Wednesday, 30 October 2019

ORGANIC FARMING- HARVESTS UPDATE AND RESULTS OF THE SOIL TESTING


When the rains started we started plating furiously like all the farmers in Kwale who rely on the rainy seasons to produce. Despite having a well we have found growth and production does slow during the dry spells when we use our well water. (high in Chlorides)

We have had some issues with the heavy rains damaging seedlings, the fresh hatching of pests taking more.. but such is the way of organic farming. Healthy fruit and vegetables but the losses to the ecosystem are higher. More natural predators are essential.. so think what they like and need and ensure you have these around your farm. (IE Rock piles for lizards, bush/brush piles for hedgehogs)



This rains we have planted a lot of cow peas in the beds which were producing leaf greens before, this is to fix nitrogen back in the soil. 

Results from our recent soil test (Thank you Cropnuts Ltd) have shown that, in general over 5 test points, we have soil that is a little too Alkaline, (maybe due to the water from the well and the wood ash used to deter slugs and snails) we have too much Phosphorus in a couple of locations (too much composting) and we have high organic matter. (less composting and we will be considering adding some sand to break up the soil and allow it to be more airy (Hydrogen was too low on all points- a little gentle tilling might help).

Difficult at the coast- Broccoli
So what have we been producing in the past month?

Eggs.

Carrots, Pumpkins, Gerkins, Dhania, Kress, Rucola, Sukuma, Red Mustard leaf, Parsley, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Egg Plant, Mint, Broccoli, Spring Onions, Chives, Rosemary, Okra, Green Chilli's and Scotch Bonnet Chilli's.

Guavas, Pawpaws, Passion Fruit, Lemons, Bananas, Custard Apples

Aaand we have a few trials of some new stuff on the way.. if it works. ;0)

















Friday, 25 October 2019

ORGANIC FARMING- COMPOST MAKING AND RE-USE OF 'WASTE'

Through the history of the Sand's Organic Farm we have tried to find ways to re-use items which in many cases with other hotels would end up being thrown away and forgotten.. probably in some landfill.

How many re-used items can you see in this photo from the Sand's farm?
See if you can count how many up-cycled items are in this one photo above.. the answer is at the bottom of this post. ;-)

Compost making is actually very easy for anyone who has the organic waste, space and time..  When making it.. just think 'Lasagna'. Dry layer (air gets in), wet layer, dry layer, wet layer.. until it's a small  (turnable) pile.. if you want put a stick into the centre of the pile for you to do 'temperature checks' from time to time to ensure the decomposition is happening. 
Making the compost 'Lasagna' layers
The issue with some locations towards the coast is the wildlife. Baboons and monkeys can wreak havoc in a compost pit so for those that have these natural inhabitants around it is even more important to put your compost in a cage or a pit. (ensure it is turnable). 

Multiple compost piles turned and watered regularly
Organic waste that is available to wildlife will encourage the wildlife to remain in the area of the food, it will also encourage theft from houses and it will create some dependancy from the wildlife on the food waste. Basically problems all around for both the humans and the wildlife.

Answer to the question above- 6:

PET bottles as pots, 
20 L HDPE containers as pots
Empty Glass bottles for raised beds
Old Tires for raised planters
Broken Jacuzzi's as raised planters
Broken Mini-bars as raised planters

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

UPCYCLING PLASTIC BOTTLES (PET #1) POST IV

Some time ago we touched on how plastic bottles can be used to make art pieces. Today we have made so much more.. and found ways to make sure we are using the WHOLE bottle not just some of it. We don't want to be throwing little bits of PET plastic away.

David from the Sand's 'Green Team' and the first edition.
The Sands at Nomad's green team was commissioned by the management to build a huge jellyfish which, if it's good enough, could be put in a public place as an art piece and an awareness piece.


After perfecting the design on a smaller version.. the blue and brown guy, work started on the 'main event'. The bottoms of the bottles are cut off, these are woven onto binding wire (the only non-recycled part of the pieces).


Some of the PET bottles themselves are then turned to plastic 'string' which was then used to tie the bottle bottoms together or used to make the tentacles. 

The HDPE lids were removed and put through the Kwale Plastics Plus Collectors shredder so that these can be put through the extruder, pumped into the moulds and turned into something else.



Watch this space (or the real one) for where the recycled Jellyfish makes an appearance. Oh, and check out the floor in the photo above made out of old rubber 'flip-flops' collected off the beaches. ;-)

Thursday, 17 October 2019

WHAT PLASTICS ARE EASIER TO BE RECYCLED?- HDPE vs PET

Did you know- Just knowing what kind of plastics are able to be recycled is one step towards reducing one's personal footprint in any environment.

Did you know that PET bottles (like the plastic water bottles seen on roadsides, floating in oceans or washing down rivers) cannot be recycled? So why are we buying them? 



Imagine that when you go to the shops to buy household products you only buy plastic bottles which are HDPE (easy to recycle). You can make a small difference.. and together we can make a big one.



If one looks at the bottom of most plastic containers one will see a number or an abbreviation. The number '2' is for HDPE. This can go through shredders and extruders to make new things.. like these Key rings made in the recycling centre at The Sand's at Nomad.


As a way of getting away from plastic (PET) bottles- A personal, reusable water bottle is most definitely the way to go.. refilled from a refillable 20L bottle in the house or hotel. If you are given plastic bottles, be gentle but ask why.. it may make a difference.

PLASTICS SEPARATION AND RECYCLING

As some of you may know, a little while ago The Sands went into partnerships with Kwale Plastics Plus Collectors (KPPC) www.kwaleplasticspl...