My garden is for the community to learn from

31 August 2016 | Agriculture

With limited resources to maintain his one-hectare garden at Ongwediva, Thomas Kanime says his garden project is for sharing his horticulture skills and techniques with people in the community.
Ewi lyaNooli visited Kanime at his green garden where he showed how he maintains his project, why he donates free plants to the community and what are some of those challenges he endures.
One can see the project is well maintained, looking at the organised manner in which the fruit and vegetables are planted, row by row.
The project consists of a nursery filled with hundreds of plants, a variety of fruit trees and rows of cabbages, lettuces, tomatoes and onions, to mention a few.
Kanime said he started the project in 2013 after he bought the piece of land from the Ongwediva town council but his close relationship with plants started way back in 2000.
He said his love for plants developed after he got tired of watching his wife do the laundry and cooking for a long period of time saying that he thought as a husband he cannot just return from work and read newspapers and conclude the day but rather do something meaningful as well.
“I thought and asked myself what I could do in order to stop watching my wife do house chores and that’s when I decided to start a small garden at house,” he said.
He said the garden at his house grew from small to something big which caught the attention of family, friends and strangers who decided to buy some of the onions, tomatoes and carrots he harvested at the time.
“People started coming to buy their vegetables from my house,” he said.
Kanime said the project, which he currently runs with the help of his family, is aimed at sharing his years of experience in horticulture and at the same time having fruits and vegetables for sale and for own consumption.
“The whole intention is to teach the people in the community how to plant and maintain their gardens because you should know what time is appropriate to water the plants and which soils are good for which plants,” he said.
Kanime said his day starts at 04:00 when he drives to the garden which is more than a kilometre from his house. He stays there until 22:00, making sure his plants get the necessary attention and right amounts of water.
Kanime says running a small garden is not difficult all it requires is proper maintenance.
He said people should not be afraid to learn how to grow a garden as they can learn a lot from it and also harvest enough fruit and vegetables for their households.
Kanime is known to have donated dozens of fruit, vegetable and shade plants to various institutions, especially schools, in the community with the aim of encouraging them to plant gardens and shade trees.
Despite the successes of his project Kanime says needs financial support in order to run his project better and serve the community.


KENYA KAMBOWE

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