Joseck says it was his desire to provide for his family that motivated him to join TREES in March of 2020. In a little more than a year, Joeck has already established a very promising greenwall around his Forest Garden and has successfully implemented agroforestry and permaculture techniques. The difference in Joseck’s garden is visible as the diversity of crops and trees has increased significantly.
“I am learning a lot from this project, like intercropping which I have not been doing in my garden. The technicians have taught me how to intercrop and I already see the benefits like improvement in quality of my yields,” he says.
He also successfully harvested seeds from last year to feed his family this year.
“I managed to harvest 60 kilograms of amaranth from my garden, which was the biggest harvest my garden has ever given me,” he says. “I took most of this harvest to a grinding mill in our local town, mixed it with some soya and maize flour to make porridge for my children, so I can improve their breakfast diet.” Joseck adds that he shared some of the amaranth seeds with his fellow Forest Garden farmers.
Local TREES staff train farmers on the Forest Garden Approach over a four-year period. The average Forest Garden farmer has at least 2,500 trees on their one-acre Forest Garden by the end of the four years. Farmers learn how to protect their land and diversity what they grow. They learn climate-friendly farming practices and how to increase and improve the quality of their yields with techniques like intercropping, compost making, alley cropping. Farmers like Joseck with big families are in position to increase their yields by year one to feed their households.
Joseck wants to set his children up for success too.
“I want to teach my children how to work hard early in life, so I start giving them small tasks in the garden from a young age,” he says.
As nutrition and income increase, farmers like Joseck say they’re able to afford to send their happy, healthy kids to school.
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