We’ll Start with the Soil

I assessed the lay of the land at the Wat today.  I must come up with a plan for teaching the community bio-intensive gardening skills for creating and maintaining a nutritious, affordable food supply.  The site is about 5 to 7 acres and has dorms for the children and volunteers and rooms for arts and crafts, meditation, teaching classes, internet access, etc.  There are fish ponds (tilapia and catfish to sell at the local market), pig stables, and several vegetable gardens.  The gardens are not doing too well, so we hope to fix that.  Currently there is a gardner on site, Po, who has been doing a good job on the facility’s gardening but not so well on growing food.  He’s tried tomatoes and squash, but to no avail.  We’ll need to focus on building the tilth and health of this clayey soil before planting anything. Po and I talked, but I was speaking English and he Khmer! This was a bit of a problem.  The Wat translator and operations-go-to guy, Channa Nov, was busy today, but I’ll find him tomorrow…

– Brian R., Cambodia

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