Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Long grass everywhere
It is a month since the last feedback so I thought it opportune to tell you what has been happening at the Cradleark. For those who do not know us well and who have recently joined this forum, even when it appears that not much is happening, there is still a lot of background work taking place.
The Lord has blessed us with an abundance of rain and the results are quite spectacular. Everything has grown including the bushes and grass on the plot. Matthew has been hard at work with the brush cutter, cutting around the container. Then he cut the entire soccer pitch and started cutting down near the field. We will be upgrading his brush-cutter to a more robust industrial type as he has really struggled with the thicker grass. There are numerous benefits to the cutting, neatness, reduced risk of fire but the least obvious is the development of our own compost heaps. The compost will be used towards September or October to add humus to the existing land. We plan to add chicken manure from up the road to boost the nutrients.
We have received a donation of three Flow bins which we will try to collect in the coming weeks. These have multiple uses and we are very excited about them.
We have also received a mixture of hardware items that were returned which we have managed to salvage a fair amount of.
I have been a little on the back foot and Edwin has been doing a fantastic job in my absence. I have managed to bulge a disk in my back but the good Lord has allowed me a speedy recovery.
I have made up for the lack of physical work in preparing a couple of presentations. The first was delivered to Rotary Knights of Pendragon last week. The next one (due this week) is for Livingseeds to try to establish them as a potential sponsor/mentor. They are approached by so many NGO’s that they only allow an annual application during March. I believe we would have an ideal fit with them but we do the work and then leave it in the Lord’s hands.
Enhanced CradleArk exposure
Another exciting development has been on site filming at the Cradle of Hope and then briefly at the CradleArk by Lottoland. Thanks to Melodie van Brakel, CEO of the Cradle of Hope (and cameraman Eric) for including the CradleArk in a crazy schedule. More details will follow in due course.
An abundant harvest
Visiting the Ark on Friday was such a pleasure. There are a lot of new crops coming through including various Okra and cucumbers.
The sweet potatoes and chillies are also looking really good.
There has been a wonderful harvest at the Cradle and far less food was stolen than anticipated and we thank the Lord for this. The butternut and gem squash has been phenomenal. The pumpkins have yielded well. The runner beans are still providing. The Hubbard squash has also done really well.
The mielies were not as large as we had hoped but they were plentiful and the community has had a good supplementation to their food supplies. We are also thrilled to have been able to take produce to the Cradle of Hope.
Some additional very positive developments have been the setting up of two small stalls bordering the road. The one older lady is cooking and selling mielies and the other stall seems to be concentrating on selling cold drinks.
We also had a donor who came and took some drone footage to show the extent of the planting that has been done. We are still in a learning phase but hopefully I can publish an edited clip as it was extremely impressive and exciting to view the operations form the air.
The soccer pitch is being used regularly and the balls donated in December being well used. We are considering buying the team CradleArk kit which will be a gesture of goodwill towards the community.
The pump has been repaired and is running nicely again so we are well prepared for when the rains stop.
The first batch of avo trees that were planted last year are surviving with some looking really healthy. We will see how they perform through winter and then add to their numbers.
The row of sugar cane that Samson and Matthew planted is also looking really healthy! On the agricultural team front we have an additional member who has joined us which is a blessing. Welcome Elias.
The mini CradleArk
The experimenting with popcorn at the “Mini CradleArk” has been a great success. We would like to draw the children into the farming side through some fun items and think strawberry popcorn could be one of these. We have already got cherry tomatoes growing at the plot and Samson has also planted a larger cultivar which are currently slightly bigger than a squash-ball!
We are also thinking about a supply of granadillas with hands on planting and learning from the kids closer to the living area.