Better Lives

News & Updates

Kikondo, UG – SMW family earns and saves money from FAITH garden – May 2023

The resilient SMW family, one of the early participants in Wamukisa’s Food Always In The Home ( FAITH ) gardening program, continues to thrive with multiple sources of income for food security, home maintenance, education, and the sale of part of their kale and bean harvests. The family’s 4 children help their mother in looking after their FAITH garden. The family also rears goats which provide the family income from their sale and manure for the garden.

Since the family began operating a FAITH garden, for about seven years it has been able to have enough fresh vegetables to eat. They have now introduced beans as a legume to nourish the soil and later sell off the extra beans they harvest to some of the new neighbors who recently moved to Kikondo. Last season it sold 60kgs of fresh vegetables worth 60,000 shillings ($16 USD) and 25kgs of dry beans worth 375,000 shillings ($105 USD) to its neighbors. Most of the skills to grow, earn, save, and invest came from trainings that Wamukisa has been organising in Kikondo village. Wamukisa also provides compost, seedlings, and help to maintain the FAITH garden’s 6 beds.

The combination of growing beans with kale is especially good for families with FAITH gardens. Soils nourished with Wamukisa’s compost have beneficial microorganisms. Those organisms help bean roots to concentrate nitrogen from the air into root nodules underground. That nitrogen helps kale to grow. Kale is very nutritious, bears edible greens for a long time, and tolerates wet or dry seasons well. The SMW children snip lower large kale leaves to eat and sell, leaving the upper leaves to grow bigger.

The family faces challenges with labor for their projects. The goats and garden provide money for uniforms, books, and supplies for the children attend Kikondo Primary School. When school begins, SMW children have less time to help their parents as much with the goats. The FAITH garden becomes more hard to properly maintain so the family hires a labourer to help. They plan to continue practicing FAITH garden maintenance techniques so that they cut down on the cost of maintaining their farm.