Today it was back out the orchard site to lay out the plot for support posts and fencing. Once we arrived the ground was still pretty wet from the rain last night. This is the rainy season and it literally rains every day. It’s like clock work in fact it is raining right now. The ground looked like the women had done a great job in smoothing it out and it was now time to cut up some sticks and lay out the support posts. Once we started to measure the spaces between rows at 1.9 meters it became apparent that we were going to be able to get another row in. We originally calculated that we could get 10 rows of 16 plants in. Once we decreased the space between the fence lines from the two outer rows a little we were able to space in another row. Because of a walk way around some tree roots at one corner of the plot we had to trim off one plant from each of the first two rows. There will be 9 rows of 16 plants and 2 rows of 15 plants. The total orchard site will contain 174 passion fruit plants with 66 posts supporting them.
Mathew and one of his workers came up from Mumias to cut the raw timber that we had purchased for 2000 Ksh. They were able to get 31 posts out of the raw timber. The support posts would normally cost 100 Ksh each and by cutting them ourselves the cost was about 65 Ksh each. We will have to purchase the rest of them at 100 Ksh since we have no more raw timber. The remaining posts should be on the site by Friday. Some of the widows stayed after their meeting to dig the support holes. Each support pole is 10 feet long and at least 2 feet must be in the ground. The widows decided to allow 2 young men that needed some money to do the fence work. These two guys dug the 21 fence post holes and cleaned up some of the existing fence line and barb wire. Once the fence posts are here then they will finish the job and nail up the barb wire. The negotiated price for the two days of work was 800 Ksh. I am going to throw in an extra 200 Ksh as a tip.
Just as the afternoon storm was coming in we put in the last of the first 31 support posts into the ground. Tomorrow the women will finish digging the remaining 35 holes. Hezron and I will finish laying out the plant locations and start to run the heavy gage wire between the support posts. Here are some pictures of our progress.
Sticks positioned and ready to dig some holes
The two young men digging fence posts
Digging the support post holes
Hezron and Chairlady putting in support post
Starting to take shape
John Omala had returned from his visit to the
and told us of his adventure. It turned out that he only missed the last two days of the CFO Conference he was attending. He told us that once he left United States he wasn’t feeling that great and within a couple of days he went to his host to tell him he was dying. They took him to the hospital there in Kenya and they hadn’t had a case of malaria in over 100 years so they rushed him by ambulance to Dayton, Tennessee where they were able to get him the treatment he needed. He kept commenting that he did not see any poor people and everyone had such nice homes with lots of things. Coming from such a poor environment and seeing the Chattanooga for the first time must be a real shock to the senses. United States
John has another plot of maize that will be available in September that he wants to convert over to passion fruit. So tomorrow John, Hezron and I will measure up the other plot to see how many plants we can get on it. John thinks that the plot is about three quarters of an acre. I anticipate that this as well as some of the other plots available in the area we will get to a point where we can transport the product without eating up all the profit.
Take care and God bless