While school is back in session now and our campuses are buzzing again (with new precautions, of course), things were pretty quiet on campus this spring. However, that extra time gave us the opportunity to develop some new ideas and projects at our farm and restaurant. As many of our community programs were on hold, we have continued to expand our permaculture efforts at both campuses, seeing higher and higher yields. Papa's restaurant has been closed since the spring, but the staff has stayed busy with many new projects that we'd like to share with you.
With so much produce now (about 2,400 lbs a week!), we have needed to create new systems to preserve the produce so that none is wasted on our campuses. Also, we have some great opportunities to share our bounty by selling Papa's products which further increases our sustainability. With the extra time this spring, we were able to start canning tomatoes and packaging our own Papa's tomato sauce.
We've also started canning zucchini soup and offering frozen chopped spinach and kale. We've made Papa's hot sauce and our own handmade chili powder. We've even started making mozzarella and ricotta cheese right on our farm. Our solar freezers allow us to freeze extra meat to use or sell as needed, and we've been experimenting with our own popcorn, just for fun!
While we hope Papa's will open for guests again soon, we are happy to have these new products to share with those in our area and are glad to be able to make good use of our surpluses. We are working hard to make sure nothing goes to waste and that we are good stewards of all that we harvest, especially this year. Once again, we are proud of how our Mainsprings team has worked diligently to implement creative solutions and innovative ideas even during "down time."
An update about our Permaculture partners
This spring we shared with you about the grant program that allowed 10 organizations in East Africa to attend our Permaculture Design Certification Course and receive ongoing support. We wanted to give you an update about what a couple of these organizations are doing now, 6 months after the course.
Pastoral Women's Council (PWC) in Tanzania is home to several acres of farmland and a Secondary School. We were able to help PWC install berms and swales to help keep as much water on their land as possible, and they are now in the process of planting hundreds of trees on that land and adding gardens so they can better feed their students and improve the quality of their soil.This method of farming is especially important to PWC, because they have depleted soil and often face hard droughts, so after establishing this Permaculture system, we hope to see improved soil, drought-resistant fields of trees and produce, and much more diversity in their area.
African SOUP runs a school in rural Uganda, and after learning about Permaculture at Mainsprings in February, they too have hit the ground running. Much like PWC, their first priorities are also keeping as much water on their land as possible through installing berms and swales, and developing a much more diverse offering of fruits, vegetables, and wood trees so they can be more sustainable, help to improve the nutritional content for their students, and help to improve their soil and environment!
Mainsprings: Janada Batchelor Foundation for Children PO Box 4541 | Tulsa, Oklahoma 74159 (918) 706-2268 | firstname.lastname@example.org