Home Gardening - Poly Bag For tsunami effected people at Tangalle Tsunami housing scheme.

OUR WORD WHAT WE DO

Update September + October 2008.
Kindly requested your comments. Thank you. • Situation at the time we joined the project. (September 2008) Capacity – All the actively joined families in this project had grown something in their garden. There were about 10 families, who already consumed their own vegetable in whole without spending money in the market for vegetable. Many others had grown in progressive level, but at the time we involved, the crop season was over and plants were not giving any crops. Few kinds of vegetable were well grown in many houses that they had more than for their consumption. Mainly they were leafy vegetables. Problems – Chili and tomato had high infection rate compare with others. Egg plants were also infected by some bugs. Excessive evaporation was commonly seen almost in every garden. That resulted many plants withering and fewer yields. Some vegetables that normally grow in upcountry were introduced also in other regions to be grown. That was practically proved by the agriculture institutes. So our project has also introduced them to grow in the village. But at this time, it did not make expected harvest. We are making investigations in that regard. Progress – As it was the season’s end and the dry season, the look of the gardens did not seems fresh. But the villagers were ready to start the next season and were waiting for the rain. The enthusiasm and willingness to grow is very high at villagers. Requests – Villagers were scared of the ongoing diseases and badly needed answers for this question. Comments – Some villagers have become lazy within the last period to work hard as the sun was very hot and the weather was very dry and humid. Villagers were not well aware of diseases and the medicaments for them. • What we did? Research and introduction to the village – We also followed the previous records, village map and reports before starting the research. Then it took us one week to visit all the families in the village. Then we identified 119 actively involved families for the project. Identified their problems and needs. Assessed their home gardens and provided initial advises to continue the project.

Meeting - Held a meeting with the selected leaders of the village. Basically we intended to appoint leaders for each section that divided in the prepared map. That will help us to communicate with the villagers and to organize activities without wasting time. It was also planed to provide basic training for the leaders that they can also support the other villagers in need. It will also help us in many other ways. The meeting was very successful and we had 17 leaders in different levels selected. Evaluate the status – We had our evaluation for each family and planned for their future needs for each. It helped us a lot to plan the future activities and projects. Find solutions for existing problems – We were able to provide many answers for considerable amount of questions people had at the time we started. That will be spoken in details at problems and difficulties section in this report. Continue the project – Then we managed to continue the project by providing new seeds and bags for needy families. We introduced soil sterilization and mulching system for the villagers for the first time. We also advised designing and planning the garden for a better looking and comfort for work. We also introduced corn seeds for each family in the project. We also introduced new techniques in compost making. We will be after each of them to guide them for our goal. Provided trainings – We are planning some training programs in the next reporting period. At the moment villagers are well aware of the system. We will basically visit them individually to provide the knowledge. Introduced new methods of agriculture systems – Mulching and crop rotation are the two main points we introduced at in the time. • Progress More compose utilization – We advised how to maintain composting pit and the systems to intensify the quality. Also made aware them the value of using composting. Now the people are well tended to use composting. They seem interesting to know more about composting. Designing of the garden - Some gardens were not well kept and the poly bags and other plants were scattered all around or confined to a corner. Some times they exposed to direct sunlight too much or else, they were kept in shadows that did not get enough sunlight. We were now able to design them to a better standard that helps well growing and good looking in each garden. Many varieties are grown – Every project family are now growing more than 8 varieties in their gardens. Some are growing up to 12 or 15. Each plant is well designed and attended. It has also intensified the interest of the villagers toward their gardening. So they desire spending more time in their gardens. Practicing the crop rotation – It was boring for some families to grow same crop. It has also helped spreading diseases and other infections. Our new introduction of crop rotation seems interested by many families and they are willing to change their crops in each circle. We are expecting good result in the future.

Practicing new methods to block evaporation – Dry grass, straw, and other waste materials were used to block the evaporation. We have advised them the timing and periods when and how this system should be practiced in their gardens. Some are still disappointed as their crops were damaged by unknown diseases – Though we exaggerated about our project, we also noted some families, who are already disappointed as they could manage crop diseases and their hardly earned crops were destroyed. We had to talk lot to console those families to reengage them with the project. Some are well satisfied with the project – But many families are demanding to grow more and willing to expand their capacity. They are courageous to take any challenge and to find solutions. Comments – We are well satisfied with what we could do until the day. We will dedicate our best for the benefit of the villagers. • Future plans Improve the variation of crops Find better solutions for diseases Develop the harmony among the villagers Encourage the villagers to grow in higher scales, those who are capable of that. To hold a fair for excess vegetables, if any! Problems and difficulties Unavailability of members – In some families, it is very difficult to meet them at the time we visit. Some are working out side the village and others are taking their children to school or private classes, which has become a very competitive among the people. As we have planned visits in regular time table, if we missed one family, we have to take extra time to visit them in other day. That will break our schedule in certain level. Some crops are not well grown – Some crops that we introduced according to the statement made by agro department, they seems not suitable for this region. But more people are more interested to grow these types, though they are commonly grown in mild climatic conditions. Though we do not promote them again, the people have many requests regarding them. Unavailability of sufficient composting – As the growing has intensified in certain level, the lack of composting is commonly seen in the village. As this is a new village, it is difficult to find enough materials for composting than home wastages. Excess raining water (Only for the monsoon) – Some days we had a problem with less water, but now it has changed and monsoon rain has increased the level of disease spreading high. We were not well prepared for this condition as we did not expect that much rain at this time. • Request Villagers are asking for fertilizers like Urea - We are in a stage to decide weather we should do that or not. If we make sure that the villagers cannot find enough composting, we will act to do some help for the people.

Villagers are asking for fruit plants such as banana – We will make a assessment to see the availability in gardens and the availability of fruit plants that grows well in the village. If it is practical and affordable, we will make arrangements to provide some fruit plants as well. That will make a nice combination of crops in each garden. • Comments (villagers) Most villagers are very much appreciating our exercise in this regards. Their comments are very high related to the service and benefits the villagers get in this project. They further expect long term service and better harvest from their gardens. Their warm thank is always for the sponsors of this project. Comments (Supervisors) Project is very interesting and very much useful for the community in the village. It is always our pleasure to join this project as we can serve part of our affected people. We will be very grateful for the extra service provided to us by funding to buy two scooters that makes our working capacity higher and more effective. Thank you for that. That is also supported for our new home gardening project at next village. We are willing to see a very successful future in this project.

Thank you. Prepared by, Mahednra Andrahennadige. Manager (TCR) Attached are: 1. Photographs of the updates.

Annex 1.
Updated photographs.

Here is our first group work to help a family by a group.

It was very successful and every group member participated the event with enthusiasm.

Here is a supporting for spinach that was lying on the ground.

The team helped to make a large radish bed in the garden.

This lady in front lost her husband by tsunami and cannot maintain her garden by herself. So everybody decided that this family should be supported to make the garden.

Here is the second family that the next group supported to make her garden. This practice will help the families who cannot make their gardens alone.

Here is the two scooters that we newly bought for both home garden projects.

Here Samanmali and Anusha are training the scooters. Don’t they look happy? This will save lots of time and energy of both supervisors that they can spend more time for families.

Here are some well maintained bean plants.

Here the crops are well mixed. Radish and cabbage grown in the same bed.

Knoll kohl is well grown in the region, which supposed to be grown in cool climatic conditions.

Here is another column for leafy vegetable. It is well grown and the family is able to consume the needful.

Another well maintained garden.

Here is Carrot plants that grown in bags. It seems well grown, but takes long time for harvesting. But do that also for fun.

Here some cucumber plants grown.

Here is a large cucumber grown in the village.

The egg plants are also well grown.

The radish bed is not so well grown. An unidentified disease has slowed down the growth.

The gardens are getting more green and beautiful everyday.

Here is a new variety of Spinach introduced to the village.

This girl is very proud of her garden. She is expecting to develop it in larger scale next time.

Samanmali is inspecting a garden to see the disease infected.

We have also introduced Maniac to be grown in each house. But at the moment we have a problem to find stems as much as we needed.

Here is another maniac garden.

Here they have tried some corn seeds and they are growing well. He will also try to grow more corn in the future.

She has cleared her garden for coming season. But her carrot plants are not yet ready for harvest. The rest of the land is ready for next season.

Her last chili plants are still in good condition. She seems not happy to remove they for next crop. But we will give her some more bags for next crop season.

Knoll kohl is growing well in the village. This family has done it as an experiment and hoping to expand the capacity at next time.

Another seed bed for the preparation of coming season.

This tall tower is prepared for leafy vegetables. Anusha is inspecting the quality of the soil mixture.

Some composting is prepared and covered for future use. It is not in a pit, but a new system to make compost on the ground.

This mother is preparing her garden and filling he bags for next crop session.

Here is new introduction of composting method without ground pits.

A large bed is prepared for vegetables.

Here the beds are ready for the monsoon. The seeds are planted and covered with grass.

Another woman is preparing her garden for coming season.

Here is some seeds grown for future use. Thank you. Prepared by: Mahendra Andrahennadige. Manager Tangalle Children Relay.

Every body is ready for next season to grow.

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