Project Everest

Work Update

A month in review Fiji December Field Development

by
Emma Rickert
Emma Rickert | Dec 29, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

What. A. Month.

The four weeks were an absolute whirlwind for Fiji FarmEd Field Development, there were unexpected setbacks, goal reassessments, blood sweat and tears poured into the project, all up resulting in massive progress.

Our initial BHAG was perhaps too hairy and audacious, being to extend the existing permaculture plot to cover 1 acre. However, given all that we’ve learnt, I have no doubt that if the team somehow had another four weeks off the back of the month we’ve already had, this would be an accomplishable goal. The foundations laid this month will definitely allow for the January and February teams to hit the ground running and catapult the project forward.

Fiji definitely threw some curve balls, a broken tractor and torrential rain in the first week meaning we had to reassess how the month would progress. This setback turned out to be a blessing in disguise however, as it forced Field Development to rethink the construction of the plot, rather than racing ahead and making the same mistakes as the previous team had in July.

Week 1 wrapped up with the extension of drains to fix the flooding issues, as well as the conclusion that beds should be built up, rather than dug down in the future. Week 2 came around and saw all of the six beds weeded and the soil turned.

Progress slowed slightly week 3, during which we trialled a new bamboo fencing technique, but by Friday, we had completely re-fenced two beds, as well as adding extra soil to these to raise the bed heights and begun treating the seeds to be planted so that they fit organic certification guidelines.

Week 4 and everything finally came together, not only did the team (with the help of Market Analysis and Proof of Concept) finish fencing, adding soil to, and planting all six beds of the demonstration plot, but we also designed the blueprint for the new permaculture site near Sigatoka.

So where to next? January is going to be a huge month for Field Development, as they will begin implementing the blueprint designed by the December team, as well as maintaining and monitoring the existing demonstration plot at Ranadi in order to develop a system of best practice. The monitoring of the existing plot will ensure that the blueprints sold by FarmEd in the coming months are proven to work and as efficiently and effectively as possible.

All up, this has been an amazing month, and the hard work put in by all involved, but particularly the Field Development trekkers, has been absolutely inspiring. FarmEd as a whole has made massive progress this month, and shows no signs of slowing down, so stay tuned for great things to come,

 

Vinaka!

Georgie Scott Feb 16, 2018

Hi Emma,

You alluded to mistakes that were made in July - I was hoping you could elaborate on this. In Malawi we have learnt many lessons re experimental farms. I'm currently in the process of collating this all together and would be interested to hear your perspective.

Following on from this, were any conversations had with Ranadi Plantation, the Ministry of Ag or any other similar organisations in Cambodia about experimental protocol? This is something we are chasing hard in Malawi. A research station here runs about 100 experiments a year. These experiments follow strict guidelines. If we could get our hands on this, it would undoubtedly make experimental farm 2.0. here in Malawi a lot more successful.

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Mallory Dobner Jul 1, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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