What do you get if you combine 3.5 hectares of land, 31,000 poly bags, turned inside out and with holes poked into them, 3,400kg of DAP fertilizer, 400 tons of soil – sifted to remove stones, roots, and assorted foreign bodies, 2,951m of PVC pipes, 176 sprinklers, 4 water tanks, 3 water pumps, a whole swag load of assorted fittings, 29,872 radiant oil palm seedlings, and 85 bags of rice husks with 1,277 man days?
Why it’s the Seed Change Nursery.
All through April and most of May we were busy preparing the second phase of our nursery at our new site. Once the seedlings have been growing for three months in the greenhouse they are transplanted out into the open where they will remain for the next nine months. Large poly bags are filled with soil and arranged in equilateral triangles 90cm apart. The soil is sifted to remove all large objects(with shovels through 2m high mesh frames. All 400 tons of it. That’s a lot of shoveling). Removing the few rocks and roots makes it easy for the seedling’s roots to explore their new home. Phosphorus fertiliser is added to this soil to facilitate root development and help seedling quickly overcome any transplant shock. The irrigation was laid out and sprinklers installed. Once all the bags were filled with lovely soil and arranged in lovely straight(ish) lines, the lovely seedlings were released from their little poly bags they were out-growing and gentle nestled into their new homes. A quick spray with the sprinklers and they were feeling good.
If you like the look of our nursery, maybe consider making a donation so we can continue to grow great seedlings for smallholder farmers.