Friday, February 28, 2014

Foundations for Farming & February Leaders Training

(First, I can't believe that it has been 2 months since we have updated this.  I have no clue where the time went!)

Back to the title of this post ... Foundations for Farming ... yup, we are learning a little about farming.  Here is an update from Mark on what has been happening this past month.

The early part of 2013, Brad and Jill Hixon as well as Doug and Debbie Crawford, attended Foundations For Farming (previously known as Farming God’s Way) training.  The Hixon’s had a vision to help find willing Mozambique church leaders to implement this farming style.  They knew it would have resistance, as this would break multiple generations of traditional farming techniques.  As the months went, circumstances played a significant role in which the vision was postponed.  After the outreach season, Mark and Alicia Raley as well as Doug Crawford, assisted Brad with a test field at the Samaria Mission farm.  The test field was not as successful as they had hoped and realized that farming is an everyday event to weed and take care of the crops God has put into man’s care.  

Brad was able to talk to Ernest Maluleke, Xicumbane Baptist Church’s grounds keeper and orphan garden keeper, in the latter part of 2013.  Brad explained to Ernest the basic steps of this farming method in hopes that Ernest would implement it.  Brad left Ernest in Mozambique knowing that he would not see Ernest until 2014.

In January 2014, Brad and Mark were blessed to attended another training of Foundations For Farming.  In this training, Brad and Mark soon realized some of their mistakes they had made at the Samaria Mission farm test field.  They began to be enthusiastic about training and praying that this farming style would be beneficial to the rural areas of Mozambique where fertilizer is limited and where rain is the main source of watering the crops.







During the February 2014 Leadership Training, Brad and Mark spent two days with Ernest in Xicumbane repairing the shade netting to the small Church garden.  


 They were able to find an old homestead where the thatching from the buildings were on the ground and not being utilized.  Brad and Mark found themselves transporting the old thatching to the garden site so it could be used as “God’s Blanket” that keeps moisture in the ground around the crops.   



After several trips one day, the thatching was enough to cover the entire side of the garden that will be using the Foundations For Farming.  The next day, Ernest wanted more thatching for the other side of the garden to use it as “God’s Blanket” to help with the other gardening technique Ernest has been doing for years. 





While spreading the “Blanket”, several village people came to investigate what was taking place.  This gave Brad and Mark an opportunity to share how God has provided all the nutrients in the topsoil and that tilling the ground disturbs those nutrients and to share how the “blanket” keeps the moisture in the ground so the evaporation does not take place so quickly and to keep erosion from happening as the rains would take the topsoil away.

The implementation of this style of farming is tough at first as to find the heart and will to make it a part of living.  As this style of farming is used, it becomes easier to keep weeds out as the “blanket” also is a type of weeder.  The same planting hole, or planting station, is used every time a new seed is planted.  The hole receives manure in it before the seed so the nutrients that the crop used are being replenished before the new crop is planted.

The Zimbabwean farmer, Brian Oldreive,  who God inspired with this farming technique to help with rural farmers along with other farmers, have estimated that Foundations For Farming technique on a hectacre of land could produce 4 tons of mealies (4000kg of corn) in a single season.  When the season is over for mealies, planting soya beans or bush beans will help the farmer continue with another cash crop.  Not only are these a cash crop, they actually replenish the nitrogen in the ground that the mealies have depleted.

With this training, Brad and Mark are praying that the Mozambique churches involved in orphan ministry will be committed to changing the farm technique to this Foundations for Farming.  This farming could not only grow enough mealies to feed the orphans and widows and their families, but also be able to produce a cash crop in order to pay for fuel for the water pumps and mealie grinding machine, more seeds, and other ministry needs.  Please pray along for God to change the hearts of the people in order for orphan and widow ministries to flourish and to Glorify God.

For more information on Foundations For Farming please look up and read their website at

For an update on the February Leaders Training please take a few minutes to look at pictures on the Samaria Mission Facebook page  as well as update on The Crawford's Blog