PROGRESSIVE REPORT ON HOPE VILLAGE TUNNELS - Dec 2012 to Jun 2013
The year 2012 ended with the planting of new seeds into tunnel 4 and tunnel 3. We also managed to employ two women to assist in the gardens. They looked after the gardens in watering, weeding, cleaning and harvesting during the Christmas holidays as I have instructed them. The sponsorship for their salaries came through the Namibian Horticulture Trust. They have been employed till now and they are doing a good job.
Green Peppers. This was the first time that I have planted green peppers in the veggie tunnels and I observed the crop closely. The planting date of the peppers was the 11th of December 2012 and the first harvest occurred on March 22nd 2013. We had only 2 plants per planting bag in row A, tunnel 4, which gave us 162 planting bags, meaning that there are now 324 plants of peppers on this row. From the time of the first harvest we have had a harvest of 810 fruits weighing a total of 61kg. Some plants gave more fruits and others gave less fruits. Nevertheless, in total, each plant gave us at least two fruits. I realized the fruits don’t always weigh the same and that the number of fruits might be the same, but the weight is far different from harvest to harvest.
We harvested on a weekly basis and noticed that the green peppers were also becoming smaller and smaller.
There were cases of little insects here and there, such as green Aphids and Black Fly, some Red Spider Mite too, but not enough to cause any problems in the garden.
We continued the harvest in April, in the second month of harvest after the peppers matured.
This was the final harvest of green peppers, weighing 10 kg of 120 fruits that were very small looking and quite a lot. The total amount as shown in the harvest data was of 930 fruits.
We had a good harvest of green peppers this term and we did not experience any problems with pests and diseases as they grew well. The Hope Village houses really enjoyed them. We sold some of the surplus for half the price they sell it at the fruit store.
My conclusion in this is that one can have a harvest of 4 green peppers per plant in a season of 4 to 5 months if the fruits are well watered and cared for.
For other productivity reports please refer to our harvest reports where we record our weekly work for the veggie tunnels.
2. Training undertaken
Four students from the Sun community were sent to Hope Village for urban horticulture training during April 2013. They were to be trained in micro gardening. The training went for two full weeks. They received equipment from the IRDNC to start their own veggie tunnel gardening as part of a pilot project, close to Divundu.
I also trained a person sent to me by Albie Oelofse, which was trained in basic table gardening. Her name is Aina Jeremiah and she passed with success.
In the last few months, Hope Village has been the venue for training for 5 individuals from near and far in vegie tunnel gardening.
3. Drip-line Irrigation
During the month of April, Hope Village had a sponsor to change tunnel 1 for more intensive veggie tunnel gardening. This tunnel has no planting bags, but one single planting pit of about 450mm deep. This method allows for more plants to be planted in the same area which our statistics will show. I also prepared and installed a drip-line to be able to feed the plants more effectively.
The drip-line was later implemented in the other 3 tunnels, but with the drip-lines laying on top of the planting bags. The design goes as follows: The feeding pipes as seen in the pictures come into the tunnel and they are T’d into a main pipe of 50mm. I used a drilling machine to drill the holes to install the nozzles.
The feeding pipes are 12mm in diameter and I needed some joints to bring them together where needed.
The initial idea was to use pressure reducers and T joints but this was replaced with the new design nozzles I installed.
I never thought that the drip design would suit the veggie tunnels so well and to my surprise as I completed the task, it worked out so well, it seems like ‘learning truly ends at the grave’!
For more on this you can refer to the pictures of this project.
4. Table Garden Phase Two - Orange Babies
We gave away some seeds to eight women of Orange Babies in the month of April 2013, they planted their gardens for household consumption.
5. Crops currently in the Garden
I have planted new seeds in our tunnels for the very first time to allow for a diversity of vegetable production. I am using a planting calendar. I now have broccoli and cauliflower growing in the tunnels and I believe that the harvests will be of a great benefit to wards the nutritious feeding of the Hope Village center.
Progressive Report by
Urban Horticulture TOT
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