The Baraa school garden is found directly on the school grounds, on a flat terrain situated about eight km outside of Arusha. The garden is cultivated by 580 students (320 boys and 260 girls) ranging in age from 7 to 16 years old, with the help of four teachers.
Various kinds of plants are cultivated in the garden, among which there are: beet roots, sukuma wiki (a type of cabbage), three different types of amaranth, sweet potatoes, beans, morella (black nightshade), lemon grass, moringa, aloe vera, hot peppers, etc. The produce is used in the school’s cafeteria to supplement the meals offered.
The soil in the garden is kept fertile through the use of cow manure and compost. Only natural methods, like a mixture of finely chopped aloe vera and crushed peppers, are used to protect the plants from diseases. This particular mixture is prepared in the evening and left to sit overnight, before being applied to the plants in the morning, while another method used in the garden is a mixture of Indian cloves and ash.
One of the biggest challenges facing the garden is irrigation, as the supply of water is insufficient during the dry season. This problem could be resolved with the use of a cistern to catch rainwater.
The students also hope to obtain a food dehydrator to help them conserve the excess produce, to be consumed then during the off season.
For more information, please visit:
Baraa village, Arusha district, Tanzania
Alex Mlay, Joseph Shirima