Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Berea Farm

By Sara:

I have had the opportunity to start spending time at Berea Farm, (across the road from the college) which is a beautiful, productive farm!  I am enjoying following the farm manager, Ann, around to learn from her.  Below is a picture of some of the tea that is grown there - it is all picked by hand.  I learned that when the plants flower, it means they are stressed by lack of nutrients or water or something - it is not supposed to flower if you take care of it well.

And here is a photo of Ann out in the tea field.  She is a very knowledgeable and competent farm manager.  I appreciate her willingness to let me learn from her and to discuss and brainstorm with her about plans for the farm.

 I have also been assisting the Anglican Development Service (ADS) with their chili peppers that they are growing at the farm.  They got some greenhouses set up there, but the covering material kept it too hot in the greenhouse for the peppers.  As a result, they had to move them outside and are now transplanting some in front of the greenhouses, using Conservation Agriculture practices, to see how they do.

 So, I was out at the farm helping to transplant the peppers and put mulch around them.  This is what happens whenever I am outside working and there are children around:

I am not sure what is so interesting about me transplanting peppers, but they don't get tired of watching!

We used the crop residue from beans as mulch.  And when I say "we", I mean myself and Ndumia who you can see in the picture below.  He works at the farm and is also a plumber!

The farm now has some sheep, along with their dairy cows, and I was amused to see them standing in the feeding trough while they were eating:

There are also the bee hives that belong to ADS, which I will be helping with.  I didn't want to get too close for a photo while not wearing a bee suit, so here is the far-off view!

I am sure that as time goes on, I will have the opportunity to learn all sorts of new things by working on the farm as well as being able to share some of my knowledge with the people there.


  1. What great opportunities you have had! Thanks for the pictures! I'm thinking it is a good thing that kids are outside watching you and being curious:)

  2. You have heard of the scare in the US about "killer bees" which are supposed to be "Africanized" bees. Are the bees in those hives relatively tame and harmless like standard western bees, or are they of the killer variety?

  3. Well, they are African honey bees (since those are the bees that are found in Africa), not European honey bees, so yes, they are more aggressive. (The "killer bees" are a hybrid between African European honey bees.) But people have been very successful keeping them and survive unharmed while harvesting the honey even without any bee suits! (of course, they do this at night) But don't worry, I won't be working with them unless I'm wearing a bee suit :)

  4. I'm sure you're thrilled to be getting your hands dirty again. Enjoy all these new opportunities!

  5. So enjoy reading about your work. We will remember you in prayer in church (Raymond CRC, MN) and at home. If you are interested in reading about U.S., my blog is I also have a blog Blessings. Helen Beekman