We got photos back from the planting of our apple trees in Bugesera, Rwanda. These were sent by Apples for Africa, a Christian ministry that helps orphans and widows in war-torn parts of Africa.
Above; reading the planting instructions and praying over the trees before starting work.
Digging the holes with the only farm equipment they have; a hoe. Note the string and tape measure to space the rows evenly.
The M111 EMLA rootstocks require that the trees be planted deeply to avoid aerial burr knots. They followed the instructions exactly and did a good job.
The trees are mulched with grass to conserve water and control weeds.
The trees are watered with water that was carried in. Rainfall is good here, so in a few years the deep-rooted, drought-resistant rootstocks will not need hand-watering and be able to weather droughts, unlike their traditional crops of maize or cassava. Note the entire field has been plowed with just hoes and mama-power.
A job well done. These ladies are tough; they will plow an acre field with a hoe and then put a 40-pound sack of maize on their head and walk back to town. They will give the orchard loving attention, checking each leaf by hand for bugs and keeping the weeds out. We got reports that the orchard planted in Banda last year is thriving, to which we thank God; we expect the same for this orchard, as they are very excited about it.