In 2017 we purchased a new piece of land for the school. This ground is right next to the old one and runs all the way up to the street. The intention was initially to secure the option to expand our school and also to be able to close our school from the street side so that no cars or other traffic could drive on our playground.
Soon, however, plans were made to do something productive with this land. We thought it would be a good idea to start working this soil in order to grow crops on it. This, of course, in function of self-reliance. With the sale of the crops, they can earn some money themselves.
Our experiment started in 2018 with corn. This didn’t bring us enough, we thought. This was followed by some other experiments such as the local Yam and some vegetables for own use. This was also not enough. So we decided to also plant plantains and cocoa trees. The plantains yielded quite a bit of fruit in the short term. The cocoa trees were rather a long-term investment as they have to grow for at least 5 years before they really bear fruit.
At the end of 2021 we went one step further! We built a vegetable garden on a larger scale and we mainly focused on harvesting during the drier months because that is when the yields are highest. So we provided a small irrigation system to make this happen. Our first big harvest of tomatoes was a fact! We can certainly learn more about farming, but we have already left. At the end of 2022 we already saw it a bit bigger and made our vegetable garden bigger.
Since we are still looking for crops and our irrigation system is not yet optimal, we can always use money to optimize this. With the current economic crisis, the prices for the necessary seeds, maintenance products, … have only increased.