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DIGGING AZOLLA BOCASHI PITS


The Makelekos All-Stars making headway on Hope Sakuma’s first Azolla and fertilizer pits to extend Azollas’ use year round and in between rice growing seasons. First a pit for the Azolla, to be lined with cow dung preventing water loss and root penetration, as well as giving any ducks en-route somewhere to play!

This first Azolla pit, dug to another metres depth will make for a safe hatchery for Hope Sakuma's first fish, protected from birds by the dense cover Azolla provides, as well as somewhere for our ducks to play! And the pit will also help feed both fish and ducks, providing Azolla and manure for our farmers bochasi pits.

Then a deep one for our Azolla Bocashi or fertilizer pit - sterling work and precision pits from the Makelekos All-Stars! Hope Sakuma's Engineer Amabest sites in semi-shade to provide good conditions and we’re utilizing Azolla Bolivia’s experience for both our construction and recipe! We have some ashes to boost potassium levels and some sheep dung to compare with the chicken dung Bakarr brought from Uncle Bai’s poultry farm. Bakarr also brought some yeast and baking soda to activate the process (and compare efficacy) and Boliva’s chancaca (our sugar cane or palm sugar) to aid fermentation.

Bocashi is a Japanese term that means "fermented organic matter" and the resulting Azolla based fertilizer improves soil condition and research shows is significantly richer than other composts in all the things plants in general and vegetables in particular need to thrive: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and all the other minerals, sugars, starches and proteins released during the fermentation.

In Sanda Magbolontor chiefdom - where our sustainable farm, Hope Sakuma, is based - there are hundreds of hectares of inland valley swamps suitable for intensive rice production and we're hoping to show farmers in our Farmer Field School that amazing Azolla can reduce subsitence farmers costs and boost yield intensifying rice production sustainably.

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