Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thousands of Visitors

This year marked the seventh year that we have hosted a Farming God’s Way Kiosk at the National Agriculture Show here in Uganda. At our kiosk we also had an amazing garden which made for a great spot where many people could stop by and talk to us about Farming God’s Way.
Setting up for the show. Our maize is on the right with three rows of beans/
It was easy this year, to attract visitors, as we had some of the largest maize (corn for flour) in the show. In fact many said they thought it was the biggest at the Show! Glory to God! If you want to attract farmers in Africa, grow big attractive maize. It’s the staple crop here and most farmers appreciate a good yield of maize. I estimated our yield to be about 3T/acre which is 7.5T/ha. This is quite good and is easily 5-10 times more than what most farmers get here in Uganda (Sub-Saharan yield are around 350kg/ha). In fact, this year, it is almost only our Farming God’s Way farmers in various communities across Uganda who have yielded crop this last season – most crops dried up as the rains ended early. Most maize yields will be 0kg/Ha this year!

Klint Ostermann, a friend from Vocare ministries, explaining Farming God's Way
I man the kiosk with many other trainers from around Uganda. We usually need 3 to 4 trainers at the kiosk at a time to handle all of our visitors. My good friend Andrew Wandera took much of the week to be at the kiosk as I was busy with Jane in theHospital. Andrew works for a great organization called Amazima ministries across the Nile river where he and his farm staff train and follow up over 100 farmers using Farming God’s Way. It’s great to have my Ugandan friends explaining how to farm to their Ugandan brothers and sisters.This is really "Farmer helping Farmers!'

Andrew Wander teaching fellow farmers
Some of the crowds at the show -- this wasn't even a busy day!
The agriculture show is visited by thousands of visitors each day – I would guess some of the peak days got to 15-20,000 people within the show grounds. We had a steady stream of visitors wondering what it meant to “Farm God’s Way”. It was a great chance to point people to what it means to follow God’s directives, through His word, the Bible in our lives. We explain how to observe His Creation and follow His Word to be able to live in the abundant life that Christ has promised.

Most people can’t believe that we didn’t till (plough/turn the soil) to prepare our land. I have a selection of photos prepared for them to see how we prepare our garden without tilling the land. Then the next biggest eye-opener to them is the value of God’s blanket (mulch). We get these ideas from God's "gardens"; in most of creation the soil is covered with dead and dry leaves, twigs and grass which has died and fallen on top of the soil. We also observe that God doesn't disturb the soil by inverting it in Creation -- God doesn't plough! God’s blanket is the crop insurance that farmers need; it protects their soil from erosion and moisture evaporation, additionally it eventually rots and becomes humus and also adds biodiversity to the soil biological life. We estimate that a good rain can be stored under a good blanket cover for even more than a month. Those who had God's blanket this season were the one's likely to survive the drought.

By the time the show was done we had handed out hundreds of brochures, sold scores of our affordable Field Guides (at less than a dollar each) and we had received thousands of visitors to our kiosk. Some have signed up for our upcoming Uganda NationalTraining Event in Kampala this week and will learn more about Farming God’s Way.

look at the size of that maize!
Thanks for all you do in helping us to be herewith the farmers of Uganda. By God’s grace, and the power of His word, we are making a physical and spiritual difference in their lives.

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