Thing #2

Our garden.

One of our favorite things about Botswana is our garden.  We have spent a lot of time on it considering how little it has produced, but we continue to try new ways to make it work.  Like many things here, we appreciate small accomplishments and are always considering new ways to make it work. Our first attempt at a garden produced teeny, tiny vegetables.  Click here to see the smallest turnip, eggplant and tomato you ever will see.  After the first harvest, we realized that we had to do something different.  Now, we collect manure from around the village and have a compost hole.


We start almost all of our new plants by seed in cups on our porch, often the seeds are from our food. Here is a picture of a fraction of the seedlings.


We built a major (by our standards) new garden structure with PVC piping and shade netting (thanks for the tips, Luke).



And we made individual water drips out of recycled food containers attached to various posts (you can see them hanging in the back of the garden) and we cover young plants with hay that was weeded from our yard after the last rains.


We have been collecting succulents from around the village and planting them in various succulent arrangements, we also found an amazing gardener in Kanye, Mma Dimpho, who sells some ornamentals to add to our collections. Below are examples of two of our succulent gardens. It is amazing how quickly new growth is spotted after transplanting the various cacti to our yard.

SideSucc Junc2

We have always foraged some plants, below please see our fire pit with huge cacti from across the street and banana plants that were growing near a water reservoir until they were re-homed by us.



We have some smallenyana trees growing from seed (thanks, Audrey for your green thumb) like this avocado which is about 2 feet high.  We also have a few small citrus plans and a variety of small acacia trees that are almost ready to move to the yard. We know we will not see the fruits from these plants but hope that another PCV will inherit this house and the garden.  Our neighbors often help us with watering and planting and, hopefully, they will still live on this compound to be able to enjoy the plants when the produce.


Our garden provides us with so much.  Our garden prompts us to be innovative, to figure out new ways to make it work.  It reminds us to be vigilant, though conservative, with water and to pay close attention to the sun and the rains.  It provides us with a practical place to teach our young neighbors new skills, while we too are learning.  Our garden is definitely one of the top things that we love about our adopted home of Botswana.


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  • kristingraettinger

    I love your little garden! If you ever want other types of seeds just let me know because my mom runs a seed garden in kansas. I am so impressed with your composting and growing etc. AWESOME.

    • Jon & Kellie

      Yay! Thank you. We planted lots of the seeds you sent. Yesterday I created a zucchini/cantaloupe patch with cantaloupes that you sent!