My strawberry farming journal

The day before, I had come home with 4 sacks of soil and my intention was to plant the vegetables that I had removed from the seedbed. We didn’t have too much space at home plus the little we had I had already used for growing strawberries but I still needed more space. So I decided to make multi storey gardens, if you want to know how to make multi storey gardens find the details in this post. I made three using sacks, I couldn’t make them too high because there was no support system –the ground is all concrete so I couldn’t use poles to support them. I started planting one of the gardens and by the time I finished, I was tired and my finger was sore it was also pretty late so I decided to continue the next day.

the sack for making a multi storey garden

the sack for making a multi storey garden

roll the sack because you are meant to fill it with soil

roll the sack because you are meant to fill it with soil

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Growing in leaps and bounds

The strawberry crop was growing so fast that I was struggling to keep up. I was taking 35 new runners to Kiambu(their second home). I didn’t have any manure so we passed through Wachira’s farm to get some, HE SELLS rabbit manure at ksh1000 per 50kg sack.

rabbit manure from Wachira's farm.

rabbit manure from Wachira’s farm.

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Mixed farming:part 2

Housing
Characteristics of a good rabbit hutch include;
Well ventilated and there should be enough light but sunlight shouldn’t directly enter the hutch- too much heat causes sterility I males(any person with proof we could look up?)
The individual space for each rabbit should be atleast 60×75×50cm
Well drained:should be atleast 2feet from the ground
I would recommend mesh for the floor because wood becomes damp from urine or water. the mesh should be strong enough support the rabbit weight. The holes in between the mesh should be big enough to allow droppings to pass through. Whatever is below the mesh should be slanting to make sure the urine flows out, that means you probably need a gutter or a tray or a bucket to hold the urine.

rabbit hutch courtesy of PPHU Flotex - Houses for pets

rabbit hutch courtesy of PPHU Flotex – Houses for pets

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Embracing mixed farming

So I had developed an interest in Rabbit rearing for sometime now but I didn’t know where to start. My interest was infectious because at the same time, my dad decided he liked the idea and suggested that we should do this project as a family so that they would be easy to manage. Fast forward today,the rabbit hutch had already been delivered but the rabbits were coming in on this day! We went to collect  them today and oh aren’t they cute, they are both female and New Zealand white! For those who don’t know about rabbit farming, this is a little info:

mama rabbit- New Zealand white

mama rabbit- New Zealand white

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Lessons from history.

A newly planted runner.

A newly planted runner.

Now that it’s a new year, I’ve been reflecting on the farming lessons I’ve learnt in the last couple of months. It’s been 9months since I started farming and I have learnt a lot- I haven’t earned much but I can confidently say I have learnt a lot. I have understood that I need to plan, especially financially if my farming projects are to succeed, here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt so far.

1. Deal with pests and diseases swiftly- I think I delayed quite a bit before I took any action, partly because I didn’t know the solution needed.

2.network with other farmers- sometimes things got tough and I got the strength to go on by talking with other farmers and realising I’m not completely insane.

3. plan planting times effectively – understand how long the crop will take in the field and when it will be ready.

4. collaborate- I got a lot of help from family and friends because I couldn’t do everything on my own.

5. Plan your finances well- if you want to do agriculture as an income generating activity treat it like any other business, know your expenses, your income and your profits.(I wasn’t too good with this either).

6. Don’t give up when the going gets tough- sometimes it’s too hot while in the farm, sometimes the crop takes too long etc etc.

7.keep learning-whether from other farmers, blogs and sites, experience.

I’m still working on my financials but I’ll share my projections once I’m through, so I’ll keep you posted.

bougainvillea at the farm

bougainvillea at the farm

The assertive farmer

Once again I was heading to kiambu alone, this time I didn’t have as much luggage but I still had to carry a few things that I would need. What I liked about this day is that I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted to do it. I wanted to plant some runners directly on the ground, the first step was to make holes for planting then I put the runners in and put the soil over the roots, making sure that the crown isn’t covered.

I made sure the shoot isn't covered by the soil.

I made sure the shoot isn’t covered by the soil.

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farm fest!

Atleast on this day I wasn’t alone:  my sister, aunt and dad were all heading to Kiambu with me. We carried 42runners for planting in, talk about numbers, I already had 63runners from 50plants in 3weeks! I also carried the remaining 6litres of fungicide and some 11litres of water.

ready for planting...

ready for planting…

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