Benjamin Sellé

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since Jul 04, 2014
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Recent posts by Benjamin Sellé

That is very encouraging and exciting!
Bless you guys as the farm recovers!
2 years ago
I like all the advice above. There is wisdom in a multitude of council.

I would say that if you struggle with cash, getting a bit of income isn’t a bad thing.

56 acres is big. Leaving half of it and getting paid is not a bad idea.

Focus on your first half get systems going nicely then in a few years get something else going.

You can negotiate with the farmer the type of fertilisation he can put on the hay fields.

Four years worth of manure and compost will do your fields good.
2 years ago
Roberto, thank you so much for introducing me to the Africa and greening the desert groups! I didn't know there were sub groups. Thank you so much... A whole new world opened!

For a bit of background, we just moved to Ethiopia and we are looking at buying a piece of desert to turn it back to what it can be. I am still looking at machinery and things we would need, thus the question about the trees. I feel also that if we can develop a tool that can transplant pioneer species, this could be a fantastic tool for the region... Just by moving trees to create strips on contour could flood proof and seriously limit run off in our region... I'm just dreaming out loud... I'm speaking with a tree spade company to see if they could develop a tree spade that would be thiner but deeper, potentially 3 meters deep, so that we can get a large part of the tap root.

Coming back down, we are looking at needs and tools and budget. We don't have a piece of land yet. The legal framework here is quite an interesting one...

Miles: Yes, I'm not sure it's a Savannah, maybe it has the potential to be so, but it's mostly sandy soil, if not sand. There are thorny trees across the landscape. I share that fear that if I try moving trees they will die and if they don't die, they'll need to be watered, which is not the objective either, one doesn't want to water pioneer species (at least I don't)...

My issue with the trees is that they are all over the place. Anything on contour will hit trees... Maybe I could decide where I want to do contour stuff, then move trees just accordingly. I hear you on the pasture under the trees. I'm just concerned with practicalities of keyline plowing and seeding if too many trees...

Roberto, pitting sounds like a good idea, local harvesting as opposed to large moving of a lot of trees and soil... To chew on a bit...
You are right that where we live overgrazing is a major issue. This refers me back to the Savanah issue, I don't know what the land would look like with no grazing and thus no run off. As we speak, rain just runs off taking all organic matter to dry river beds that fill for a few hours and the goodness goes who knows where at high speed... I'd like to think a mix of perennial grasses will thrive with the water being able to remain in the landscape and a bit of irrigation and thus create the pre-mentioned savannah.
Roberto, again, you are right, deep rooted nursery is a must. For sure.

Thank you guys so much for your valuable inputs. As we, and if we are able to move forward with this, I would love to share more and pick our collective brain!
Much love,
3 years ago
Hello John,
How is your project going? I'm interested in something a bit similar in Dire Dawa? Who are you working with? How has it been? What results and learning can you share?
Good luck,
3 years ago
First and foremost, I wish you a happy new year!
I'm thinking something up and would like some input from you amazing people.

In keyline design, Mr Yeomans speaks about planting a 10 to 20 m strip of trees on the keyline, on contour and in other places.

In the landscape where we live now, in Eastern Ethiopia, the trees are scattered across the landscape and I'd like to strategically position them for maximum use.

In my mind, the best would be to move them to the keyline or parallel to it rather than anything else, maybe as part of a swale or not...

Moving trees is a story in and of itself. Looking around I see tree spades, the biggest ones will go down 5 feet, or about 1,5 meters with a width of 9 feet, close to 3 meters.

My assumption is that these pioneer tree species have deep roots that allow them to withhold long periods of drought.

Will I compromise these trees by moving them?

Does anyone have experience with moving trees with tap roots? Will the root system go down again, or remain in that 5 feet cut?

Any thoughts or experience on this in general? More context, the idea of moving the trees would be to plant pastures... I want to keep trees, but put them in strategic locations on the landscape.

Thank you,
3 years ago
I know Youtube and Google are usually the best, but limited internet access makes me want to go old school!
I am interested in putting my hands on a good vegetable gardening manual that would include, if possible, seed, soil, compost, companion planting, seed saving, green house etc..
Or any good veggie master gardening book you could recommend.
Thank you!
5 years ago
I am farming and offering help to a friend on her farm north of Cairo Egypt. Her farm is struggling financially and i would like to help her out...

There are mango and citrus trees with no under crop. My thought is to design a rotational grazing system under the trees, with sheep feeding on alfalfa. The alfalfa needs a sprinkling system for irrigation.
The problem is that the sprinklers will wet the tree trunks to about a meter high (maybe more), and i feel it might create an environment for fungi to grow on the mango trees.

Does anyone have any ideas of how to solve this in a clean way?
Thanks a million!
6 years ago