Archive for September, 2012

Tomatoes for Christmas!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
06-Sep-2012 14:00, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200

Amiran Kenya Ltd has generously donated an Amiran Farmer’s Kit to Tumaini Timbwani.

There was a lot of intrigue and excitement as the Farmer’s Kit was delivered; we were told to store it until the 21st August when they would send someone to Tumaini to construct the framework. Shortly afterwards, Mr Patrick, the agriculture teacher was sent on an Amiran training day in Nairobi and when he returned he and the agriculture students assisted the agronomist to establish the nursery.

The Amiran Farmer’s Kit includes a large greenhouse; a drip irrigation system including a water tank; a farmer’s sprayer; seed; the nursery kit; fertilizers; agro-chemicals meeting European standards; health and safety equipment and insurance. In addition, an expert agronomist from Amiran offers technical advice and support; she will guide and oversee each step of our first crop – it’s amazing!

06-Sep-2012 16:14, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.007 sec, ISO 100

Within three months of planting tomatoes we expect to be harvesting our first fruits and we’re told that we can harvest tomatoes for six months! This will supply our feeding programme at cost and the surplus can be sold to the community.

In the photographs you can see the germinating seeds being watered by Kevin, an Agriculture student; observed by his peers and supervised by Mr Patrick.

The nursery was established on 3rd September where the seeds were planted into trays of treated cocopeat. The variety of tomato selected was EVA F1, which is resistant to fusarian wilt, nematodes and tomato wilt virus. Each tomato should weigh between 160-200 gms.

“We emptied the treated cocopeat into a bucket and then added clean water to it. Next we scooped up the wet cocopeat with our hands and filled the six seedling trays. We planted the seeds, one in each hole and after planting, placed the trays on a raised platform, to allow free movement of air. We didn’t apply any fertilizer at this stage but were instructed to water the seedlings twice a day. When we begin using the fertilizer it will be mixed with water and applied through the irrigation system.”

“Madam Faith, the agronomist from Amiran is extremely supportive and helpful; she and Mr Patrick, our teacher supervised this whole process.”

“At the same time we also established a Kale Nursery, around the outside of the greenhouse; these will also be drip fed by our irrigation system.”

This exciting project will teach us all so much; it will provide good food for many people; we’ll be able to learn about how to make best use of this equipment for the future; investing in agriculture, making the most of what we have and teaching others to do the same.

Watch this space as our seedlings start to grow!


06-Sep-2012 16:14, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.009 sec, ISO 100

06-Sep-2012 09:27, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100