My name is Mrs Magaret Chikohwa- Mutambara and I am a farmer resident under Headman Ngani in Chimanimani District. I am very happy with the keyhole garden intervention brought by SIRP. After attending training under SIRP, I came back and informed my family about the intervention. They liked the concept and we then started construction of our own key hole garden which you can see. We have witnessed some positive changes brought by thus intervention, principally the diversity in nutrition.
One of the most positive things about this garden for us who are now inching towards being elderly is that we can do our work while standing. The garden does not strain us in terms of water. After washing our dishes, bathing or doing laundry, we take the grey water and use it to water the garden through the filter in the centre. We no longer throw away most of the waste from the home as it can be recycled in this garden. The bones provide calcium, the ash provides potash while old iron sheets provide iron. After some time, we replenish these materials in the garden.
The most positive thing is that the garden helps us to prevent nutrient deficient diseases such as anaemia and other vitamin deficient diseases while also building our immunity.
We divided our garden into different sections where we grow herbs, beetroot, spinach, rape, carrots, Russian okra. Among the vegetables we also grow shallot onions and oregano which emit a beautiful scent as well as repelling pests. We fenced our garden with locally available materials. When community members visit the garden, they leave after a long time and they will be moving around, smelling the herbs and admiring the vegetables.
This garden has generated a lot of interest within the community. Community members come here to learn about how to construct the garden. I am happy that the community is copying what we have done here and they are replicating the garden in their homesteads.