Permaculture at TYS

Despite valiant attempts at a diversified kitchen garden, our free-range chickens wreaked havoc on everything except for the coco yam, basil and aloe, apparently they are bomb-proof. This initiated the first of many farm projects this summer, which was to relocate and renovate the chicken coop. After diligent dedication the coop became a frame so that it was light enough to carry down the hill to the new garden beds.

How many people does it take to move a chicken coop? 18. Thank you, Putney Student Travel 2014! The coop is now a chicken tractor that can be moved around so that the valuable chicken manure can efficiently fertilize our fields without the chickens damaging our crops.

Another very successful, sustainable project has been the mushroom house. Putney Student Travel of 2014 helped to make some good modifications of the house and is now stocked with 20 bags. These twenty bags of mushroom spawn will produce 100 kilos of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) in the next three months. Most importantly, now that we have a starter culture, we will teach the incoming Bridge Program students how to perpetuate the cultivation to be a fully sustainable production. The full process includes everything from growing mycelia on grains, composting and sterilizing sawdust assembling the bags and inoculating the bags with the mycelia.

Sustainable Mushroom Production

One of the challenges of being a charity is to empower the students, not just to enable them. We strive to do that in the classroom and with projects like these on the farm. The students will be in charge of the hen house for the egg production and raising the pullets for sale or trade. Likewise they will be in charge of the mushroom house for mushroom production.

Without your donations, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this. Thank you!!

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