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

Friday, 2 October 2015

Homemade Bio-Fertilizer

Once again, this week there seems to be far too much to write about! But I will keep this blog post short and entirely focussed on one thing ... bio-fertilizer.

I'm sure I just lost a bunch of you! But for those of you still interested, follow along!

Last week, with the able help of Joseph, we made our own bio-fertilizer which we can teach other farmers in the agricultural project how to make and use for their crops. The bio-fertilizer can be used to provide bigger and better harvests. As it is made from natural food products, it is a far better alternative to chemical fertilizer and not to mention a lot cheaper and easier to get hold of!

So, step one involved pounding the skins and flesh of a pineapple with a pestle and mortar. This we then soaked in water to soften ... and then pounded again.

Pounding the Pineapple
Then we pounded a kilogram of dried fish into powder. This was hard work and Joseph ended up doing this on the verandah with a large stone!
Dagaa (small dried fish)
Pounding the Dagaa

Then we heated a large hunk of solid molasses sugar to liquefy it. This was harder than anticipated because boiling caramelised it and any time off the heat solidified it again! But we got there in the end and mixed it in a bucket with the pounded pineapple, powdered fish and some extra water.

Hard molasses

Mixing the strange and smelly concoction!
It stank! We mixed some more. We put the lid on and labelled the bucket with the date. Since that day, every day for seven days I faithfully stirred the fermenting mixture. Now it really stinks! On day 7, we stopped stirring and are now leaving it until day 14 to stir again. And then we will stir again on day 21 when it will be ready to be poured into glass containers to store until we dilute it to use in the field.
Job done!
And as a post-script to this post, we also made some homemade natural pesticide to deal with some of the pests in the crops. An awful concoction of chili peppers, garlic, onions, baking powder, soap pieces and ash mixed with water. This also (if it proves successful), we can teach the farmers in the project how to make and use for their benefit! It's easy and it's cheap and soon we'll see if it works! Has anyone else tried this? Or find it as interesting as I do?!


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