GROWING OUR OWN
We are extremely proud to grow a huge variety of our own fruit and vegetables in a walled (goat-proof!) permaculture garden. Everything we grow is used in our kitchen and lovingly prepared into a unique range of dishes served at our restaurant.
The garden is looked after by Annie, helped at times by Charles and Francis who nurture each plant by hand from seedling to maturity. Annie lives in Ulisa Village and has been working for Ulisa Bay Lodge since the day in June 2011 when we started building the first buildings.
There are several challenges having a garden ion Likoma Island. The first is the goats that frequently manage to escape their tethers and can devour months of hard work in a few minutes. So we first had to build a strong wall over a meter high around the garden. The second challenge is the very sandy soil. We are aiming for an organic garden and several of the leading permaculture specialists in Malawi have given us great assistance. We have carried hundreds of sacks of manure on the M.V. Ilala from mainland Malawi and we compost all our kitchen waste. The third challenge is the birds, of which there is an abundance on Likoma, which love to eat freshly planted seeds. So we have built a small walled nursery which is covered with old fishing nets.
The great advantage of a garden near Lake Malawi is that we can pump as much fresh water as we need throughout the year. We still face many challenges in providing enough produce for the lodge but by now the garden is looking very green with plenty of shady trees and the soil is looking rich and fertile.
Vegetables that the garden produces include tomatoes, onions, beans, cucumbers, courgettes, green peppers, egg plants and lettuce. The fruits the garden produces at present are cape gooseberries, pawpaw, bananas and pineapples with lemon, orange and mango trees, expected to produce within the next 2 years. We try to have as many as possible of the following herbs fresh in the garden. Mint, thyme, basil, dill, sage, oregano, marjoram, fennel, rosemary, parsley.
Orange Trees (Coming soon!)
Indian Mango Trees
Egg Plants (Aubergine)