Video below is from late November 2017 when I first went to stay on the farm, which was effectively bush land.
The land is virgin. It had not seen much use for a very long time except for the Masai grazing cattle and charcoal making youth. You can start still find a few abandoned charcoal sites. The soil is loamy and clay, making it deal for a variety of crops. We are mainly interested in legumes and corn. There is a very small perennial stream and a pond which we intend to convert into a series of fish ponds. This will fit in well for aquaculture.
The permaculture dream of ours is already in the realm of reality.
We have identified positions for our domicile, boreholes (3 in all), biodigester.
The stream area is heavily forested and runs south north through the middle of the farm. Thus dividing it east west. We intend to leave the middle section intact and add fruit trees like mango, marula ,cashew, pawpaw, lemon lime orange,peach ,guava, banana and sugar cane by the pond area. The forested area runs lengthwise.
The east midsection has a slight high ground, that's where we will put our dwellings as well as the factory structures. This is close to the eastern perimeter fence and our single gate will be positioned thus. We will have a borehole in one end and our septic (bio digester)the other. The septic will be self contained, nothing seeps into the soil. The domicile are will be completely fenced off from the farm land although they are all within the same perimeter fence. This is to make sure that anybody and anything is disinfected before entering the farming area.
The piggery units will be in the main enclosure,(the farming area) . The north section will be the finishing structure, close to the pond. The mothering huts will be in the north section lined along the forested area. There will be plenty shed and foraging areas. These area will also be grass seeded, among the trees from north to south. A borehole will be installed both for irrigation and the mothering pig.
The 3rd borehole will be in the centre of the farm and is mainly for irrigation purposes. Drip irrigation is our final goal.
Our power requirement will be from mainly Solar and gas . The gas will be from the bio digesters and will run a power generator. We will start with a small generation unit of 10 kw extending to 200 kw depending on requirements.
Bio security is of paramount importance. Movement of people and equipment will be monitored and managed accordingly. Local habitation will be encouraged. Perimeter security will also be top priority. Askaries will be employed to vigilantly monitor and stop an breach of perimeter security.
We have already approached the local agricultural university for potential employees, in young talented individuals. The response was positive and the subject matter suits our needs. There was verbal agreement on cooperation in all matters farming including students practicals.
The future is bright.
The major challenge will be in constructing an all weather road to the farm. With the recent have rains it proved to be near impossible to drive there. I had to hike a ride on a motorcycle for the 26km from the Morogoro road to the farm. 3 times we fell off the bike into the muddy pools and it took us 2 hrs to reach our target. I am not laughing now. And we have a plan.
The task now is to clear the section for corn and beans, build the toilets, sink the boreholes and add phosphates before tilling . The soil testing is going to be done but the belief is there's to much acidity.
We have now got the seed source for yellow maize, soya bean, sorghum. Finger millet and cow beans.
Let the games begin.
Constantine Mutikani, getting back to the main road after his first week on the farm
Written by Constantine Mutikani