Thursday, 4 April 2013

Luyengo Farm reaches 7 hectares

This week at Luyengo Fresh Produce 

Another week of patting ourselves on the back: We passed the 7 Ha mark planted on the farm.  
The corps planted are 1,7 Ha Cabbages, 1,5 Ha Tomatoes, 1,8 Ha Sugar Beans for seed production, 0,5 Ha green maize, 0,6 Ha Sweet corn, 1.0 Ha Carrots and 0,6 Ha Butternuts.
Crops in production at the moment are Cabbages, Tomatoes and green maize.
Average max temp this week on the farm: 26°C
Average min temp this week on the farm: 15°C
Rainfall Averages 2013 To Date
January 169mm 270mm
February 140mm 180mm
March 100mm 167mm
One goal we set for ourselves for 2013 was to build a dam on the farm. The water we need for irrigation comes from the canal that runs through the area and is free for anyone to use. Each year this canal is closed down for routine maintenance for a period of 14 days. It does not sound like much but consider that if your plants are going to be without water for 14 consecutive days they have to be a at a stage where they can handle that, which means you have to stop planting  two months before.  Then once the canal is running again it takes your newly planted crops three months to come into production. That takes five months out of your production. 
Tiekie has identified the ideal spot to build a dam on the farm. The site is at the entrance to the farm, just past the office and the nursery.  It has a natural wall to the one side and we only need to build a wall on the opposite side.  We will be losing about 0.25 Ha where we currently have maize standing 3 m tall.  It has a natural wall to the one side and we only need to build a wall on the opposite side.  The size of the proposed dam is going to be 7 500m³ or 50m x 50m and average 3.5 m deep. 
Tiekie has experience of building dams so he is up to this challenge. Some of the workers at Luyengo also assisted Tiekie with one other dam in Swaziland. Tiekie says he will hire all the equipment needed for this big task. He wants the dam completed when the canal is shutdown this year and that date has been set for the first two weeks in July. So once Tiekie and the workers have their ducks in a row and they start this task they want to finish with no interruptions. Thanks to generous donations from Us and their supporters the money is there - so no hold-ups from the financial side of things. 
The first task that is going to happen in preparation for the dam building is the removal of some trees. In the photo you can see the trees that will soon be taken down by Peter Emit. He has promised to use the wood from these trees to make a bench – table and seat combination- for use on the farm. 

Words of wisdom from Africa: 
There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest.