To fully immerse into the local farming context, I tried farming, gardening and fieldwork.
I agree that doing-it-yourself is one of the most direct and long-lasting methods of learning. Like John Lennon says in Imagine: “It’s easier if you try”. So the importance and roles of farm visits and farm schools are recognised in our AEV project model. We are planning on organising a farmers’ visit to a nearby ‘champs d’école’ of orchard and vegetable garden in Koutango (more on this in the forthcoming blog).
The local project manager and a great friend, Abdou Koma Ba and I started a backyard vegetable garden. We cleared the backyard clean – used to be a household dump yard. With the guidance and teachings from Meissa (our project nursery specialist), we built over 12 beds (1.5 m wide and over 8 m long). The transformation was quite remarkable. From nothing, invisible life force began changing the face of our garden, but more importantly, it inspired us to believe in our efforts and vision of small-scale gardening in the rural community of Wack Ngouna.
Photo 1. Jardin à Ground Zero