Mr. Mandela's garden

Meet Mandela Lemesa, a dedicated father of two and husband to a lovely wife. For years, Mandela’s garden was a seasonal affair, vibrant with corn in the summer but lying barren for the rest of the year.

This changed when Mandela attended the FARM STEW training at a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ethiopia in October 2023. There, he absorbed the principles of farming theory, learned hands-on techniques in the church compound’s field, and grasped the concept of nutrition-sensitive agriculture for small gardens.

Mandela learned how to enrich soil health using dry grass to shield it from the sun, directly water the vegetables, and protect them from microbes. Inspired by this training, he immediately transformed his entire backyard into a garden.

He cut down the dry corn stalks and planted different vegetables for the winter season. Then he covered his garden with dry grass and leaves. In little time, Mandela began reaping the fruits of his labor, harvesting fresh kale and tomatoes from his kitchen garden.

But what makes Mandela’s story even more inspiring is his eagerness to share his newfound knowledge. He taught his neighbors the techniques he learned from the FARM STEW training, sparking a ripple effect across the community as they started their own kitchen gardens.

Mandela’s story is a testament to the transformative power of the FARM STEW training. It not only empowered him to maximize his garden all year round, but also inspired him to become a beacon of knowledge in his community.

Fitsum Tarekegn

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