Planting season

Proverbs 16 :9 In his heart a man determines his course but the Lord determines his steps.

The last month has seen a fair amount of excitement at the Cradle of Hope logistics centre and the CradleArk. This time of the year is planting season and that in itself is very exciting!

Albertus has made really good progress with the build and the place is taking shape. We wish to utilise a room there in conjunction with the Cradle of Hope, as a training facility. We already have a variety of tools stored. The next step is to set up the room, once Albertus gives the go ahead. The CradleArk is approximately 9km from this location. It is feasible that the inhabitants will benefit from a facility like this.

I usually have an activity list planned in my head . After discussion with Edwin and some community members, we prioritise certain projects. Now within that plan, there are times when a particular project supersedes our list. The urgency being determined by something that is broken or the weather or some other factor. Planting season is one such season that gets our undivided attention. There are always obstacles and my bakkie has been one during 2022. I thank the Lord for the slowdown without feeling too guilty . I also thank Edwin for all the lifts that he has supplied.

Extending the field

We thank the Lord that we have been able to plough some extra land adjacent to the existing field. What started out as a 100 square metre vegetable patch , is now nearing 1 1/2 hectares.

Planting season! Just look at that soil. The Levante tractor “disking” the soil to flatten it.

For this we were fortunate to use the services of Levante Farming again. Our thanks go out to Brenden and Kevin who were instrumental in this task. Thanks also go to Prinesh. He did some leg work in the background to see if we could get the ploughing donated. Unfortunately, due to the rains most tractors were in high demand but we still appreciate your efforts.

All that space for planting!

The extra “dry land” will be filled with yellow maize, white maize and sunflower. I am really looking forward to the sunflowers (God willing) as they are so “cheerful”

We bought some Organic poison (Biogrow Pyrol) from Livingseeds . We also bought some Talborne organic vegetable fertilizer as our compost heap is not quite there yet.

We are growing all our vegetables only with organic inputs!

Samson was delighted with the backpack spray we were able to provide him. Our thanks go to our “Hardware donor” who wishes to remain anonymous. The poison has been very successful ! By providing it we have avoided the temptation to use anything inorganic.

The white maize was delivered by For the Farmer and Edwin has already dropped it off. In addition, we received a bulk order (100g LOL) of spinach seed. We will germinate some to grow seedlings for Samson to plant.

The white maize and spinach seed !

In the meantime, the field is covered with Okra , pumpkin , sweet potato, potato and a bit of sugar cane. Samson has tackled the job head on.

A lot of pumpkins God willing!

Unfortunately, our original pump looks like it has seized, so Edwin dropped off the backup.

Wahvudi restaurant

The restaurant has unfortunately been completely vandalised!

It started with the theft of some of the takings by an employee. Then a bakkie arrived one night and stole the tables, chairs and the cooking utensils. Then they even stole the roof and the walls of the structure.

South Africa at its worst!

An entrepreneur providing some jobs, that has been side lined by the rampant crime. Due to the remoteness of the location (not on CradleArk land), it will probably happen again. Our feeling is that it would be better located on site. The downside is that you lose the natural traffic from the intersection. We will wait for Jesta’s input to see if we can assist.

Soccer field

The local municipality scraped the soccer field for us this year so it looks great and is nice and level.

Bright Star Hair Salon

After a small technical glitch Bright Star is up and running again.

Esperanza has been concentrating on styling and now wishes to extend her product range to braiding as well. She seems to be well supported despite relying purely on “word of mouth” advertising. The business is ticking over nicely and each time she proudly displays her appointment book to us.

Community Jojo

The community Jojo project was moving forward at a snail’s pace with little interest and support from the community. This changed this week as the usual volunteers took on the task of building the required tank stand.

Elias and Matthew tackle the community tank-stand!

Thanksgiving dinner

Edwin and Debbie were invited to a special Thanksgiving dinner by one of our special benefactors. Debbie gave feedback about the CradleArk and some of the guests kindly donated funds to our cause. We thank the Lord and all involved for these efforts.

Hoop House

One of our upcoming projects is to construct a hoop-house. This will allow for the propagation of seedlings to be able to “feed” the field when required. Edwin will try to get the hoop-house erected during the Christmas season.

This is quite a demanding past time but will function as a very effective standalone business once up and running. It will be located at the field just below the irrigation dam to provide gravity fed water. The initial structure will be quite small . We plan to run it as a prototype and then expand it over time. At a later stage (when successful) we will copy this project at the Cradle of Hope Logistics centre. That venue is more secure and has some natural advantages when it comes to scalability.

For now, seedling propagation is taking place at “The Mini CradleArk”! ( yes, in my back garden, on our patio and wherever else my long-suffering wife will allow it.)

It has been quite successful and I have been learning a lot. This knowledge will be shared with the CradleArk.

432 spinach seeds planted early one morning! Thank goodness we only had four trays!

I tested a 12v pump linked to a hand-held hose. This allows the seedlings to be sprayed with a fine spray of water. . Combined with the existing drip irrigation supplemented by the worm farm leachate, the results look promising.

The boys hard at work!

My children have been a great help in making tomato/bean cages and drilling drainage holes in cheap plastic cups. ( A little more work than purchasing the “”ready to use” pots but cheaper) .

This has made me think of another potential side-line for the seedling business. We can produce paper pots? The Lord has shown us that there are synergistic businesses linked to the field. Those wanting to avoid the physical demands of growing food, may be enticed into a less physically demanding role?

I plan to add “Meal worm” farming to the Mini CradleArk in the new year. This project is aimed at a supplementary food source for the chicken project. All provided for in abundance by the Good Lord. Please do not mention this idea to my wife!

We have also provided Samson the farmer, with a strong hand-held grinder. This is to remove all the pips from the mielies (corn) that he grows. This will allow for more efficient storage. Later some of it will be ground up and sold as chicken feed. (especially when combined with the sunflower seed produced). We will also keep you in touch with how this develops.

You Tube Video clip

You tube

My daughter (11) made and posted our first video clip on You Tube. Ok I was the actor and she did the rest! (including making the music) We did it under the name of “The Shed” as a trial run. Please feel free to take a look  and “like it” if you choose to.

Christmas of 2022

This will be the last newsletter for 2022. I take the opportunity to say thank you Lord. Thank you all of you supporters, for what you have enabled us to achieve for the year. For those who have lost loved ones, may the Lord give you His peace at Christmas.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and a happy new year.

Numbers 6:24

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn His face toward you, and give you peace.”

One comment

  1. I believe you and your dedicated team (and with the help of your dear family !)are doing an amazing job that results in providing such healthy food for those in the community. Well done! God bless you and guide you every step of the way to His glory!

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