Saturday, February 12, 2011
Well, there's a time for everything -- including a time to train and teach farmers. That time, for me, here in Uganda, is during our dry season. We are still in the first and longest of our two dry seasons here in Uganda and I have been able to successfully run workshops in all four of the Deliverance Churches where we are training local farmers. I was also able to add another training hub in a small village called Bubugo which is also in the same region but is a church that is under a training program run by my friend Nathan Jore. I also ran a three day "Introduction to Farming God's Way" seminar for church and NGO leaders in the Jinja area. As well, I continued teaching and training at the Come Let's Dance (CLD)Agricultural Vocational Institute. The CLD course wrapped up with the first group of students yesterday as they sat their final exams and attended the Farming God's Way forum monthly meeting.
It has been crazy, but in many ways it must be that way. I have determined to reach our farming communities in the dry season for the training workshops so that the farmers have time to think about, observe and plan for a Farming God's Way (FGW) garden on their farm. If we don't reach them in time they will have planted all of their crops and will thus not have any place on their farm to plant according to FGW methods. And having no place for a garden means they will not have tried to adapt theses revolutionary farming practices -- which means they will not have a chance to test and taste the fruit of doing things God's way. We measure our success by adaptation and the quality of that adaptation.
Our dry seasons are usually from the end of December up until the end of February and then also during the months of July and August. During this times the farmers have more time to attend workshops and are not so tied to their gardens. In Farming God's Way timing is one of the major keys to success in farming; it is also a major key to the success of training. So I have had about one seminar per week in the last month and a half. The rains haven't yet come and I am breathing a sigh of relief as the training is done and I can now get ready to do farmer visitations; helping keen farmers to set up their fields and to encourage them on their new journey.
The attached photo is of the area in which we do our rural church ministry. North is to the right (West is towards the top). The roads are mostly poor so it takes about 30 minutes to the closest church and more than an hour to the further ones (Kamuli, Kisozi and Lwanyama). Jinja to Kamuli is less than 60km as the crow flies but takes about an hour with current road conditions.