Ndorong-Sereer Women’s Garden

With the help of my counterpart, Bassirou Ndiaye, a motivated farmer, Cherkh Fall, and 72 rambunctious women, what basically was an abandoned lot strangled with weeds has transformed into a burgeoning garden. Bassirou and Cherkh have done an awesome job in teaching the women how to double-dig, level, amend, seed and water the garden beds, which is no small feat (think impromptu dance circles, surprise showers with watering cans, lewd charades with the garden tools, amidst a constant deafening chatter). The women organized themselves into groups of 6 to help each other double-dig beds, establish a watering schedule, and decide on which seeds to purchase. Each group has dug and amended two beds in which they direct seeded carrots and transplanted lettuce. In the next few weeks we will transplant the tomatoes, cabbage, onions, eggplant, and bitter tomato growing in the pepinieres. 

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Double-dug and amended garden beds (4x1m) for lettuce transplants. The women brought old and ripped mosquito nets to shade and protect the beds from birds and insects.Image

 

My counter-part, Bassirou Ndiaye, helping transplant lettuce.

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Mannae transplanting lettuce into her group’s garden bed.

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Cherkh Fall helping level out a garden bed. Cherkh and my counter-part have been an immense help in establishing the women’s garden and teaching the women improved gardening skills. 

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Double-dug and amended lettuce pepiniere

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Double-dug and amended onion pepinieres. The onion pepiniere shaded with the mosquito net had a better germination rate and grew more vigorously than the onion pepiniere without a mosquito net covering.

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Compost pit (1x1m). It shrunk by a third in two weeks. The great thing about a compost pit is that it maintains more moisture and stimulates below ground insect and animal activity. As creatures tunnel to reach the compost, their poop, larvae, and dead bodies further contribute to the nutrient content of the soil and compost. They also help break up the heavily compacted soil.

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4 comments on “Ndorong-Sereer Women’s Garden

  1. mom says:

    Wonderful update and pictures!

  2. Jason Jin says:

    Lovin’ the pix but put yourself in some of ’em fool!

  3. OMFG! So amazing! I am so proud of you and your farming friends! Wow, I can’t believe how much knowledge you bring to create such a great project, MK! The charades and chatter are favorite parts!!! Way to rock out, can’t wait to see you and show you the new farm here! Best,
    F’Leo

  4. Barbara Camara says:

    AMAZING job! Best of luck from your predecessor of 25 yrs, aka Coumba Faye of Ndorong Serere, PCV ’89-91.

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