Taaka Sarah started practicing agroforestry on her Ugandan farm in 2021. Working with local Trees for the Future (TREES) staff, she identified a half hectare of her farm to convert into a Forest Garden.
What used to be a sparse plot of land with three trees, two food crops, and one marketable product is now a thriving Forest Garden home to 1,223 trees, six food crops, and 18 marketable products.
“My garden has changed in appearance and yields,” she says. “I have learned about permagardens and the use of compost for my soil.”
TREES staff are working with Ugandan farmers in Busia and Mount Elgon. Taaka is one of 350 farmers in her Busia, Uganda project. Nearby, Wabwire Wilberforce is harvesting his peanut crop.
“The project is very educative, especially the knowledge on contours,” he says.
Wabwire has been farming for over 30 years, but the 62-year-old says this is the best his farm has ever looked.
“I have gotten the best sweet potato yields since I started farming and I have been a farmer since 1989.”
Fellow project farmer Rosemary Mande’s yields are making all the difference for her 30-person extended family.
“Feeding a big family is hard but it has become easier with this new way of farming. We always have something to eat from the garden,” she says.
And the kids aren’t just eating better. The Forest Gardens in Busia are noticeably quiet during the day. That’s because many of the farmers are now able to afford school fees to send their children to school.
“I topped up my child’s school fees [with my tomato harvest profits],” Taaka says.
Taaka, Wabwire, and Rosemary have just entered their third year in TREES’ Forest Garden training program. They have two years left, but they’ve all already seen massive improvements in their land and livelihoods.
“My Forest Garden has given me food and a small income for my household,” says Rosemary. She sells her produce from a stall on the roadside pictured below.
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