Growing Together: The Ripple Fund Farmers

Winter has settled in the Lowveld, and with it, it is a unique blend of cooler temperatures and crisp, clear days that provide a refreshing break from the intense summer heat. This season is a crucial time for the Ripple Fund farmers, offering ideal conditions for the upcoming growing season. The mild winter climate we experience helps reduce pests and diseases, giving crops a healthy head start. It’s a time of growth and renewal, and the wonderful farmers we support, are certainly making the most of these favourable conditions to ensure a bountiful harvest.

Let’s take a look at the incredible progress they’ve made…

Nkhensani’s Journey Towards a Thriving Farm

Nkhensani has been busy building her dream farm, with her second shade net structure built and ready just in time for the growing season! While her farm is still in the planning stages, she’s laying a solid foundation for future success, and we are thrilled to be a part of her journey.

Her organic roadside stall is starting to bloom, offering a delightful selection of fresh produce. Even though it’s early days, her seedlings are thriving. Baby spinach and tender-stem broccoli, once uncertain, have flourished beautifully. She is currently growing; spring onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, baby spinach and tender stem broccoli.

Nkhensani’s Dream

  1. Water Management: Establish swales and a new dam with the assistance of Londolozi’s Landcare manager, Chris Goodman.
  2. Soil Health: Develop a composting area and explore the potential of building and introducing a small chicken coop.
  3. Irrigation: Instal main line pipes to facilitate efficient drip line irrigation.
  4. Crop Focus: Prioritize the cultivation of consistent and reliable crops.
  5. Infrastructure: Build a packing shed/ multipurpose building to support farm operations.

Nkhensani’s commitment to permaculture principles is evident in her successful compost and well-mulched beds. We can’t wait to see her vision come to life and hope you’ll join us in supporting her journey!

David’s Bountiful Harvest

David Shilabe’s farm continues to be a beacon of productivity and quality. His vegetables flourishing, and he is eager to experiment with the new tender stem broccoli seeds the Ripple Fund have supplied.

However, David is facing a few challenges which we hope to address to ensure his continued success. One significant issue is water storage. A Jojo tank is needed quite urgently to store water pumped from the borehole, which will greatly enhance the efficiency of his irrigation system. Additionally, the Ripple Fund and David plan to install more shade netting in the next two months. This crucial step will help protect his crops from the harsh summer sun, ensuring his produce remains healthy and productive.

David on his farm with his thriving produce

Despite these hurdles, David’s determination and the farm’s regular beautiful produce remind us of the power of perseverance. Your support can make a huge difference in addressing these needs!

Navigating the Bird Flu Crisis: Resilience in Action

The recent bird flu crisis in South Africa has significantly impacted the Ripple Fund chicken farmers, causing a severe shortage of fertilized eggs and live chickens. This crisis has been particularly challenging for Frank and the Mathebula family’s farms. Both farms faced delays in acquiring new chickens, disrupting their egg production and farm operations. The Mathebula family struggled to find chickens, finally securing 200 older birds in mid-May. Similarly, Frank’s farm faced repeated delays, only recently receiving 200 chickens after months of setbacks. This shortage has highlighted the vulnerability of local farms to disease outbreaks and underscored the need for resilient farming practices.

Eggs frank ripple farmer

The Mathebula Family’s Exciting Progress

Great news for the Mathebula family! Despite the trials of a challenging year marked by the bird flu-induced shortage, we successfully acquired 200 chickens in May for the family. Additionally, Londolozi donated roof sheeting from building upgrades, allowing the Mathebula’s to build a second coop. With a target of accommodating 600 chickens by the end of 2024, the family is on track to secure a steady egg supply. Your support can play a pivotal role in realizing this ambitious expansion, safeguarding the future of their farm.

Mathebula chicken farmer
Promise Mathebula and his beloved chickens

Frank’s Flourishing Farm

Frank has faced similar challenges with the chicken shortage, but relief is on the horizon with 200 chickens being delivered. Although his egg production halted, his veggie patch has been thriving! Frank has been producing leafy greens, onions, beetroot, fruit trees and his first full tomato crop.

Frank ripple Farmer
Frank digging swales on his farm

Looking ahead, Frank aims to expand his coop to accommodate more chickens. Finding reliable suppliers is key, and your support can help us explore new options and keep Frank’s farm productive.

Join Us in Making a Difference!

We feel incredibly inspired by our farmers, their dedication to sustainable farming practices is laying the groundwork for a brighter future for their businesses, and their communities. By supporting the Londolozi Ripple Fund, you aren’t just donating; you’re investing in the dreams and livelihoods of these wonderful individuals. Their hard work and perseverance are truly inspiring, and we hope this update brings you as much joy and optimism as it has brought us.

If you would like some more detailed, one-on-one information, or if you would like to make a donation to the Londolozi Ripple Fund and start your own ripple effect, please reach out to us at

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