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Now the Azolla's done its work boosting Hope Sakuma's ratooned rice the Makelekos All-Star ladies collect some from the rice paddies for our bocashi pit to layer with chicken dung, charcoal ashes, top soil, sugar cane and yeast to make a bio-fertilizer rich in nitrogen, phosphourous, potassium and minerals and a bio-fertilizer that increases our soils' capacity to store carbon for hundreds of years.

Makelekos All-Stars chief, Mohamed Lamin, proudly stirs and stands over Hope Sakuma's first Azolla Bocashi fertilizer pit, first layering the Azolla, collected by the Ladies, some charcoal ash, chicken dung, sugar wastes and top soil and using the Azolla Bolivia method, a bochasi shown to be richer in nutrients than other fertilizers.

Bocashi is a Japanese term that means "fermented organic matter" and the resulting Azolla based fertilizer improves soil condition and research shows it's 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.

A final stir of Hope Sakuma's first Azolla Bocashi fertilizer pit and the fertilizer's looking good! Mohammed Lamin's been turning over the pit every day for ten days amazed at how it heated up, now amazed at how the Azolla, biochar, chicken dung, sugar wastes and top soil have all melded together to make this rich fertilzer.

Hope Sakuma's farmer field school starts soon in Sanda Magbolontor chiefdom and will see farmers learn how to harvest Azolla and construct Azolla and fertilizer pits and vegetable beds to provide all the nutrients vegetables need to grow - a low-cost, high-nutrition, high-profit model benefiting subsistence farmers in the most disadvantaged Chiefdom in Sierra Leone.


Please and share our sustainable farming journey empowering rural women to improve nutrition, food security and climate change adaptation in Sierra Leone.

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