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Thanda Island Veggie Garden

A host of new developments and projects began on the island during the long lockdown period in Tanzania, one of which was to finally bring the idea of a colourful veggie patch to life. With a need for constant fresh produce and a new policy to limit contact with the mainland and suppliers, what better time to do it!

Lead by head gardener Mzee Saidi, we gathered our seedlings, manure, soil and our moon chart, ready to get planting. Mzee is passionate about gardening and was dedicated and proactive in creating the raised plant beds out of recycled woven palm leaves. He began planting the seeds in designated zones in our nursery which began to sprout between five days (basil and rocket) and two weeks (Italian soft salad) after planting. We are looking forward to our guests ‘reaping the benefits’ of all of Mzee’s hard work.

The team took clippings of fresh mint leaves, dried out seeds from cucumbers, watermelon and butternut squash and used packaged rocket, basil, salad, parsley, tomatoes and pawpaw seeds, and turned them into beautiful plants. Each of the seedlings was grown in specific areas of the nursery and then transplanted into the raised beds, which we kept organic through the use of liquid feed, made from soaking manure in water with a dilution ratio of 50ml: 1 litre, keeping all harmful chemicals out.

To our surprise, due to the salt content of the sandy soil, the taste of the produce has been more pronounced in comparison to some of the products we would previously order from our suppliers. An all-round success for the team, who intend to keep busy experimenting with a variety of fruits and vegetables.