Setting up a Feeding Program for the students

Status: Just started
Step: 
2

As the learning centre works with children from poor families the centre has found a feeding program necessary to draw attention of these children to school.Many of these children have no food in their homes making it hard for them to carry on with learning on empty stomachs.This has discouraged some of them to go on to fend food rather than keeping at school.

Although a feeding program is one of the expensive exercise to manage but we can think of the best way to sustain it.The local representative has found it good if a maize grinding mill can be purchased by neighbours and it can serve the purpose of grinding maize locally for the school and serving the area residents who will come to grind their maize on payment.Since maize flour is the staple food in Kenya this can be an income generating activity which can sustain the feeding program and save neighbours from such a recurring exercise.This can demand Kshs 200,000 and it can serve the feeding program very well

You do not have to have animal manure to farm. Use green manure/cover crops which are planted in between the maize stalks. The attachment uses velvet beans but there may be others you can use. You will probably have to buy them for the first planting but save seed for the future. See attachment.

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Hi Maria,
Surely this is great. Meanwhile my prayer is to see this maize project succeeding.I think some people are getting touched with the poor situation in Mathare and are feeling like helping.With Ken's techniques,I would want to use them on onions and tomatoes because that will not be a wide area like the maize farming.We don't have much animal manure for use on a wide land such as the one we are intending to farm maize on.I have to find time and read the contents well and see how it can help on a small piece of land with increased harvest.
I have been longing to meet John but he has been too busy.I hope to meet him over this weekend for exchange of ideas.Maria we have missed a chat for a long time,I think it is good if we can have some time to chat again so that we can find the way forward.The number of kids is in 80s however it drops to 60s whenever we fall short of food.I wish the feeding program can be consistence to keep all of them at school always
Best regards,
Richard.

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Hi Richard,

This is indeed great news. I am very happy for your that your project can move forward. Please keep us updated with news and pictures about the endevour. Will you try out Ken´s techniques? How is the school going otherwise - how many kids are there now? I truly hope that the profit from the maize field will enable you one day to also have a posho mill.
Did you talk to John from Komarok recently, he just told me that they started a rabbit project for the school to make some extra money. Maybe this would be an option for you as well. Don´t hesitate to contact him for more information.

Best wishes,
Maria

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Hi all,
I hope this massage finds you fine.I just want to let you know that the call for the maize farming project has started receiving a positive response from our well wishers and friends.We have received 36,000 Kenya shillings from an anonymous donor to start off the project.While I have deposited 15,000 in the school account to await for the next task on the land,I have remained with the remaining money to facilitate for the land rent.I am already in touch with my cousin whom I want to work with and he is on the look out for the best piece of land for us.I will travel to the land site for payment on receiving positive massage from him.I know this will not take much long as this is the right time for securing land.
This is indeed motivating and we hope that more such support will continue coming in to get on with this farming project.It will be good when started to bring it to completion.I will keep you updated on the advancement of this project.I will post photos on the same when I get to the land site and all expenditures will be featured online on this site.
Best regards to you all,
Richard.

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Hi all,
I hope all is well with you.As we have been working on where to find funds for the maize farming exercise to start,We seem not to be getting a break through as many proposals have been sent out to funding organization and a good number of them have carried a negative response on their return.I can see that time for renting land has come and yet we have no money for it.As I said earlier,these funds can not all be required at once unless we get a donor who can fund it all at once otherwise we can split it in 3 or 4 phases.The first phase will be required to hire land which should be from now to December.The second phase should follow in February.This will go for land preparation,buying seeds and fertilizers.The third phase can be available in May,this will cater for top dressing.Perhaps the last phase can be in September when harvesting and finally storing is taking place.
Since chances of securing funds from donors are not showing up now or soon,I suggest that we look into possibilities of fund raising that can enable us rent land as we wait and hope chances from the unreplied proposals.I will be getting in touch with my cousin on the land site to find land for us if you find this suggestion reasonable.
I find that if we can try and put this farming activity in place, it will push us a step a head.This is the right time to start off.
Thanks and best wishes,
Richard.

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Bring on the questions!
Ken

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Hi Ken,
I have received the CDs.I am reading and I hope to come to you with some questions on sections I don't understand.
Thanks a lot,
Richard.

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What land you use has nothing to do with it. The size of the land has nothing to do with it. Where the land is has nothing to do with it; rural or in Nairobi. I have been in Nairobi. Grow the maize. Grow vegetables. Grow onions. Grow tomatoes. Grow whatever you want in the beds. Marijuana should do best in the beds but don't grow it but I have no experience with it!

Ken

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Hi Ken and Ginger,
This farming method is an encouragement to me because my home in the rural area is a farming region and that is the suitable place for this kind of activities.Unfortunately for Nairobi where we are operating the school, we have no space or land.If we are going to work out this activities we shall have to think of land but this has to be in the rural area.My piece of land is small for much farming and the rental land we are thinking of for maize growing may not give us ample time to carry out this farming activities adequately.Otherwise Iam having much interest with the knowledge Ken is passing to me.Do you find this working well on a rental land Ken and Ginger?.May be if we can try with vegetables,onions and tomatoes.Let me know from you.
Best wishes,
Richard.

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There is a continous debate about composting manure or using it straight. Chicken manure must be composted [mix with other OM] as it will burn the plants due to high N. Cow/goat manure is low in N. One time here and in Kenya I used cow manure as a mulch and had no problems.

It is a lot of labor to bring manure to the farm. Can do the same thing with gm/cc. The good thing about manure is that it is immediate; no growing, etc.

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Workshops in organic, no-till, permanent-bed gardening, mini-farming, mini-ranching using bucket drip irrigation,worldwide in English & Español

Build a Demonstration Bed

Healthy soil produces healthy plants, with high yields and prevents most disease, pest, weed and erosion problems.

This bed will demonstrate to people that this really works.
1. Mark off a bed 2 meters wide and 5 meters long. Can be any width or length.
2. Do not dig or till the bed. Cut down any weeds, etc and leave on top of the soil.
3. Plant a green manure/cover crop [seed are available in every country] in the bed. Irrigate using a drip line[s] if it is the dry season. I will tell you how to make the dripline out of poly tubing and a plastic pail. Dripline is 100 feet and irrigates one row of vegetables using 40 liters of water every other day. Cost in Nicaragua was US$3. Can be moved to another row of vegetables.
4. Let the gm/cc grow until time to plant a food crop. Cut the gm/cc down level with the soil, so it dies, and leave it on top of the soil.
5. Open up rows [4?] in which to plant a crop [maize?] or clear small areas [6 inches round] to plant agusi, tomatoes, cassava and/or squash, etc.
6. Harvest. Leave plants on top of the soil.
7. Do not dig or till.
8. Mulch the soil with dead grass, leaves or any organic material.

Another way is to plant maize and when it is 300 to 400 cm tall, plant Mucuna [or other gm/cc such as Lablab, etc] between the maize plants. When the maize is harvested, leave the stalks standing. The Mucuna will grow and climb up the maize stalks and cover the ground. When it is time to plant the next crop, cut the Mucuna off at the ground and leave on the soil. Plant the next crop in the Mucuna.

This demonstration bed will prove to everybody that this works. No hoeing, no digging, no tilling!

I will help every step of the way. All you have to do is email me.

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The size of the farm has nothing to do with it. Farmers in Honduras farm 10 acres with just a machete. Farmers use organic, no-till, permanent beds, with tractors farming several hundred acres.

You do not have to have manure. It has almost no nitrogen in it. Legumes are a source of N and adds organic matter. That is what green manure/cover crops do.

When I get a postal address, I will mail the dvds. I do not keep records of mailings. Takes 3-4 weeks to arrive.

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Richard - please do listen to Ken - he has the most effective and BEST way for farming, but no one seems to want to try it. Those who have done so in their back yards have prospered very well. OK - so now you have to cover, say 1-2 hectares? I am sure there are animal pens, goats, chickens, pig farmers etc in the area who do not WANT the waste. Now we need to find a way to bring the waste to the farm - or have the kids bring the waste in buckets to school. If a large enough group participates, the problem will be solved. Ken - I forget the mixture needed - you cannot just throw the manure on the ground or plants, as it will burn them, correct? I'm thinking a kind of bucket brigade that families help to create their farm. What do you think Richard/Ken???

--
Ginger :)

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Hi Ken,
Thanks hearing from you.This kind of farming looks good especially when it comes to costs.However it sounds as if it can work well on a small piece of land because getting enough manure for a big land can be a problem.I tend to find this done in towns on vegetables gardening which is normally done at the back yards but I wish that this could be the right method to use if it can apply on maize farming that need to be done on a wide land.Shaun must have sent you my mailing address and if I get the dvd, I will learn more.
Thanks,
Richard.

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I will mail farming dvds to anyone who emails to me their postal address. If you were organic, no-till you would not have to spend the following amounts:
Fertilizer 4,000
Top dressing 3,500
ploughing 3,000
!0,500 saved.

You would need to purchase seed for legume cover crops/green manure. Maybe you can get free manure from some pens.

Organic, no-till gardening/farming [hand tools only] in permanent beds doubles or triples yields, reduces labor by 50% or more, reduces inputs/expenses to nearly 0 [need seed for new crops and green manure/cover crops], increases fertility, stops soil erosion [no rain water runoff], eliminates most weed, disease and insect problems. Use bucket drip irrigation [made by gardener/farmer] to produce during the dry season and in areas of low rainfall.

Ken H

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Hi Ginger,
Great to hear from you and that you are happy for the goat initiative now on progress.The pen you have seen is just the open air market where I bought the goats.The goats are now on my farm and some one is taking care of them.At night smaller animals like sheep and goats are not left out but are kept in an enclosed house where they are locked in for safety from thieves.Wild animals are very rare in this area as many people are living in this area and many wild animals have been killed.
Only I have realized that we shall have to spent $ 20 dollars on mantainance and feeding. This will be on items such as ropes and salt.Ropes are sometimes needed after they come from free grazing with cattle.The care taker mix them with cattle during the day to lead them in the open fields for grazing but has to tie them on a rope whenever he has gone to find salt and other feeds for them.
I will keep you updated on the progress.It is good work you have started.Thanks a lot.
Richard.

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