ECHOcommunity Updates

Compost Heap Impact on Habari Maalum 2015-03-24

Except of an original story provided by Oliver Mhilu; Lily Albert and Odemari Peter Mwenda

The Habari Maalum Tree Nursery, outside of Arusha, Tanzania, provides over 200,000 tree seedlings per year to the surrounding villages. Until recently, HM has relied upon forest soil collected from the Olmotonyi Forest on the lower slopes of Mt Meruto replenish their nursery.

Increasingly, there is opposition and expense to travel the 10km up into the forest to obtain this soil. While the nursery has permission to harvest this soil, the Forest Department frowns upon this activity, and it interferes with other farmers who are interplanting their farm crops under the early canopy of the plantation forest, a method called "Taungya."

Since 2013 the HM Tree Nursery has decided against returning to the Olmotonyi Forest, and is now able to rely on compost heaps to provide the necessary nutrients for its trees.

"...we learned the value of compost and that instead of collecting forest soil from Olmotonyi forest we can prepare our own Compost heaps using leaves that fall within our compound which we used to burn before. This knowledge we are transferring to other community members so as to conserve the environment and to add fertility to their soils.

 - Japhet Tuwati


Persons desiring to produce and use soil-restoring compost enriched by beneficial indigenous microorganisms might be interested in the Textbook in Natural Farming - Principles, Concepts & Appropriate Techniques in [sic] Tropics by Dr. Arnat Tancho which is available through ECHO's on-line bookstore.

Additionally, a chapter on composting from Keith Mikkelson's Sustainable Agriculture book can be accessed on ECHOcommunity.

Upcoming events

ECHO Asia Philippines Sustainable Food Production Workshop
Tue, 12 May 2015 » Thu, 14 May 2015

The Aloha House and Natural Farm, Philippines

This event features wide range of workshops covering topics such as: Natural Resource Management,  Soil Fertility of Tropical Soils, Foliar Fertilizers, Small-Scale Livestock Production, Perennial Vegetables of the Tropics, Aquaponics, the System of Rice Intensification, Mushroom Production for Profit, Intensive Nursery Management, Dairy Processing, and more. All participants will participate in a seed exchange and receive a tour of the Aloha Farm.

Tropical Agricultural Development I: The Basics
Mon, 1 June 2015 » Fri, 5 June 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally  are encouraged to participate in this one-week course held four times a year. Course participants will gain an introduction to aspects of poverty and community development and an orientation to ECHO. They will also receive instruction on proven agricultural principles/practices and practical techniques, systems and technologies to meet agricultural and nutritional needs of small-scale, i...

Tropical Agricultural Development II - Gardening in the Tropics
Mon, 22 June 2015 » Fri, 26 June 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

This intermediate class is geared toward experienced overseas workers with involvement in agricultural development or those who have participated in Tropical Agricultural Development I. This is a week-long course offered which includes a combination of small classroom instruction, hands-on work on the farm, visits with staff, and study in the library. Much of the course content is presented from a biblical perspective. Who should take this course: Those who wi...

Tropical Agricultural Development I: The Basics
Mon, 27 July 2015 » Fri, 31 July 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

Course Description: Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally  are encouraged to participate in this one-week course held four times a year. Course participants will gain an introduction to aspects of poverty and community development and an orientation to ECHO. They will also receive instruction on proven agricultural principles/practices and practical techniques, systems and technologies to meet agricultural and nutritional nee...

Tropical Agriculture Development II: Appropriate Technology
Mon, 17 August 2015 » Fri, 21 August 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

This intermediate class is geared toward experienced overseas workers with involvement in agricultural development or those who have participated in Tropical Agricultural Development I. This is a week-long course offered at the ECHO farm in North Fort Myers, Florida. Course attendees will participate in an in-depth look at new and different subjects that will be announced after the first of the year. This course is a combination of small classroom instruction, hands-on work on the farm, visit...