The VH Public Primary School Garden is located in Lira district, Lira Municiparity, Lilian Hotel LC1. Under the leadership of the head teacher, out of the 675 students attending the school over 300 are directly involved in the gardening activities. The garden was established in the 1990s and has been taken as a model for the community surrounding the school. With its traditional varieties of vegetables (cowpeas, okra and sweet potato leaves among others), the school has managed to link this activity with the Department of Education to look for different ways to promote this publicly supported idea. In 2013, members of the school attended the Terra Madre Day celebrations at Bugolo Community Garden and saw how Slow Food skills could be applied to the garden. Two teachers who attended the Terra Madre Day celebrations returned with the idea of running the garden under the close supervision of the Slow Food Nile Basin convivium.
The main crops grown in the one-acre plot are potatoes, cassava, beans and indigenous leafy vegetables. The school has also a plot where orange and lemon trees are grown.
The garden is treated with a generous amount of organic matter (mostly goat and pig manure), while natural remedies, like a preparation made up with neem, are sprayed on the crops to control pests. The students taking care of the garden work in the plot every morning and afternoon, weeding and watering the soil, sowing seeds and applying the manure.
Science lessons are held in the garden and the students learn about the nutritional values of the indigenous vegetables that grow in the garden.
Since the school does not have a kitchen, the produce is not used to supplement school meals but is sold to parents so that the pupils can eat the garden’s harvest at home, sharing it with their parents. The revenue from sales is used to cover some expenses related to the garden’s maintenance (like buying public water to irrigate the plot). The parents are engaged in the garden project and are contributing by providing the children with animal manure and water when there is a shortage in the dry season.
Lira Municipality, Lira district, Lilian hotel LC1