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How does our garden grow?

While it has been a minute since our last Samudāya Learning Garden Center (SLGC) update, the garden indeed continues to grow. Now that Nepal’s month-long festival season is over and Project Manager Manik has returned to KRMEF following his permaculture & organic farming coursework, we are making good headway on SLGC’s progress.

Several in-process items from our previous update are now completed and well established, such as *the demonstration garden planting beds are now thriving with cauliflower, broccoli, shallots, kale, mustard greens, radish, and cabbage;

*weeds from all terraces are now being collected regularly and added to the cows’ feeding regimen

*nitrogen-fixing is underway as the gardeners have replaced the cucumber plants with peas, fava beans, & soya beans to build soil health;

*tomatoes, coriander, and a variety of “test” plantings are now growing happily in the greenhouse beds. To maximize space & production, tomato clips are used to train the vines vertically, making pruning and feeding easier while providing an understory for intercropping;

*preparation for mushroom cultivation is underway;

*irrigation efficiency is improving as the upper water tank is now connected to the water source above the terraces, rather than pumping irrigation water from lower cistern; and

*the washing station/seedling nursery workspace is a step closer to completion as the shelving braces were built this past week. Shelf installation and roofing material upgrades are now in process.

As well, our own co-founder Mae Tanner is onsite at KRMEF for the next few months, working in a capacity separate from front porch. Her role as an intern/coordinator for the health clinic’s community health education and health care access programs occupies much of her time, but she’s also working alongside Manik to support SLGC as it becomes further integrated into KRMEF’s daily rhythm.

In conjunction with SLGC, Mae is assisting the Ankuran School’s teaching staff as they build gardening into the students’ daily routine by establishing a small school garden and cultivating vegetables and greens within the playspace's tire retaining wall. Students in Year 3 specifically concentrate on farming principles under the Waldorf-inspired curriculum.Instilling a connection to our earth and experiencing the growth of living things apart from the students themselves, however, are major aspects of the learning environment at Ankuran; thus, each child--from kindergarten through Year 5--will be involved in gardening throughout the school year. These practices not only help remove stigmas associated with agricultural work in Nepal, but help rewild Ankuran students as their natural curiosities about life, its mysteries, and the human interconnectedness with the earth are nurtured.

Transformational social change, led by a community itself, evolves over time. Stay with us on our journey as we work to contribute to their forward momentum!

Namaste, Andy & Mae

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