3 August 2020:
The Green Flower Foundation has arranged a summer organic vegetable production exercise from home for the students. Several students showed interest in being involved in the activity to grow organic vegetables in their backyards during the summer break. GFF supported them by developing a production guide book and providing necessities such as seeds, compost and botanical extracts against pest control and disease.
On 10th July an orientation programme on organic farming was prepared as a refresher before the students went to their homes and started planting. Our new organic expert, Atalo, taught the students on organic farming practices, from land preparation to harvesting and transportation. A guideline document was given to each student so they are able to be self-sufficient at home.
The main topics covered during the class were as follows:
- Aim of the summer home-based organic vegetable production practice
- A brief introduction on the organic vegetable production in a student guide
- Land preparation, sowing, the spacing between plants and between rows for each of the vegetables
- Compost spreading
- Crop management including hoeing, weeding and irrigation/watering practices
- Pest and disease control practices: how to scout insects and disease infestation symptoms, what to do when they get symptoms of an attack, recording what they observed and who to contact if they need support, sanitation practices to reduce infestations
- Record keeping: they are provided with a simple form so they can record every activity they implement throughout the crop life cycle, including the amount harvested and its destination (home consumption, sold at the local market and others)
- Marketing: students were told to focus on production for home consumption but if a surplus is produced, they can contact GFF and we will see if we can sell the products to the college community or other costumers.
At the end of the class, students visited the greenhouses so they could see the progress and the management practices conducted.
We are glad to see that the students are very involved in their studies and responded positively to the project. It reinforces our belief that organic farming has a future with the younger generations.
A new organic expert in our team
Atalo joined the GFF team this summer. He is an organic farming expert with confirmed skills working in the environmental industry. Atalo comes as a reinforcement to train our teachers in organic farming. Indeed, due to the COVID-19, our teachers are currently unable to travel abroad to continue their ongoing training, so, Atalo has been a great help.