Container Gardening Project in Malawi (Patrick HARRY)

CONTAINER GARDENING PROJECT IN MALAWI

REPORT FOR JULY, 2011

By PATRICK HARRY

(PROJECT FOUNDER AND COORDINATOR)

The “Container Gardening Project in Malawi” is still going on well. The month of July was a very busy one with a lot of work.

ACTIVITIES

  • Construction of a shade for plants and a fence.
  • Planting vegetables in containers: Beans, Irish potatoes, Spinach, Lettuce, Onions, Cucumber, Pumpkins, Sweet corn, Melons, Green pepper, Cabbage, Bonongwe (a local vegetable), Sweet potatoes, Mustard, Tomato, etc.
  • Seed collection (international and local)
  • Container gardening education program
  • Compost manure making
  • Collecting discarded, recycled containers
  • Registering an “Environmental Children Club” at  the Wildlife Society of Malawi

DONATIONS

Thanks to Professor Willem Van Cotthem, who introduced the project to him, a donation was received from Georges Schepens (Belgium), amounting to 250 Euros. The money is currently being used for the daily running of the project.

This is a kind gesture coming right in time as the project was facing some financial difficulties for the achievement of its objectives.  In addition, seeds were donated by various friends of the project:

  • Moringa  seeds from  Shea Butter Cottage
  • Seed package from Nik Rasula
  • Seed package from Holly Cross Catholic Church
  • Seed package from CESKA republic (Sender unknown)
  • Seeds from Rebecca Short
  • Seeds from Sandie Roach.

CHALLENGES

  • Rotting of fruit seeds at arrival in Malawi (moisture content)
  • Goats and chicken disturbing plants when the fence was broken
  • Poor financial resources limiting other plans, e.g. construction of the Container Gardening Education Centre, Kids Education Tours, etc.

FUTURE PLANS

  • To construct an Education Centre for the project in Salima district
  • To promote Container Gardening throughout the country through education of the children of Malawi
  • Introduction of an on-line newsletter for the project
  • Partnership creation with  Agricultural and Permaculture Organizations.

COMMENT

Since the project started in 2007 it has been proven that Container Gardening is the best type of gardening for the following reasons:

  • It is cheap as we use discarded containers, plastic bags and bottles. Therefore it is good for poor Malawians who can’t afford other expensive gardening methods.
  • It helps to keep the environment clean.
  • One can harvest a lot in a small space.
  • It helps to combat hunger and malnutrition.
  • Anyone can start it at home, even without having a garden.

Gratitude is also extended to all Friends of the Project (see Facebook) who have been sending seeds. Thanks to these seeds the project is progressing well.

Lastly it must be stated that without support the Container Gardening Project cannot prosper. So, all support is greatly appreciated.

(Photos will be made available)

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.