Planting Seeds for an Outreach Garden

Monday’s permaculture group plants seeds to grow seedlings for the garden at the Botswana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  The young man seated in the photo is schooling the others on countries like North Korea and Macedonia.  These kids know what’s up in the world.  Some ears perked up when I mentioned I visited Zimbabwe last year.  We were discussing Tatenda’s name, as it means “thank you” in Shona.  My conversation elicited quite different responses when I mentioned I thought a mouse or bat might be living in my thatched roof house in the bush.  They might find me a bit strange, especially with my response last week to a student who asked if I talked to plants:  “Yes, just like I talk to dogs and cats.” At least their attention is held during their hour of service, which most often drags out the moaning and whining within everyone!

The germinating medium is made of sifted cow manure and river sand.  Most of them dig their hands into the mixture without revealing squeamishness on their faces.  I am pleasantly surprised that a couple of them have gotten over their aversion to composted cow manure since last term!  Ever so gingerly, the students place two seeds into small divots in the moistened germinating mix.  They plant onion, beetroot, gem squash, and radish seeds.  I am confident that this term will bolster all the activity taken place in the garden for the past two years.  My greatest hope for the garden is that it will only continue to improve and produce abundantly once I leave and return home.


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