Nobesity Samoa created its first keyhole garden at the Endemann residence, Ululoloa yesterday.
Birthed out of the idea of the late Seumanutafa Dr. Malcolm Hazelman for a healthy Samoa, the project aims to involve parents in promoting a healthy life within their families.
“The idea is to get parents to create very simple vegetable garden in their backyards and to make sure there’s readily available vegetables for their meals for the whole family,” Project Coordinator, Visceta Meredith told the Sunday Samoan.
“Today’s (yesterday) activity has always been something Nobesity Samoa had in its to do list mainly because we were pushed and were really encouraged by our dear friend the late Dr. Malcolm.
“I think because there’s always a shortage of vegetable and second it’s very expensive, not all the time but there are times when there are none available locally so we have to rely on overseas vegies and fruits, which we know can be quite pricey.
“So this is just to give an idea of providing sustainable and affordable vegetables for the parents to create nutritious meals.”
Mrs. Meredith says their Nobesity programme uses children to be agents of change in their families through the health activities they learn.
“What we are learning here at Nobesity is really to encourage kids to start at a younger age so that when they grow up they will continue the teachings of living a healthy life.
“It’s more like instilling good habits. The kids will know the importance of staying active and also having a good nutrition.
“Good nutrition comes in the form of meal proportions, how many meals, what they should have on the plates should be a balanced meal. The programme runs three days a week, they do a little bit of running and push-ups and then some fun games. The idea is to keep their bodies moving.”
She says the project is not only limited to members of the Nobesity programme.
“We invite all parents and children to participate. We hope to visit other households too every two months for similar projects. Nobesity has planted the seed and it’s up to them if they want to continue.”
She also acknowledged Seumanutafa’s vision for a healthy Samoa.
“Dr. Malcom believes health message will be effective if we come down to food intake, so he encouraged our team to take our programmes to the homes. Malcom’s concept is cost effective.
“You don’t really need much, most families here in Samoa have got green waste lying everywhere, so he just wants parents to get involved.”
Mrs. Meredith is grateful to the Business Systems Limited for their support.
“First you place layers of stick which helps the soil,” Mikaele Maiava explained.
“After that you put heaps of cardboards and it is also to recycle wastes, which is one aim of the keyhole garden.
“After you put the cardboard then you pour water because the cardboard will absorb water, which will keep the soil moist and after that you put in any green leaves, but we recommend legumes leaves because it contains lots of nitrates and then you put your chicken manure to help start the compost and then you put in any brown leaves, and then the very last part is the soil that you put right on top.
“At the top in the middle, as you can see funnels they act as feeders, so all the compost and waste from the kitchen, especially vegetable peelings, they go into the feeders. So when you put it in and then you put the bucket of water in there so the bucket will take the food into the soil.”
Making a keyhole garden takes one to two hours.
“To harvest what we’ve done here takes about three-four weeks depending on the weather also,” Mikaele said.