We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Friday, 15 November 2013

What is Mycorrhiza Fungus?

The last blog shared of the heaviness of the past week or so. But despite the battles there is much to be thankful for! On Saturday, we came back from Dodoma (which Amisadai has just written about on the girls' blog) with Gideon Massaka, a guy who works with Sunseed Tanzania Trust, an organization also doing stove and tree-planting projects. We visited them back in Spring 2012, and now Gideon came to us to see what we were doing.  So early on Sunday we all headed to Pawaga with Jesca.  

Gideon learning the stove-making process

During our time in Kimande, Gideon was able to attend the stoves group to learn the three-day process of making our portable clay stoves. We hope that he will be able to grow the work he is doing in Dodoma, to help more people there with what he has learned here. He also led a great afternoon seminar on Mycorrhiza (mycor - fungus, rhiza - root), a fungus which by attaching itself to the roots is used to improve tree and crop survival and growth. We invited the stoves group and also our entrepreneural and green-fingered neighbour, Mama Teresa and were very relieved with a good turnout… an hour after the starting time!
Gideon teaching the Mycorrhiza Seminar
More about MYCORRHIZA ...

This slideshow shows the practical work we did with Gideon, preparing the mycorrhiza, this fungus that is then used to inoculate seedlings to encourage them to grow and thrive. The seeds planted in the soil are watered daily for three months and then the beans and maize harvested. The soil left is now rich in mycorrhiza and ready to be used for seeds. A small "pot" of regular soil is topped with a layer of this rich soil and a seed can be planted in it. The small pit of soil is enough for 5000 trees. The seedlings can then be planted out in the fields, and the roots full of mycorrhiza feed the soil for the crops planted there. Brilliant! So much soil here is being destroyed through bad use and regular burning and this fungus is an amazing gift from God that easily and freely replenishes the soil for the benefit of crops and trees.  

One evening we met with the two pastors of the Anglican and Assemblies of God churches in Kimande, planning a big weekend event at the end of November showing the Jesus film in Swahili. It is great to see the two pastors working together for their community! We were also able to meet with the original stoves group in Magozi (and meet with the church for the first time in ages!). The group needed encouragement to carry on. We facilitated discussion using an “asset-based approach” (excuse the jargon!)  seeking to overcome their hurdles. Definitely made steps in the right direction! 
Gideon headed back to Dodoma on Thursday and we now have two weeks without any visitors, which is a first since May! We really enjoyed our time with him; it was interesting and encouraging to hear of the struggles he faces and his joys and successes doing similar work in Dodoma, yet from a Tanzanian perspective!  It was great to see the strength of his faith and his vision for the future of his country.

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