...nobody in Bula knew about Deep Bed Farming - and then Tiyeni field officer Love Msiska arrived. She's well qualified in agriculture but, more importantly, is an excellent communicator - and very clear in what her role is. 

One year ago, the first Deep Bed crops were harvested - yielding levels not seen for decades in this mountainous village. 

So why was this?  Well, through years of ridge and furrow farming imposed on farmers by “higher authorities”, the land had become so seriously depleted that some land was just not worth farming any more. 

Roll forward to 2019 and our pictures here. This farmer, Thomas Mwale, had given up on his land - in his words - abandoned it. However, with Love’s advice, he thought he would try Deep Bed Farming on some of the abandoned land. He did not have much hope, but the enthusiasm of other local villagers made him  try it. Below, you can see the compacted clods he produced by breaking the hard pan. Once he had done this he made them into Tiyeni deep beds, following detailed training by Tiyeni on skills and knowledge. 

Our picture below shows some of his land with fair crops of ground nuts in the foreground and maize in the background. The groundnuts were copious and well-formed. Each plant had 30 to 40 pods on it. 

The third picture shows part of his abandoned land in the foreground, where even weeds grow only sparsely, and in the background, huge maize plants with healthy cobs - where nothing grew before. Such is the ‘magic’ of Deep Bed Farming. 

Of course, there is no magic in it at all. This is just plain common sense, the very words used by the farmers of Bula. When these farmers start learning about this basket of simple land husbandry methods they grasp it very quickly and are soon thinking of ways of adapting it for their particular farms. 

So, they know that at the beginning they have to break the hard pan, but once tilled, they never have to do it again. And guess what is happening right now in Bula?  Nearly all farmers are making their land into Deep Beds. 

Eventually, this simple way of improving soil fertility by care for the soil, will spread throughout Malawi.