In 2009, Mercy Touch purchased 32 hectares of farm land. Almost immediately, it began the
process of doing some renovations to the buildings, doing one building at a time. Mercy Touch also started looking to get livestock and to begin growing food on the land.
This property will allow us to construct 10 houses where we can house 100 kids total and employ 10 house mothers and 10 helpers. There will be 10 children per house. We also now have the opportunity to run a community school that will help the kids in this village where the farm is located. Currently on the property there are two fish ponds, a banana plantation, and other gardens.
We started here
Oct. 2011 Update
We are now able to generate some
income from the hammer mill operated by our Mercy Touch boys. The neighboring farm workers who come to
grind their corn at a fee use the mill. Our own children made over $300 in the
month of April from the mill takings.
Peas were harvested and sold. The
small amount raised goes a long way to contribute to the expenses in the homes.
We are expecting tomatoes will be ready by the end of July, and we hope to
raise some good money as well. A good number of cabbages have been transplanted
onto a big portion of land. Also, more beds are being prepared to finish
transplanting onion; which has grown in bulk. A small portion of winter maize
(corn) was also planted. To help in the irrigation of the crops we bought a
hundred meter polypipe horse to replace the leaking pipes. The water flow and
pressure has increased; making watering much easier.
Bananas are coming up very well and we
are about to start applying manure. Joseph, the garden worker, is able to do
plumbing, so he to lay the polypipe, in the garden. He has connected banana
irrigation pipes; which we got from our storeroom. The polypipe, water valve,
and a detector for the water pump; cost $300. Fifty-meters of polypipe was
connected in the main garden and the other 50 meters in the banana garden.
HARVESTING OF MAIZE
All the maize (corn) has been
harvested and we just need to do the shelling. For now it has been stored in the
CONSTRUCTION OF TWO
We received a generous donation that
we hope will allow us to build two more houses on the farm. Work has begun in
excavating and laying the foundation for one house, and soon work will begin on
the other house. Both houses will be able to accommodate two house parents and
up to 20 children in each house.
Mercy Touch farm has fishponds from
where we have started to farm fish that will be consumed at the farm as well as
sold to outsiders. The Zambian government provides help through officers from
the fisheries department. They help by giving free consultation on how to do
We plan to renovate the block of
classrooms on our property to begin using it for the community feeding program as well as other community
outreach events. This year in November a team will travel from Alberta, Canada
to go and help in the renovation; and also to help launch the community-feeding
program. The feeding program will focus on malnourished children as well as the
education of the mothers in growing food that they can use to feed their
children. We hope to give some parents portions of land on our farm to grow
gardens from where they will be taught these skills.
Mar. 2011 Update
Like everywhere else the vegetation at the farm is flourishing! This is the busiest season in the farming world of Zambia as it is the only season that doesn’t need to be irrigated and has the most growth due to the constant watering and heat. Workers are hard pressed to keep up with crop maintenance and keeping the grass cut. With the grass reaching over 6 feet tall it can be quite a nuisance to other plants and a security issue.
The maize (corn) is growing very well with nice, full heads that have form and now tasseled. The bananas have been expanded and several trees are bearing fruit again. Other crops currently being grown are ground nuts (peanuts), soya beans, and sweet potatoes. In all the farm is a busy place as we look forward to harvest season.
We are working hard to begin providing for the food and even sell some crops
Feb. 2010 Update
February finds us in the middle of rainy season. This is very advantageous to us at the farm as we are delighted to see substantial growth in the crops. At the moment, the largest crop is maize (corn) which reaches well over 7 feet tall. Other crops include popcorn, peanuts mixed with beans and sweet potatoes. There are also several nursery plots for household vegetables such as cabbage, tomatoes and onions. New areas continue to be cultivated for planting and future crops. For safety and protection, some high traffic areas were cut down to remove the high grass and improve visibility. Last week we were delighted to taste our first bananas from the farm. They were small and very sweet. This week we are eating the first of the corn (maize) as well as okra and more bananas. The pigs and chickens continue to grow well.