Wednesday, 28 October 2020

ORGANIC FARMING- READYING FOR THE RAINS


We harvest daily with some emphasis over busy weekends


For the majority of people trying to farm the rainy seasons are when one plants the seeds carefully stored over the hot, dry spells. Not many have access to boreholes or wells and as one nears the beach the water tends to have higher Chlorides. Some plants are better at dealing with these chlorides than others, we have found there to be considerable stunted growth in more sensitive greens and herbs once our water harvesting tanks are empty and we are watering from the well.

Now, with the Short rains approaching we have been preparing ourselves on the Nomad Farm with compost being removed from the piles, we have made new mixes of topsoil, compost and sand to get the correct soil characteristics ready in our beds before the onset of the rains.

Cape Gooseberries ready to be planted out.

Basil seedlings in a polystyrene apple box

Now is the time for planting some of the more sensitive plants seeds into nursery areas where they are protected from pests and any harsh environments, interestingly many people may not realise how easy it is to plant nurseries around one's house. If you have a balcony or a small garden space with sunshine for some of the day you can grow. If you only have concrete floors it is still possible, see below for ideas or look up Urban Farming on Pinterest or the Web.

Capsicum seedlings in a cardboard box.
Just put it on the ground and the cardboard will rot.
Rucola in a rough cardboard tray,
long leaves are used to mulch and provide support.

Photos (Above and Below) are some examples of the free and repurposed planting items we have used in one of our nurseries, once the rains have started we will be moving these seedlings into the waiting planting beds, or jacuzzis in two cases.

The obvious one- water bottles as planting pots- Basil
Removed and discarded 20L plastic lids,
growing Dhania.


Tuesday, 20 October 2020

SOME OF THE ONGOING PROJECTS THIS WEEK

These past two weeks at The Sands at Nomad have been full of action on the sustainability front. Building projects repurposing glass bottles into building blocks have been started at the Marine Education Centre where a sustainability exhibition space is being created as part of the Sand's support for Conservation and Sustainability through awareness and education.


As these building projects require glass bottles which The Sands and the Nomad Beach Bar have been stockpiling for years, eight members of the local community where hired each day to help clear out and repack the storage and maintenance areas. Items were carefully checked for reuse or repurposability before being repacked and stacked creating a more satisfying and spacious workspace. Glass bottles have been moved to the site for the Sustainability Centre, waste items have been separated and stockpiled so that each can be delivered to the correct location for recycling.
Stacking 'waste' bottles into types and colours
Above- The soon-to-be Sustainability Centre


Check the colour coordination in the wall. These bottles are more for use as bricks than as a light up art piece like the main gate at The Sands at Nomad's boutique hotel. They still look nice though and it saves having to buy brick. One negative is that quite a bit of cement is necessary, and the production of cement is a huge contributor to global warming, for this reason it is advisable to add some good old 'lime' into the cement mix so that less is used. 

As we are clearing out workshops we are taking advantage of the opportunity to collect (other than more old fridges, jacuzzis, 200L metal drums and all sorts of other treasure) all of the wood chips, pieces of old wood, planks, rotting chairs and sun beds, old poles, thatching, cotton cloth and ANYTHING that is organic and biodegradable. All of this organic matter has been loaded into trucks for transfer to the Sands at Nomad's organic farm where we are making industrial sized compost piles
         
ABOVE LEFT SIDE- Scrap wood and planks make a good aerated base.
ABOVE RIGHT SIDE- Sawdust and/or Woodchips is a good material for the 'layering'.

BELOW LEFT SIDE- Old thatch makes good compost material.
BELOW RIGHT SIDE- Garden and Vegetation cuttings and sweepings are also very good. (Some people burn this.. WHY!!?)

 





As we have said before, Compost making is like making Lasangna, wet-dry-wet-dry. And we are throwing in  fruit and vegetable waste from the Hotel and Restaurant as many of the wet layers.. In about a years time we will have lots of compost to use to grow even more organic vegetables and fruit.. so we can make even more compost.
 
As many of you know, at the Nomad Beach Bar the drip-mats used underneath one's glass, glass water bottle or carafe of water are actually made from old diving wet suits which used to belong to Diving the Crab dive centre also located at the Nomad Beach Bar.

 

Some of the side projects ongoing thanks to support from The Sands at Nomad. Above right the beginnings of another construction nearby which is set to use THOUSANDS of glass bottles of all types, shapes and colours all cleared from three years worth of The Sands stockpiling these knowing they have value.. they are not waste. 

In the left hand side photograph one can see an example of building using 500ml plastic bottles which have been stuffed tightly with single use plastic packaging and nylon wrappers. 7000 of these bottles were delivered to the Sands Organic Farm over the Corona times and some members of the community got to take some money home to a much cleaner and healthier environment.

The Sands, Thinking Green

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

MANAGING WASTE - Meat (Proteins), Starch, Carbohydrates

Well here we are, after three years of learning about correct sustainable waste management, we are finally getting to a stage where we can be proud of our progress here at The Sands at Nomad, The Nomad Beach Bar and Diving the Crab. One of the biggest steps we made only recently.. and it was a long time coming.

As you may know from reading our past blog posts we already have in place systems which reuse, repurpose and recycle the various types of waste we are producing from the hotel and restaurant. We have  been left with the Meats, Starches and Carbohydrates (M/S/C) which, all go into the 'RED' bin already.

Plate scraps from the waiter station red bin.

Recently The Sands took an extra step and purchased an industrial meat grinder which is now being used to grind up ALL of the above waste. (Apart from large bones).

The waste we are grinding comes from the red bins in the Restaurant Butchery, the Kitchens and the M/S/C bins at the waiter station, which includes the plate scrapings from unfinished meals.. so there is some vegetable matter in there, as well as rice, bread, egg, eggs shells, fish, chicken, beef, pork, beef, prawns and occasional crab. This 'waste' is collected twice a day before it can begin turning bad, it is then frozen overnight before being boiled in the morning.
Grinded

Once the 'waste' M/S/C is boiled it is then handed over to The Sand's Green Team for grinding into mush.. or as we like to call it free dog and cat food made from 'waste'.

Boiled
Once we have been running this system for a while and we have ironed out any issues we will have another look at what percentage of our waste we are now, reusing, repurposing or recycling and how much is leaving the premises as 'waste'.

Watch this space.

NB- for anyone trying this at home be aware that Dogs and Cats are not supposed to eat too much 'human food'. The more meats the better.

WASTE USES AND MANAGEMENT- How serious are you?

Did you know that The Sands at Nomad has a 'Green Team' dedicated to managing the impact of the Hotel and Restaurant. Their days ar...