Kenya Mfango loam

“I come from dirt”- volcanic loam used for family farming at Olambo’s Paradise Farm, Mfangano Island, Kenya

ky-cb-mfango-loam-swellKy-cb-mfango-loam-familyfarmDescription: lovely rich brown loama balance of sand, silt and clay.

Location: hillyisland on Lake Victoria,
volcanic in origin

“I am married to my soil! My farm sustains human life.  I come from dirt and will Ky-cb-mfango-loam-swellirrigreturn to dirt (dust)! I understand farming more than anything else. Experience is the best teacher! I share mine as much as I can too. As permaculture principles say “Start slow; grow big slowly and, things will be fine!”

Values for this loamy soil:
– all the good features of a balance of sand, silt and clay
– 1 fertile
– 2 good drainage
– 3 supports plant growth for better yields.
– as a family farmer it feeds my young family and others, including WOOFER volunteers
– Home for local biodiversity
– Basis of my permaculture teaching in the community
– Supports other community education and development projects

Challenges for this loamy hillside soil – and managements:
– Streams down slopes can erode in heavy rain – To fix it, we dig trenches (called swells) which feed into dams, and on a wider scale plant trees on higher slopes.
– Lower areas collect water to become damp spots– crops here are grown on raised beds
– Lack of water in the dry season – Use water collected in the swells through a watering system run by a foot pump for irrigating crops

See much more about this amazing farm in “Married to my food forest farm – Olambo’s at Mfangano Island” in the Family Farm Snapshots collection
or, for a smaller scale family farm Soil Selfies, also based in a volcanic soil, visit Ferrosol for Scottsdale garden, from  Scottsdale, Tasmania, Australia

Credits Nicholas Olambo, of Mfango Island,  gives permission for his information and Clement Burle for his photos to be used under a (cc) license 2015
Editing and page created by Jeanie Clark, enviroed4all®, Warracknabeal, for use in education under a (cc) licence 2015

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page setup 3 December 2015