast ours dies off in the autumn,but being slightly warmer where you are you might be able to keep it as a perennial Wooooooo!  great fruit slightly pineapple taste

David
 
Maureen Atsali
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Hi Maureen Njeri,
Where are you located, if you don't mind my asking?

Yes I am aware that witchcraft is alive and well in rural Kenya - but I had never considered that might be the source of some of my headaches.  Hmmm.  Something to think about.
 
Maureen Atsali
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Location: Western Kenya
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I just tried to post a pic of my terraces... But it doesn't seem to have appeared.  I'll wait awhile before trying again, just incase my internet is lagging.

We harvested groundnuts today.  (Peanuts for you Americans.). Although the neighbor kids still filched some, I was able to get a pretty good harvest, and this time fully mature so I can save some for seed.  We just yanked plants today, tomorrow I will have to go back and dig, as about half of them broke off the plant and stayed in the ground.  Nuts!  More work!  Ground nuts are one of the crops that does really well in the toilet bowl (ravine). 

We are also working on putting a fence around our compound (yard).  Keep poultry and our livestock in... Everything else out.  We are starting with barbed wire. But will be putting chainlink over it one section at a time, as finances allow.  The husband was pounding in fence posts today - which have all been painted with used motor oil to deter termites.

We also finally added another female goat.  Poor Caesar, our buck, has been alone with the cow for months.  He LOVES the cow.  We went to the animal market in Maraba, which runs once a week on Saturdays to buy a doe.  The animal market is FUN!  Although it's definitely a "boys club" and there is this network of dealers and agents that I don't really understand... So my husband does the negotiating.  I am terrible at bargaining.  Prices are high right now because of the approaching Christmas holidays.  But we ended up with a 2 year old doe - skinny and in poor condition - for about $30.  I am confident that with a dewormed and some vitamin injections, she will be a nice addition to the farm.

I took a picture of the market very early in the morning while it was still quiet.  Try to imagine that an hour later that paddock was crammed full of goats, sheep, cattle and lots of men!

 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
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Location: Western Kenya
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Trying Again to post a pic of the terraces. My internet is misbehaving, I think. 

The terraces are hard to photograph, since there are trees and bush or bushy crops on every side.  This photo shows the top few steps.  The bushy line behind the terraces is the boundary with our not so nice neighbors.  I pile all my brush and twiggy branches there - anything the  goats don't eat, and that is too small to use as firewood.  The thornier the better!  The idea was to create a dead hedge to keep the neighbors livestock and kids from crossing the boundary.  Lower down it also catches and slows the  water that pours off the neighbors steep and eroded hill - which we are at the bottom of.  I joke that every time it rain's, I get a little more of his farm.  But its not really funny - he has a huge problem and doesn't see it.

 
pollinator
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Hi Maureen.

It's a shame that there isn't a social remedy for your social problems. I guess it's the mindset you mentioned that keeps people in a state of contrived helplessness that keeps you from being able to use suggestions like a labour for crop exchange system for the local kids, or a trade of garden space for a portion of their yield. That's sad, and a bit disturbing.

I am glad to hear about your successes, especially amidst your obstacles.

I was wondering, in reading about your sweet potatoes and your husbands, if you've made a comparison of yield per square metre for the two methods. Also, do you grow okra? And were you aware that many people plant okra and sweet potato together? They are apparently mutually beneficial.

I didn't see if you had made mention of any green manure crops you were using. What grows in your area? I have heard of sunhemp being used as such, but am otherwise unfamiliar.

I am really glad you are experimenting with terracing in the toilet bowl. When you first described it as such, terracing was the first thing to spring to mind. Especially in areas with seasonal or flash-flooding, making even small changes to how your landscape accepts water can have huge effects on hydrology, which in turn can have huge effects on the shape of the land and its microclimates.

Maybe I read too fast, but did you mention the source of the unpleasantness with your neighbour whose land is slowly flowing onto yours? Was it the deliberate cutting of livestock forage and staking animals out in your garden?

Also, I had a thought when you mentioned the dead hedge. Do you know if black locust will grow where you are? The reason I ask is because it, or a tree with some similar characteristics, sounds like exactly what you need. They are hated by people with nice, soft tractor tires for the huge thorns they produce, which, I think, would be a great deterrent for normally barefoot people stealing your produce. If I am thinking of the right tree, I believe they drop their thorns with their leaves. In addition, they also host nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and are often used as a mulch tree, besides. And the wood, if it gets that far without being poached, is highly prized for its antifungal properties. I believe the seed pods are even considered animal fodder.

What is your opinion of dogs? Are they kept in the area? And can you get one should you decide to? Are there other barriers to dog ownership, or would it not make sense in terms of a household/livestock guardian and companion? Many of the problems you are dealing with I would handle with a nice big livestock guardian dog, but I don't know how life differs for you in ways that might make a dog less useful. The fact that you are expanding your animal-based projects and might have an excess of animal-byproduct scraps that could easily go into feeding a dog (you don't want to feed chicken to your chickens, after all) is another thing that suggested this idea. Perhaps something huge like a Leonberger might be too much, but something more compact but muscular, like something with a pitbull lineage, could be an option.

Please keep updating us as you have been. I am happy to hear of your successes with seed experiments. Making full use of the local ecology is important, and usually overlooked, but is the practical way of approaching sustainability, and you look to have started that way. I love the little ground berry story. But experimenting with plants that aren't native, that may thrive in your specific microclimate or that of the toilet bowl, that is thrilling. Keep up the good work.

-CK
 
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Maureen, I admire what you are doing, growing, building. I was born and raised in Kenya the last year of British rule there. Ive got a warm spot for the cheerful Kenyans I remember. My Dad was a scientist and moved us all to America. Does malaria come back? My Dad got it there.
I hope the diet and health choices are working for you again. I'm curious what you have found out recently?. Are people eating sukumo wiki (kale), posho (maize), sweet potatoes as staples still? Can you tell which carbs work best for you, if any? Have you found any legumes, spinach, tree leaves, etc high in protein that will grow there? I think it's preferable not to need to cage animals if at all possible. By not having many if possible. What about a aquaponics or fish pond? As they say Lake Victoria is getting fished out there may be a huge growing demand for that there? Can you ask your husband what the African name for Lake Victoria is? Have you considered fish?
Moving is hard. Moving and leaving the soil, gardens, trees, animal structures, water, etc behind and starting over is hard. I've done that too. The weird thing for me was in America I preferred to live simply. I lived without power, running water, heat, etc here for 45 years. At my Dads house I slept out in the yard all Winter. I was young and resilient. I'm beginning to want more creature comforts now. I ended up with PTSD symptoms here. That made country living much more tolerable. But it's made starting over difficult when I moved. Now I'm looking to simplify.
I'm curious what you would do if you had more income or cash?
 
Maureen Atsali
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Hi Chris
I would love to do a yeild comparison between my potato crop and my husband's, but it seems like we have planted different varieties, so it won't be a fair contest.  I thought we both planted the 3 month variety, but it looks like I did an ooops and took a 6 month one instead.  The leaves look similar - I'll take a pic of the two vines and you'll see how easy it was to mistake one for the other. 

I have tried growing okra, and it has done awful.  Plants never get more than knee high, put out maybe two pods, and then fizzle out.  I hadn't heard of okra and sweet potatoes growing together, maybe I'll give it a try in the next rainy season.

For green manures we use sunhemp and cowpeas - which are both great because they have edible leaves, and the cowpeas of course give the peas and can also be fodder for the cow and goats. (They do not care for sunhemp).

Problem neighbors... Stealing anything and everything, whether its sugarcanes, ground nuts, amaranth greens, avocadoes - you name it!  Mostly its the kids, but I have an idea they are sometimes sent by the adults.  And I have caught the father cutting Napier grass himself.  And their cows "accidentally" get loose, and you know... Re-tie themselves in my garden.  Free range chickens strip off all my tree collards.  And pigs... Well don't even start me on pigs. 

I don't think there is black locust here...our thorny monster trees are acacias.  And we have none on our property!  But there are plenty of thorny bushes, thistles, and stinging nettles to pile in the deadhedges.

Dogs - I have 2 - just local mongrel breeds.  They are trained to chase Hawks, mongoose and monkeys.  They aren't much good at alerting me to human predators unless its night or I am personally present.  There are too many kids coming and going constantly.  I don't think I could even find any large breed LGDs here, unless I imported some.  They just aren't here.

Thanks for your post!
 
Maureen Atsali
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Hi Jeremy,
- You asked if malaria can come back - my understanding is there is a type of malaria parasite that can go dormant and "hide" in the liver - and pop up later at an opportune time (when your immune system is low).  This type is never "cured" it just goes into remission upon standard treatment. 
- The standard Kenyan diet varies a bit from region to region, but ugali (maize flour cooked into something like polenta) is still the big staple, served with greens.  Sukuma wiki (collards) still a popular green to escort ugali.  Sweet potatoes, bananas, cassavas, and taro roots have lost popularity, but are still regular foodstuffs, especially for the poor.

For me personally, I still eat almost everything.  Eat whats readily available or go hungry!  I haven't sufficiently built up my animal populations to be able to go fully lowcarb. I eat a lot of eggs and greens from my gardens.  What I really try to avoid are the processed carbs and sugar - wheat in particular makes me really sick and spikes my sugar (and cravings,) off the chart.

We do have a small fish pond, although we haven't used it for two good years now - its a primitive system and very labor intensive.  Every six months it has to be drained, fish harvested, and the pond cleaned.  I don't have the physical strength to shovel out a foot of accumulated fish poo and swamp sludge from the whole pond (although it makes beautiful black fertilizer.). And I am terrified if the African leeches.  Holy smokes, they are huge!  Still, restarting the fish pond project is on my to-do list...but way down toward the bottom. 😜

What would I do with more income?  Oh I have a very long list of projects that are all waiting for money.  I could hire she strapping young men to do some of these jobs that are too much for me physically.  I could put up fences to protect my crops.  I could finish the housing for animals - an absolute must to prevent  thieves.  I could finish stocking out my livestock so I am at full capacity.  I could install a biogas digester and improve my solar power system.  The possibilities are endless!

Thanks for your interest!
 
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Hello, Maureen. I will be visiting Western Kenya soon, and possibly setting up a biogas system for my friend's mother. We have spoken at length about thievery. At first, she didn't want to admit how endemic it is, feeling that this would portray her people in a negative light. When talking about it, she almost always attributed it to those who are least related to her. She is Nilotic, of the Luo tribe, so tends to attribute most negative behavior to those of West African origin. But, obviously, if someone is stealing your carrots, and you live in a village where everyone is from the same tribe, it's bound to be a distant or not so distant relative.

My friend lives in the city, works for a foreign corporation, and earns about five times the Kenyan average. This affords her a very modest lifestyle.  When she goes to her home village, she immediately enters her family's home, and avoids interaction with other villagers. This is because they see her as a very wealthy, cash cow. She makes 350 US dollars per month. People show up at the door claiming that their baby is sick,  that they have a flat tire, or with various other stories, that have a financial solution. They always mention her good job. Her response, is to ask them if they think those companies are hiring in this village. Of course they are not. Those people would have to get their asses to Kisumu or Nairobi. They would also need to educate themselves.

She has advised me to stay out of sight and to not interact with those beyond her immediate family. My European ancestry, marks me as someone who has money to give away.

I assume that your husband is from the immediate area where you live. Do you think that your place is being targeted more than most, because you are not from there? Are your neighbors aware that you and your husband are not wealthy? Do they know that you are a relatively recent arrival, and that your family don't come from the White Highlands, or other areas of Kenya that were taken over by the English? I guess when it comes right down to it, I'm asking if you believe that the targeting of your farm is strictly based on the resources that others want to steal, or is it a racial thing? That would seem to be a very difficult thing to overcome.
.....
My brother is married to an Aztec woman, in a poor village in Mexico. When he first arrived, he was the crazy Gringo who didn't burn his fields or kill his snakes. But now, his place looks like a beautiful parkland. While  neighbors work in the Sun, producing low value maize and sunflowers, his family works in the shade of avocado and other trees, producing a much healthier diet and many times more income on the same land. He's in a position to sometimes employ his neighbors for harvesting and other tasks. They get to see firsthand, a better way of doing things. Some have changed their own methods of managing their land. Thievery is not a problem for him, at his home farm. He has another acreage that is some distance from his home. He can't have a well pump, a decent gate or other things over there, because they would be stolen.
 
Maureen Atsali
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Hey Dale,
I'm excited to hear you are making plans to come to Kenya at some point in the future.  Be careful though - the political situation here has destabilized.  We have Kenyatta who won the rigged election and Raila who is declaring himself "the peoples president"...so we have demonstrations that tend to become looting riots and a scary brutal police force that terrorizes citizens and seems to answer to no one.  Its sketchy to travel around.  I have business I need to take care of with immigration in Kisumu, but I have been delaying it because of the unrest there.  If you do come, maybe we can arrange a meet?  I am not far from Luo territory.  My husband is a Luhya - they are neighbors and the two tribes are friendly and amiable.

Although I cringe to hear your friend say " don't socialize outside her immediate family" - she does have a point.  This is a post-colonization culture of learned helplessness and dependency.  They have been conditioned by the British and the swarms of missionaries that come and go to expect that every mzungu (white/European) is wealthy and exist only to provide free handouts.  You will be targeted because of your color and these folks are shameless in begging and conning.  Dishonesty and corruption are cultural norms.  But as long as you keep in mind that's what you are dealing with, there is no reason to hide from people.  You can just smile and say, "sorry, I have no money.". Or my new favorite is to turn it around on them.  If someone asks me for 10 Bob I hold out my hand and ask for 20.  That baffles them, and amuses me.  If someone asks me for a soda, I say, " hey, I am the visitor here, you are supposed to buy ME a soda.  I'd like a coke please!".  Its just a matter of saying no, and predetermining where you want your money to go.

I have been here for almost 7 years now.  Locally we are well known and most people know we are all in the same boat.  It wasn't just finances or eco-friendly building that prompted us to build a mud house.  We didn't want a big, expensive looking house that would have pegged us as wealthy and different from our neighbors.  (Being inter-racial is enough.) We are rarely disturbed by requests for cash these days, but we get a lot of requests for free veggies, mostly from relatives (most of the village is somehow related), especially during the droughts.

So your question about whether the stealing was racially motivated...I actually think not.  Its just NORMAL in this culture to steal.  Period.  The neighbors that bother us the most, were bothering my husband's father long before I came along and we moved back here.  In fact when they divided the family farm, they purposely put my husbands piece along that neighbor's entire boundary because they figured my husband was the only one harsh enough to deal with their shenanigans.

Everyone worries about thieves.  Housewives keep their chickens in the house (not a coop) for fear of someone stealing them.  Kids are the worst - especially if you have anything sweet - sugarcanes or mangoes.  They are like a swarm of locusts.  When we built our new rabbit hutch, my husband insisted it must be built against the outside wall of our bedroom, so we could hear if anyone messed with it at night, and its built like fort Knox.  For rabbits!

As I wrote this I thought I might sound like I was racist or bigoted - so I asked my husband, as a Kenyan, what would you say to an outsider about thieves?  His reply:  "Kenya is just Kenya.  Everybody steals."
 
Maureen Njeri
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Hi Dale,

As a native Kenyan, I second Maureen's comments. Yeah sure it sounds really bad, but it's true, human nature being what it is. Be safe during your visit please.
 
Maureen Atsali
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I forgot - I wanted to attach pictures of the fort Knox rabbit hutch, for your viewing pleasure.  The space underneath is going to get a big window, (with a locking wooden shutter, of course) and be converted into the new duck palace.  Currently the ducks live in the old chicken tractor - but they are overcrowded and the tractor can no longer be moved - termites ate all the wood.  I am not super happy with the new duck palace - it's going to be hell to clean... And not keen to have duck smell outside my bedroom window... But, oh well.
 
Maureen Atsali
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Another comment about the rabbit hutch - it is really sort of a cabinet which holds up to 5 individual cages (currently I have two).  I wanted to be able to remove the cages for thorough cleaning and easy access to the rabbits if needed.  The hutch is quite tall, to keep out of dogs reach, and I can't reach inside nicely without standing on something...thus the idea of removable inner cages.  The cages can also be put down on the grass as sort of rabbit tractors.

The bottom of the hutch has bars - its not solid - so that the rabbit pee passes through, hits the bottom iron sheet, runs down the gutter and dribbles into the white bucket you see on the side.  I dilute the pee with water 1:7 and use as a foliar spray - its a natural insecticide and fertilizer.
 
Chris Kott
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Very nice hutch system, Maureen. I like the removable cage aspect, and the fact that they can allow you to tractor your rabbits, after a fashion. Do you collect the rabbit droppings, or do they drop down and roll down the corrugated sheet metal underneath? If they are just deposited on the ground, what do you have planted there?

Are you using the stinging nettles you have as a foodsource, or as animal feedstock? Or do yours differ from the ones often blanched and then treated as spinach?

Are you composting? I ask for two reasons: one being that you mentioned that you grow sunhemp, but that your livestock don't eat it. So you harvest the edible greens, and then chop and drop, I suppose. Two, because Bryant Redhawk has a really awesome thread on soil building on this site, and a lot of soil improvement suggestions involve compost and compost extracts. The link is posted below.

https://permies.com/t/67969/quest-super-soil

One other thought I had about the sunhemp that your livestock don't like is fermentation. Have you made silage before? I have had conversations on this site with people who use silage not only to retain nutritional value in stored chopped forage, but to make previously unpalatable vegetation taste better. I have even heard of cases where undigestible elements (really tough veggie matter) are used to feed fermentation that adds nutrition to the silage from the action of the yeasts on what would otherwise pass right through the animal. All you would need would be an environment that you could deprive of oxygen, like a pit, ideally with some plastic sheeting of some kind, but you could achieve it easily enough just by having a large mass of silage packed tightly together in a pit.

That whole business with the neighbour tying his cow in your garden seems moronic in the extreme. Is that not a huge investment to leave sitting unwanted on someone else's property? And who's liable if she actually gets loose and hurts or kills herself?

As to the chickens, that's a real quandry. I mean, if they started to be lost to increased predation or something, and it happened in part because they were allowed to roam everywhere, would it be your fault if they died on your land? Let's say you had nothing to do with the situation, but had, I don't know, a local raptor bird frequenting your property for a chicken dinner regularly, and they happened to be the neighbour's chickens, because you knew about the bird and kept your chickens tractored and under shelter. I suppose you'd be accused of calling the predator bird down on his trespassing chickens?

Good luck, in any case. Please keep us posted. I hope your hard work continues to pay off.

-CK
 
Maureen Atsali
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I was weeding sweet potatoes this morning and remembered that I would post a pic of potato leaves for identification purposes.  The oval leaves produce a white potato.  The upside down leaf with red veins produces a red-skinned, white flesh potato.  The leaf with 3 points produces (I think?) a yellow/orange fleshed potato.  Then there are the 5 pointed ones...one is supposed to produce a purple skinned, white flesh 6 month potato, and one is the fabled 3 month potato.  When I was planting my vines I was simply told "get the one with 5 points - that's the 3 month variety.". I picked mostly the ones with deeply divided fingers...and I think it was the wrong kind, because its been 3 months, and I got no tubers.  My husband seems to have planted the other type - 5 points, but not separated.  His don't appear to be ready in 3 months either, but they are close - maybe by 4 (which is still better than six).
 
Maureen Atsali
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Another recent addition to our farm: turkeys.  I know virtually nothing about turkeys, apart from the wild ones in our Vermont horse pastures, and the frozen ones in the supermarket.  Nothing like putting the cart before the horse!  But I was offered a good deal on this pair, and decided to snatch them up before somebody else did.
 
Maureen Atsali
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Hi again Chris!

Yes, we collect the rabbit manure, and it goes straight in the garden, sans composting.  The wire mesh on the bottom of the cages is a bit too small for the manure of adult rabbits to pass through, so we collect it once a week when we clean the cages.  Baby rabbit poo does pass through, and we just sweep it off the iron sheets and out of the gutter.  (The trouble with rabbit poo, the seed of their favorite fodder weed, blackjack, passes through their digestive track, so I am essentially spreading weed seeds.  But I have come to appreciate blackjack as one of my most helpful and useful weeds.  Rabbits, goats and the cow all love to eat it, it grows anywhere, it is medicinal and I hear edible for people as a famine food, but I haven't tried it.  As a garden weed it is easy to remove, provided you don't let it get too big...and then it goes right back to the rabbits...so its almost a crop unto itself.)

Do we compost - yes!

Do I make silage - no.  I have read about it, but never really had a reason to try it, since there is plenty of fresh fodder, year round.  This is because we have an area of swamp/wetland.  If we lose that, or the drought season becomes more severe (both real possibilities since someone is mining the rock formation that channels all the rainwater into our aquifer.) Then finding a way to store fodder for the dry season would be a must. 

As for the liability of other animals on our property.  Isn't that a can of worms?  Presently we don't take any responsibility, other than to be neighborly and tie the stray cow in a safe place.  Technically we could complain to the area assistant chief for the losses they have caused us...but we haven't.  We are in agreement that a fence is the only real solution to the animal issue.  And there isn't a good solution for the human problem.
 
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Do you use the sweet potato leaves for food for your family? If so, do you find that the different varieties taste differently, with some being better than others? I'm curious because my next experiment in the kitchen will be to learn how to prepare and eat sweet potato leaves. Other than simply dropping them into boiling broth, I need some ideas and recipes on how to use sweet potato leaves. Any suggestions?
 
Maureen Atsali
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Su Ba,
We eat the sweet potatoes leaves only once in awhile, and I usually mix the leaves of different varieties...so I really can't say which type tastes better.  I usually try to pick the youngest, tender leaves, chop them into fine strips, and then stir fry with onions and tomatoes...or whatever other aromatics are available...garlic, sweet peppers, hot peppers.  I am not very creative - this is how I cook almost all my leafy greens. 
 
Dale Hodgins
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This plant has been used to make itching powder, which was sold at one time, for those who wanted to play a horrible joke on someone. I haven't seen it for years, so I assume that it has been made it illegal. It is a tropical plant, that would make a walkthrough your barrier, highly unpleasant.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucuna_pruriens

You would want to be sure that it can be contained, and not take over your whole property.

If stray chickens were a problem for me, I would eat them, and bury the evidence. Cattle, are harder to hide, but I'm sure there's some way to make them sick or at least make them sick of eating at your place.

It's hard for me to think of mild measures like this. If I were poor and someone was stealing my food, this could be their last act. But, each to his own. Your problem seems to be with one particular family. Are they preying on other families in the area? Do you think that you would have community support, in driving them from the community. When I was 14, I led a group of young people, in removing our worst citizen, from the 5th Street Louth area in St Catharines Ontario, Canada. We didn't physically attack him. He had cost us money. We conducted a low-level, ongoing campaign against his resources, until he saw the wisdom in leaving. I guess it would be important to see how well-connected that family is politically, within the community. I doubt that you would receive any help from the authorities beyond your village.

I met a fellow who worked for the World Bank, and was stationed in Kenya. He had neighbor problems, and hired a Masai guard. This guy had an automatic weapon, a small dagger, and a sort of billy club. Most often, only the billy club was required. Obviously, this was not cheap, but having him there for just a short time, let the neighbors know that he meant business. Just the sight of this guy was enough to put off most thieves and other intruders.
 
Christoph Day
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Hi, Maureen,

Here is a Video of how I eat Elephant-grass (= Nappier-grass)

I hope that will make you going. It.s delicious anyway.
If your plants have enough water and you throw soil on the plants, they make new shoots.
So, enjoy watching a human Gorilla.
 
Maureen Atsali
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Dale, you crack me up!

If I could catch a chicken...

I will tell you that I had toyed with the idea of spreading some rat-poison laced ugali in my sukuma plants.  My fear was that my dogs would get into it before the neighbors chickens.

Keep in mind that my poultry also free ranges onto their side of the boundary as well.  The only difference is that they aren't growing anything that chickens like to eat, and they had already harvested their maize before i turned the turkeys loose.  When they planted their beans, they complained about my poultry ruining their beans.  I told them I will confine mine if you confine yours.  They did, so I penned up all my poultry and spent money on commercial feeds.  But as soon as their beans finished flowering, they turned theirs loose again.  😛 hmmm, wait till they see what a turkey can do.  No, that's my evil alter ego thinking aloud.  I hope we will have chainlink around our compound before the next planting season, so my poultry will not harass them. I would rather model respectful and ethical behavior than lower myself to their level.

They aren't likely to leave, as this is ancestral land passed down for countless generations.  And the kids from this family have been a hassle to other neighbors.  They get caught stealing and handed over to their parents, who do nothing.  (There are Like 10 or 12 kids there, I can't even keep track of them all.)
We just happen to be the closest, easiest target. (The grandmother will even cover for them.  They cut a tree on the boundary line (not allowed) and it fell on my cassavas.  When my husband called for the boy who cut the tree, the grandmother came instead and said she cut the tree!  I'm trying to picture granny hacking through a 10 inch trunk with a machete?! )

We have discussed hiring a night watchman - a masaii.  I think I even mentioned it awhile back in this thread.  If you hire one masaii here, they tend to bring their friends, so you get 3 or 4 guards for the price of one.  The husband and I decided at present that we don't really have enough assets to warrant a watchman, and would rather put that money towards much needed infrastructure.  But if and when we finish those projects, and we have more animals, a watchman will probably be in order...hopefully the watchman doesn't also steal!
 
Dale Hodgins
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3 or 4 watchmen. I assume that you would need to feed them all. At least you would know where all of the food is going.
 
Maureen Atsali
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Great video Chris!  Is that really you by the way? Or a video of someone else? I love to put a face to a name. 

Anyway, you inspired me to go cut a stalk and give it a try.  Looks similar to eating a sugarcane.  Well...either our napier grass is different, or the stalks I cut were too old... Because there wasn't any eating!  They were tough and fibrous, worse than a sugar cane.  Certainly not something I could chew up and swallow like the guy in the video.  The flavor wasn't bad.  Not exactly sweet, but not unpleasant, rather like any other stem of grass I pick to chew on when I'm bored.  We are just coming into our dry season, so perhaps I ought to wait for the next rains and try out some fresh growth.  Otherwise, I'll leave the napier for the cow and the goats!

😁
 
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northern climates have awesome soil southern climates have amazing rain forests try to reforest your area and allow more plants to grow try to find out how many of your
"weeds" are edible living biomass is key in your area as far as i can tell when plants die in your area they are used to feed the other plants so when you put mulch on the ground all you are doing is feeding the plants
ask the people in your for any biological trash they have and if you can tell the folks in your area that they can dump their poop in a pit near you i suggest you look up banana circles fyi im still in school so i dont have experience with farming other than my summer job and the obscene amount of videos i watch i actually have stretch marks from laying down all the time and i sometimes get bed rashes like someone in a hospital... try trapping and FEEDING the birds in your area catch and eat insects that is all i got for now look up cover crops and savannas
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
Posts: 419
Location: Western Kenya
41
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This post, I am sorry to say, announces the END of the ASF farm.  Family problems necessitated that I take my children and leave the farm, probably forever. My (now estranged) husband has no aspirations to farm and has likely turned everything over to his relatives - which means they will go back to mono-cropping with chemicals.  Seven years of work to bring the soil back to life... All gone. I understand that the dogs already killed the turkeys.  So much wasted work and money!  But I am grateful for the amazing education I got.  I have learned a tremendous amount, mostly by trial and error, about tropical farming, dead soils, indigenous plants and animals.  Now I am living in a little rental house, still in Kenya, but a lot closer to civilization.  I pestered and begged my landlords until they gave me a decent sized space to garden, and they don't mind if I keep small animals like chickens or rabbits.  There is a lot that could be done here, if my landlords will give me the freedom.  Maybe someday soon I will start a new project thread detailing my now miniaturized permaculture projects.

Happy Farming Friends!
Maureen
 
David Livingston
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
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bugger sorry to hear this I hope you can get sorted soon and maybe find some land for yourself I will add this link so anyone else looking for ideas in similar circumstances can use it http://www.worldagroforestry.org/Units/Library/Books/Book%2006/html/index.htm?n=0

David
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
Posts: 1537
Location: Toronto, Ontario
95
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
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I am sorry to hear that, Maureen. I hope you and your kids are settling in okay in your new situation.

Please do update us whenever you're settled enough to get into the soil. I hope you discover unexpected and plentiful benefits to your circumstances you never though possible.

-CK
 
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