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Ryan James

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I am the Head of Development at Londolozi's not-for-profit partner organisation, the Good Work Foundation (GWF). GWF focuses on education, in particular helping people living in rural areas to connect to a new, digital Africa and all of its opportunities.

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10 Comments

on Why Londolozi is turning to gardening

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Leslie Backus
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I live in Ohio. The last time I tried to grow sweet corn, there was 80 acres of field corn surrounding the property but the deer and raccoons completely ignored that and ravaged my sweet corn instead. We have a great farmers market in our small town twice a week though, so we did get to enjoy some corn that way. Farmer’s markets are great ways to share fresh produce and make a little cash as well. Besides offering the in-season fruits and vegetables, there are usually baked goods, honey, fresh milk and cheese, and homemade items there for purchase as well. It gives a communal feeling.

Ryan James
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Hi Leslie. Good luck on the next crop of sweet corn 🙂 Farmer’s markets are great. I’m not sure about the milk and cheese, but at Londolozi we’d hope to have the vegetables and the honey – watch this space!

Nicole Illes
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Am a garden designer in the UK. 😉 …One of the main keys to making a good garden is getting the soil just spot on with preparation…The soil that you’re working at Londoz already looks great…have you been adding much to it to get things going? I can imagine some well-rotted elephant dung would be fab! (just have to make do with using horse manure here! 😉 …the organic matter would also help to hold the water in the soil and provide nutrients…but it must be rotted down first, so it doesn’t take nitrogen out of the soil…Lovely to hear that the team are enjoying their garden so much …perhaps you could try growing your own fresh blooms too to create table decorations with? Enjoy! x

Ryan James
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Yip Nicole, elephant dung wouldn’t be a problem! Kenneth – Londolozi’s gardener – has been helping with the soil and I will follow-up with him. Rhino Dung is also a great option, however it needs to be properly dried out to alleviate the acidity of the matter before using it as compost. Check out this video on our gardener, Kenneth, using this technique: http://blog.londolozi.com/2012/02/how-to-grow-vegetables-with-rhino-dung/ . Our African farming adventure gets more interesting by the minute 😉 Great idea on the flowers.

Nicole Illes
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Guest

Thanks Ryan. Kenneth is super-cool! Just love his enthusiasm for his plants…Look forward to the next updates from the Londoz garden. x

Wendy Hawkins
Member
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Ryan, I love gardening & have learnt more over the years, but a book that has helped me a lot is “Jane’s Delicious Garden” by Jane Griffith. In Londolozi’s case, you wont need to plant the vegies in with the indigenous bush around you, but in the Baboon/bushbuck proof cages! The recycling can be done in your own “backyard” by getting in “its own cage”, a compost pit/heap going, by putting all the grass cuttings, the leaves from the trees, cardboard, newspapers, eggboxes, eggshells, overripe fruit, (maybe you have a bird feeder) leftover salad stuff, all the leaves taken off cabbages, lettuce, carrot tops, skins & potato peels, in fact all the peelings, add this to the pile, together with some of that ellie droppings that Nicole mentioned, with a layer of your beautiful soil. You will be amazed at how that will cut your refuse removal! No cooked food as this encourages rats. All the above I mentioned is placed in layers, either kept moist by watering or natural rain, some agricultural lime can be added to hasten the process, then this compost can be plowed into more cages that you prepare & in the end you will be able to support the entire lodge with fresh vegies. Your vegies that thrive in the heat (but need to be watered) are Pumpkins, Hubbards, Gems, Butternut, Brinjal, Tomatoes, radish, spinach, beans, oh the list is long. If you have bugs, no need to rush out & buy poisonous stuff, just make a solution of sunlight liquid & water & spray on – they gone! You may say squashes need space, not at all I have a small garden (300sqm) & last year harvested 15 B/nuts & 13 Pumpkins! So try & have fun. I would love to help where I can, but try the book & you have my email address. Good Luck its so rewarding. Don’t forget to show us the results? 🙂

Ryan James
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Guest

Hi Wendy – I have had a look at the book, “Jane’s Delicious Garden” online – thank you so much for the recommendation. For anyone else who is interested, go to Jane’s website – http://janesdeliciousgarden.com/.

There was a really inspiring quote at the top of the website as well, which I would love to share: “To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Thanks for sharing Wendy, and thanks also for the veggie recommendations.

P.S. Sunlight and water only? We’ll try it 🙂

Wendy Hawkins
Member
Guest

Ryan, thanks for replying! as horse manure is so good for compost, you have a “few” zebra’s that you could consider picking up some of theirs 🙂 🙂 What I should have mentioned is its too late for planting seeds now, so look for Jane’s winter varieties & when to get started. Happy Gardening 🙂
Yes, Mahatma Gandhi really hit the nail on the head & its so true, if only people would heed that!!!!

We want to see the results 🙂

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