I have just returned to Sierra Leone and have had a wonderful time catching up with friends and colleagues. I am so excited about the Tree of Life project and have hit the road running. My friends Kassim and Sissoko joined me this week in doing a small project to test the Moringa trees.
While in America, my good friend Tom Brockelman tested the soil on the land where the project will be located. The results indicated that the land is perfect for growing the Moringa trees. The land lies adjacent to a brackish river that empties to the nearby ocean. I wanted to test the land and also a technique known as intensive cultivation.
We began by digging a plot that is approximately 2.5 feet by 2.5. feet. We dug a pit about 70cm deep and mixed chicken dung with the soil removed from the pit. It was a difficult task because large stones were found just below the surface. We had to use a pickax, hammer and chisel to remove the stones.
After refilling the mixed soil, we soaked the soil for a couple of days. We will wait several days before we plant 121 moringa seeds on the plot. They will be planted 10cm apart making them grow close together. When the trees reach should length after about 6 weeks, we will cut the trees back to about 20 cm from the ground. This will allow us to harvest the leaves and then we will await the new growth from the remaining cuttings. The new leaves will grow back in about a month and we will harvest again at that time and so on.
Thank you all for your prayers. We have received an estimate for the fence around the one acre of land. It will cost about $15,000. We are asking you all to pray that God will provide these funds so we can move forward in the project. In the meantime, I am working on preparing the curriculum and Bible studies for the project. Again, I cannot do this without you all. Thank you for everything and may Christ receive the glory for it all!