Training – Field Study: Lessons in the Garden

Our May Field Study is currently being held on SIFAT’s campus May 12-25. Sarah Murphree, SIFAT co-founder Sarah Corson’s great-niece, is a participant this year. She will be blogging about her experience and giving readers a glimpse of what types of appropriate technologies and community development topics are being presented, as well as a look into who some of the participants are.  A 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sarah recently directed and produced two short films, one taking first place in the 2013 Nashville Film Festival. She is currently working on her third film, a documentary about Camp Koinonia.
During the past few days, we have had the pleasure of working in the garden.

We were able to get hands-on training in the gardens.

Letson, who works with SIFAT in Zambia, taught us how to create a compost pile and plow fields. John Carr, gardener at SIFAT, showed us how to start a garden and practical skills needed for its upkeep. Martin Price, founder of ECHO, enlightened us with ways to transport small seeds to larger areas.

Letson Kachoronga, who works for SIFAT in Zambia, taught the class how to compost. Letson is using Foundations for Farming at SIFAT’s Training Center in Zambia, which is still under construction.

John Carr, right, shares how tires can be used as container gardens.


Martin Price, founder of ECHO, taught a class on rooftop gardening and shared about nonprofit management.


Students practiced the skills they learned about in class in our garden, using plants ECHO and Leaf for Life promotes.

We all enjoyed working in the garden, soaking up warm rays of sun and occasionally munching on one of the blooming strawberries among us. But who were we to blame for our newfound berry love. SIFAT would be the first to attest to the abundance of strawberries this season for they have provided strawberries for us throughout every meal.
Strawberries for breakfast? naturally.
Strawberries on our salads? you got it.
Strawberries with dinner? why not.
Strawberries for dessert? bring it on.

SIFAT’s strawberries have been served at almost every meal!