One of our prime objectives is to encourage all schools, and also villages, to cultivate their own vegetable gardens. Our participation has been to supply seeds, gardening tools, in some cases wells, and where necessary, wire netting to fortify the fences to keep out both wild and domestic animals.
A prime example of a school garden we initiated is the one at the Anglican Mission School, Farafenni. The pupils were given a large piece of scrub land, which they cleared of weeds, and other debris, and burned.
The land was then divided into plots, roughly 8ft X 4ft, which were each looked after by 2/3 students, who planted seeds and watered and tended these, before and after classes.
They grew all kinds of vegetables - okra, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers etc. They exchanged crops with each other so that they had a good variety in their diet.
Over the past few years we have seen many schools follow this example, and below are photos of some of these,
The latest village we have agreed to help with a garden is Christa Kunda, where we visited Nov. 2013.
The village is quite large, and is situated in the far east of The Gambia, away from any other villages. Another charity had agreed to subsidise the garden, but had pulled out halfway through. The original size of the garden was to be 50 sq.mtrs.,But later it was decided that this was not big enough to to cater for the whole village. We therefore agreed to finish the project, which included renovating an existing well, fed water by pipeline from another water sauce which had ceased to function.
It seems the vultures did not know this was to be a “vegetable” garden.
The photos to the left show Katchang village garden, which was sponsored by Dave Owen. Dave had originally paid for two wells to be sunk in memory of his late wife Ruth. On a subsequent the villagers complained that animals were eating their crops, so Dave very kindly paid to have the whole garden fenced. After this the garden flourished, as can be seen.