Keyhole garden providing nutrition for rural communities

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Keyhole garden providing nutrition for rural communities

  • Posted by: Precious Nkomo
mrs ndongwe chimanimani

Mrs Lilian Ndongwe of Muungani Village in Chimanimani is one of the farmers that created keyhole gardens. Mrs Ndongwe explained that the garden was made up of locally available materials such as ash, which provided potash, broken iron sheets which provided iron, animal bones which provided calcium. A hole was made in the centre of the garden, surrounded with sack materials and filled with manure. This is the point into which the grey water was poured. The garden was divided into six sections where Mrs Ndongwe grew spinach, rape, tomatoes, beet root, onions, carrots and herbs. The variety of vegetables ensured that farmers were able to prepare a four-star diet.
The garden itself was watered using grey water from the homestead which reduced the need for families to fetch water for the garden. Water used for bathing, laundry, washing dishes could be used for the garden. The garden was thus a labour-saving technology, particularly for women. The height of the garden ensured it was user friendly especially for the elderly. Mrs Ndongwe cultivated onions which ensured that the vegetables were protected from pests.

Author: Precious Nkomo

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