This garden is located in Kasambara village, Gilgil sub-county, Nakuru county. It was established by a group of 20 sweet potato growers who are now working on including more local crops that do well in the area and are less cultivated. They have a 1/4 acre piece of land that was donated by one of the group members, where they cultivate a wide variety of crops like black nightshade, amaranth, spider weed, cow peas, pigeon peas, cassava, millet, sorghum, kale and sweet potatoes. They also have some fruits like sugarcane, mountain paw paws and different types of berries. They are also growing animal feeds with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture, where they are multiplying the seeds to make sure they have enough for their animals. The group members prepare the manure and they have to ensure that it remains covered till it is ready to be used. They also make compost and use mulching as a way of fertilizing the soil. Plant extracts made from plants like Mexican marigold, aloe vera, black jack and ashes are used in the fight against pests. Intercropping and crop rotation are other techniques used in the fight against diseases, breaking pests’ cycles and enriching the soil. Growing desmodium between crops is yet another way to repel pests. The garden is only rain fed, which poses a big challenge during dry season, although simple drip irrigation is done mainly to fruits. The group eats the garden’s produce together, some are stored as seeds and the surplus is sold for income generation.
Kasambara Village, Gilgil sub-county, Nakuru county
Samson Kiiru Ngugi