On March 10, with a little cool breeze, the spring volunteer training of R&S began. Ben brought us to a very nice parent-child farm, the city garden farm. Beautiful! Moving! And lots of activities!

We were listening to Ben’s lecturing, while children had a good time in the farmland! If we were the roots, our babies are the shoots. During the training, the adults were in the heap and so were the children. One of them was giving a mini lecture of nature appreciation to his young fellows!

Our theme today is  no-till gardening.

How to do no-till gardening? Ben said that he had some English references, but he had no time to translate. Well, I swear again to pick up English. Everyone was devoted to the training.

We were taught  to pile up the materials layer by layer for the no-till gardening:

  • 10cm of wood chipping or bean shells
  • 0.5cm of newspaper shreds, watered thoroughly
  • 10cm of straws, watered thoroughly
  • a thin layer of organic fertilizer and 5cm of humus or organic matters
  • 10cm of straws again, watered thoroughly
  • another thin layer of organic fertilizer and 5cm of humus or organic matters, watered
  • and finally 10cm of straws, watered thoroughly

After these layers of soil-making layers, we dug a hole of 10 centimeters or so in diameter and sowed seeds. It seemed better to have a pen rather than memory.

Everything was ready and the volunteers then introduced their garden blue prints group after group.  They also designed planting labels with some re-used ice-cream sticks. Egg-shells were used as seed incubators. Everyone had a good time!

The training soon ended, and Shanghai R&S had already sown the seeds of hope in each of us. We are going to bring these techniques to more children at school.

Good bye my beautiful April.

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