SEED CLIPPER CLEANER
We (NSF) are purchasing a seed cleaner and screens to make our seed processing more efficient and to provide higher quality seed for our seed distribution programs. The new seed cleaner costs $5,800 and is partially funded for $3,500 by a USDA SARE grant that NS/S received to work on heirloom wheats in Arizona. The seed cleaner uses different types and sizes of screens for cleaning a variety of crops. At the Conservation Farm, we grow and clean a lot of crop diversity, therefore we will also be purchasing a set of 13 screens for the seed cleaner that cost $60 each ($780). This seed cleaner is a small-scale, 2-screen type that is an appropriate model for small-scale farms. It will be available to our farming community to use, including Borderlands Restoration who work on native plant seed conservation for land restoration. It is an example of appropriate technology that is transferable to other small farms and it could be run on solar power.
OVERHEAD SPRINKLER SYSTEM
We are in the process of improving our water and energy conservation on the Farm by switching from flood irrigation to overhead sprinkler irrigation. The Farm has always pumped water up to an irrigation pond using a lot of electrical energy in order to flood irrigate. The pond is now in a endangered species restoration project with Fish and Wildlife that requires a continuous level of water to be maintained in the pond. For this reason, and for reducing the Conservation Farm’s water and energy use, we have decided not to use the pond to flood irrigate. We are looking to fund the equipment for an aluminum sprinkler irrigation system that will include mainlines, moveable hand-line sprinklers, and valves. This system will replace the gated PVC pipes that we have been using to flood irrigate. The aluminum pipes and metal sprinklers will be more durable and eliminate PVC from our farm landscape. PVC is a material that breaks down under UV in 3 to 7 years and it is not recyclable when it wears out.
Thank you Director Nancy Wall for arranging this grant.
A $1000 grant from Amaterra has been provided to Peace Corps Volunteers (PVSs) for a program empowering young women in Zambia, Africa. The program focuses on 8th grade school students. Each Peace Corps Volunteer brought two young women and a mentor (one adult) from their communities, to participate in a week long empowerment camp. The camp focused on life skills, women’s rights, sexual health, nutrition, and leadership. Also the young women were taught about good food, the dangers of teenage pregnancy, communication, and good farming practices. Of special significance for the mission of Amaterra, each participant learned about home/kitchen gardens, composting, income generating agricultural activities focusing on sustainable practices, and food security.
Glow Camp participants
After the camp the two participants and their mentor returned to their community with the Peace Corps Volunteer, over the next six months the young women and PCV formed a GLOW (Girls Leading our World) club in their community and recruited young women in each zone to share the lessons they’ve learned and help support each other. The goal is that by the end of six months a minimum of 300 young women will have been trained and receive support from this program across the province. Six months after (within a year of their initial training) the groups will be asked to coordinate with their Peace Corps Volunteer and host Learning Exchanges with local schools and nearby communities, sharing their experiences, lessons, and successes/failures.
Those young women they select in the community will be asked to form their own GLOW groups which will support each other within their WARD. The groups are encouraged to be self-sustainable from the beginning with the PCV’s acting as mentors, co-facilitators and supporters, not leading or dominating the programs activities. Amaterra Board Director, David Berger is in Zambia and has worked to help set up this program. We have been informed that, without our grant, the program could not have become a reality: a perfect partnership for Amaterra.