The land occupied by Imani Farm was initially a swamp, which nobody envisaged could be utilized productively. A lot of work went into turning it around to what it is today, to the admiration of our neighbours, who now see an evergreen farm. However, the big challenge is keeping the farm well drained during the wet season. The soils found in wetlands also have serious nutrient deficiencies due to leaching effects. To combat this problem, we have had to apply poultry and cow manure on the whole farm, three times per year.
Imani Farm occupies about five acres. An additional five acres is leased from the neighbouring farms to boost our supply of fodder. The main crops are Kikuyu Grass, Napier Grass, Maize, Sweet Potato, Vines, and Kale. We also grow our own Boma Rhodes hay on another twelve-acre farm in Nanyuki and procure Lucerne from Naivasha farms.
Organic farming is practiced on our farm, thus all the crops are grown using the cow manure scrapped from the cow sheds, the grey water collected from our collection pit and the residue of our biogas digester. The biogas also provides hot water for all the cleaning requirements at the farm.
Being on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, the climatic conditions are very suitable for dairy farming due to the cool temperatures and abundant rainfall all year round. In this regard, we only plant hybrid highland maize that matures in three months, thus ensuring three harvests per year, to maximize on the limited land resource.
Three permanent staff members are responsible for the fodder production, though casual workers are engaged during planting and silage making.
The farm has a food sufficiency of about two years — storing fodder through silage and a barn that holds up to 4000 bales of hay.s