CA Series Entry 4: Herbicide application

I know what you may be thinking – herbicide application in conservation agriculture? Correct. We are not talking about organic farming. CA allows the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides and herbicides. What matters in CA is again, precision. In today’s entry, this means, measured dilution of herbicide in water and correct amount of…

Northern Ghana Pre-Season Forum

The end of March marks the ‘hot season’ in Ghana. This is when the harmattan winds cease and humidity caused by sporadic rains makes the air even heavier and harder to deal with. Compared to 2016, this year is already proving to be different – for one, the first rain Macondo saw was only a…

CA Series Entry 3: Mechanized Land Preparation

In Conservation Agriculture (CA), mechanized land preparation uses different machinery to abide by the pillar of minimal soil disturbance. Namely, it uses an attachment called a ripper. The one we had available at training was a spring loaded ripper. It has three components and are in the order of their function: 1. Discs – They…

Women: Making a difference since time immemorial

Today I want to highlight individual women in Macondo who are super in every sense of the word. They are strong, hardworking, caring, kind and wow have they made all the difference in my service. Without them, I simply would not be anywhere near as content as I am in Macondo. For International Women’s Day,…

60 years of Independence

Yesterday marked Ghana’s 60th year of Independence. What a young country! And the first in Africa to have gained independence from colonial rule. Four years later, Peace Corps was born and as they say ‘learned to walk in Ghana’ – it received the very first PCVs ever. This last week marked Peace Corps’ 56th birthday…

CA Series Entry 2: Manual Land Preparation

Actions and necessary tools are based on using readily available and free resources. It would be nice if all farmers had GPS devices – the accuracy would be unreal but the likelihood of that is even more unreal. Even if it were possible, it would not be practical. The best methods use local, cheap (this…

TisuĊ‹ ni taba: friendship bracelets

In early January, we had our first meeting of the new year. There is a core group of girls that attend and it was these girls that attended this meeting. Early on, when we first started mid-2016, some expressed limiting the attendance to those who are committed and I think this has naturally happened. It…

CA Series Entry 1: Conservation Agriculture Principles

Sorry for the delay in getting the series going! Let’s dive in. There are four principles or ‘non-negotiables’ of conservation agriculture (CA): 1. Minimal soil disturbance (no till – minimum tillage) 2. Residue retention / crop cover 3. Crop rotation 4. Agroforestry Doing 1-3 equates to conservation farming and doing 1-4 to conservation agriculture. Other…

Blog series: Conservation Agriculture

Last week, I was able to attend a week long training on Conservation Agriculture in Tamale. Two trainers from Kenyan NGO, Participatory Approaches for Integrated Development (PAFID), conducted this training of trainers for myself, two fellow PCVs and about 30 Agriculture Production Officers (APOs) from the project we are linked with. It was such a…

Busua, Western Region

Traveling to Busua knocked off my bucket list traveling to all ten regions of Ghana. By no means does that indicate I have seen all there is to see here – far from it! I have yet to see the hippos in Upper West, sleep at the Kristo Buase Monastery in Brong Ahafo, sit on…

Mid-service reflections and developments

These past two months I have been inconsistent with my posts. A busy time with harvest, lots of travel and saying bye to newly minted RPVCs. Not long ago I wrote an entry marking my one year in country but now I am just past the mid-service mark and still feeling reflective, further compounded, I…

Integrated Pest Management and Striga

In November, the project I am linked with held a seminar to discuss two maize pest problems faced this season: Fall Armyworm (FA) and the Black Ant (BA). An entomologist based in the US and working on the project conducted the seminar and it was extremely informative and interactive. Macondo and our demonstration plot was…