The Wet Season is over, the soil is rock hard again and the grasshopper-eating season is coming to an end. This Wet Season was generally regarded as unusual, intermittent, short, but it did at least fill all our water tanks, so we start the Dry Season with 90,000+ litres, of which the garden and fruit trees can claim about 70,000. It will be interesting to see how useful that volume proves to be, and just how systematic and careful we will need to be in our usage.
We ordered 70 day-old chickens a couple of days ago and hope to take delivery soon, by which time our chicken house and brooder will be ready to receive them…this is an exciting, nerve-wracking time and it will be great to have some little animals to look after. We have been planting vegetables and medicinal herbs around the Strawyards to aid in the chooks’ diet. They will lay 200+ eggs per week (we hope), enabling a valuable improvement in the kids diet. Thanks Permaculture North for your generous donation which has paid for the construction of the new shed!!
The almost-completed chicken house & strawyards
We (Kim and Clive) have also reached a milestone with the bandas (volunteer and visitor accommodation) and will be moving into the small Banda this weekend, after 6 months living in a room in the Presbytery next to the School. We hope to start a week-long housewarming party involving lots of pancakes, cups of tea and coffee, roasted G-nuts and cookies...
John Bosco & Bukenya in front of the almost-completed small Banda
The large banda, to accommodate up to 8 people at a time, is also underway, here is a shot of the roofing truss in progress.
The new Large Vegetable Garden is proving to be the major challenge at the moment with a shortage of labour being a real constraint. So, we have posted a volunteer opportunity for someone to join us who has experience in growing food in the tropics .. if you know anyone, please put them in touch with us. Currently the staff are fed vegetables everyday and the children twice a week (and we would obviously like to make this 7 days a week). We have been building a covered compost structure over the last month or so, and this is becoming a critical item to complete, as uncovered compost just doesn’t seem to work well – either it rains hard and soaks it, or the hot sun bakes it.
A welcome addition to the Sabina team recently has been Rico, assisting the school in a number of ways but also a keen member of our permaculture team when he is available. Here he is (in red) with John Bosco (in yellow), Andrew (kneeling) and Samuel assisting with watering of the fruit trees in the evening...Rico has agreed to help us out with that important task a few times each week.
We’ve enjoyed watching the children as they practice their singing and dancing for Education Week which began last Sunday. Usually Sabina does well in this competition and we will be cheering them along as they compete. Hope these pictures give you a sense of the colour and fun …