In Summary
  • Mwangi says the followed the route to respond to needs of consumers who are increasingly becoming health conscious.
  • According to him, chilli pepper has a bio-chemical called capsaicin which repels all other pests and kills insects by causing membrane damage and metabolic disruption.
  • The crop takes about two months and two weeks to be ready for harvesting after transplanting.
  • Timothy Munywoki, a senior agronomist at Amiran-Kenya, says while it is possible to organically control pests, he advises that farmers should use commercially manufactured organic pesticides instead of herbal concoctions.

Timothy Mwangi bends to uproot a cauliflower vegetable from the soil before chopping off the curd off the plant’s swanky leaves.

“This is the procedure of harvesting cauliflowers,” Mwangi says as he carefully examines the plant.

“Once the curd — the white solid part of the vegetable — is harvested, the leaves are never discarded since they are as good as cabbages or collard greens,” adds Mwangi, the farm manager of Oleleshwa Farm in Narok West sub-county.

The 15-acre farm stands out as a pristine food forest and grows a variety of vegetables and fruits without use of any chemicals.

They include red cabbages, broccolis, carrots, butternut, grafted oranges, pawpaws, apples, lemon and passion fruits, all which are grown organically.

“We use animal manure as our fertiliser while we mix herbs to control pests.”

Mwangi says the followed the route to respond to needs of consumers who are increasingly becoming health conscious.

“People are becoming very selective and specific in what they eat, and as a result, organically produced commodities are now popular.”

To compose organic pesticides, they mix hot chilli with onions then mash together before mixing them with vinegar. The concoction is then boiled.

“To make the concoction, we slice four pieces of onions, then mix with 0.5kg of chilli. We then dilute with three cups of water and boil it. A pinch of vinegar is then added to the solution,” he offers, adding that three cups of the solution is diluted with 10 litres of water during spraying.

With the organic pesticide, the farm is able to keep away stubborn pests such as thrips, caterpillars and aphids, and powdery mildew disease.

“This concoction has been very effective in controlling pests. We have never used chemicals in pest control since we started,” he says.

According to him, chilli pepper has a bio-chemical called capsaicin which repels all other pests and kills insects by causing membrane damage and metabolic disruption.

The farm also grows tomatoes and pepper in 12 greenhouses and vegetables in the open field.

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