Vegetable farm project yields first greens for canteen


An update on the Blue Skies Vegetable Farm project by Abraham Amoako Atta, National Service intern

After land preparation and transplanting, the farm begun to take its form and shape. The field was segregated into several sections, each section for every crop. The crops successfully transplanted included; tomatoes, sweet pepper, hot pepper, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, French beans (planted in-situ), cucumber (planted in-situ).

The growth Process

After crops were transplanted, most of them suffered instant shock o n the main field. This was because of the high temperatures we are experiencing now. This shock was severe in the first phase of lettuce transplanted which led to the loss of about 20% of the lettuce but with constant watering and extra care we were able to recover most of them. At this point, the cucumber, pepper (both sweet and hot), cabbage and tomato had already taken form and were well established.

Insect attack/ Disease /other challenges.

As it is normal with every vegetable farm, insects have made their presence known on our field, with cabbage being the most susceptible. To curb this, insecticides were introduced on the crops. This is done weekly to help minimize the activities and population of insects on the field. Temperatures lately haven’t been favourable enough for our crops, high temperatures have caused a lot of “leaf curls” almost throughout the field. Another major challenge has been inadequate rainfall in recent times and this has had a negative impact on the growth and physiological look on the crops. Through a brainstorming session we came out with several ideas on how to adequately supplement the rain water with irrigation systems. We started off with extending taps onto the field to speed up watering using watering cans and hose.

The success story

On April 12th 2016, our first harvest was made from the farm. We harvested 6 crates of fresh lettuce on our first harvest; about a week later additional 8 crates were harvested from the same field which was delivered to the kitchen directly from farm. Cucumber and spring onions were also harvested from the farm for canteen use.

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