The Agricultural Team is Learning the Kenyan Ways

Our Ag team is split into our dairy team and our shamba (vegetable garden) team.
The shamba team consists of Hanna and Nicole, they can be easily recognized by the red tint on their hands, feet, and clothes that have turned because of the red soil. They’ve been working in the shamba with Peter, Kevin and John, who all have their own individual vegetable plots.  They grow cabbage and kusamawiki, (which is the same thing as kale!!) Also grown in the Shamba is maize, potatoes, some peppers, bananas and napier grass, for the cows. The best part of the shamba is how fresh our dinner tastes because some of it comes right from the shamba! The shamba is looking great and we are excited to continue to work with the boys, especially weeding,  Nicole loves it. They want to know about conservation agriculture practices, cover crop options, and crop rotation systems, which we are very excited to teach them about and learn more of their farming techniques! They will be visiting a Kenyan farmer this week who practices conservation ag to learn more.
The dairy team is made up of Sarah, Carly, and Alex who have a surprisingly newfound love for cows and goats since the trip began. They work with Peter, who also grows Napier grass in the shamba in order to feed the cows. At first communication with Peter was challenging, however, as the week went on it was easier to pick up on his accent and he also better understood ours as well. Peter is a bright young man who is extremely eager to learn, and won’t stop asking us questions. He lived on a dairy farm when he was younger, so he has a good grasp on how to work with cows and their needs but would like to better understand how to increase milk production. On day three Carly got to milk her first cow and loved it! Alex, who handles record keeping and the business side of dairy, milked the cow the next day. We all made Peter laugh with our lack of milking skills but he seemed pleasantly surprised that we wanted to learn. We got to see where Peter buys his dairy meal and Napier grass cuttings and learned a lot about the town through our shopping experience. The dairy team is excited about helping Peter and the rest of the youth with the cows and goats, and hope to have some breakthroughs with the advice we will be giving concerning dairy production.

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