Friday, 17 June 2011

Greenhouse appeal

Reaping a good harvest of fruit and vegetables is crucial to the future of the Happy House and to the health of our kids.
Growing our own, in the long term, will mean a huge reduction in food bills ... but, without the right equipment, it's always going to be hit or miss.
Sue explains: "Our outside growing is doing well, but we cannot grow peas, as the sun burnt them all the other day, it was a shame as  they were doing well, Chris the gardener was mortified, as he had never seen peas growing before!
"If we were to have a greenhouse, with a controlled environment,  this wouldn't have happened and we would be able to grow a much wider variety of crops - garlic, peppers, carrots, cabbages, tomatoes and so much more."
She and Dave have been looking at the best ways of improving the yield and have discovered an award-winning company, Amiran Kenya Limited,  which sells custom-made Farmers' Kits which include greenhouse, plus irrigation system,  seeds, fertilisers pesticides, and, importantly , training.
The kit was created with the aim of allowing small scale farmers affordable access to modern agricultural technologies, methods and inputs of the highest standard.  Each is tailored to meet the needs of the specific farmer or group of farmers by adapting the components to suit the climate, terrain, and agricultural experience of the farmer.
Sue adds:" Dave went to see one in Malindi yesterday and he says they are brilliant. It was used for tomatoes and Dave said they were growing so well and huge! "
He was so impressed he took some back for Sue to see and try.  Now been to see another project using Amiran products and was equally impressed.
At the Happy House, the outside staff have created covered areas using sticks and palms to try to protect seedlings from the intense rays of the sun... but theya re far from ideal.
 Sue adds: "Dave & Chris the gardener went to Malindi yesterday to buy some strong netting to cover our homemade greenhouse but goodness me, it was so expensive, it would have cost £800 pounds just for net for the top, so that was not an option. A greenhouse is definitely a much better option."
It would cost £1,700 for a kit with greenhouse measuring 8mx24m... the Happy House grounds is big enough for three!
So many of you have so generously supported our appeal for seeds - our gardeners are pictured with packets which arrived from Linzi  and Lilian Crossley, who sponsor Margaret and Neema - that we really want to be able to give them the best chance of producing a maximum crop.
So if you can help by making a donation towards a Farmers' Kit or know anyone who might be interested in helping fund such an important project please contact Sue at or Elizabeth