Our first attempts at growing it from seed down in our southern Centre suddenly crashed after the sorghum around it was harvested. Wandering goats decided the tender seedlings were perfect as an appetiser and local children inadvertently crushed most of what was left.
We rescued the couple of dozen that escaped, cleared the ground, built a fence and bought in two ox-carts of manure (about 1000kgs).
Then we bought 100 new 1mtr moringa cuttings, dug holes, applied manure and planted the field again. It grew well and was due to be extended during the next couple of months ready for the rains. But the rains failed and all was lost.
We’re excited over the potential of the moringa tree.
Nutritionally it’s amazing!
Its leaves contain high levels
of vitamins, calcium, protein, minerals, and iron, and its
seeds are rich in oil.
It’s fast growing, drought
resistant when established
and excellent for water
purification —no wonder it’s dubbed
“The Miracle Tree”.
Gradually we’ve built up a seed bank.
We’ve found that seedlings are the best way of growing moringa successfully in our area. Cuttings were particularly prone to termite attack, and sowing seeds directly into the ground brought poor germination.
So we plant individual seeds in pots, and distribute seedlings.
Irrigation is a challenge, but once established the seedlings are relatively drought resistant.
Our vision was to process the leaves - clean, dry, crush to powder, then issue as a valuable food supplement.
By the end of 2012, a Processing Unit was built, designed to hygienically handle both our goats’ milk and process moringa leaves into a nutritious food supplement for the malnourished.
Our Chiringa Centre didn’t fare much better, not many of the moringa seeds germinated successfully, but we also bought in 100 cuttings which were planted around the site, but most fell to termite attack.
But we harvested seeds, and kept trying.
The aim was to have it roofed by Christmas 2012, which we achieved.
During 2013 we need to fit electrics, plumbing, plaster walls, lay floors and fix steps & interior doors, dig a cesspit and tank to store “grey” water to be pumped for irrigation.