Hellen was seen in Series 5, but she needed a bit more help – her cow, which had been the focus of the Series 5 episode, had died of complications during birth. Despite this setback, she had already covered her losses by getting another cow and was keen to raise the animal’s milk production from the meagre 6 litres she was getting currently.
The content we needed to cover with Hellen included correct supplementation for dairy cows, and with this in mind, we took Hellen to meet another farmer in her area whose cows produced over 18 litres per cow per day. The farmer-to-farmer interaction made for interesting filming, and is something we are keen to replicate throughout the new series.
Despite problems with her cow, Hellen had had a great deal of success with the d.Light solar lamp, installed during her Series 5 shape-up. The lamp was now being used daily to allow her children to study later into the night, helping them to reach better grades in school.
The new episode also focused on raising broiler chickens, with health, hygiene and feeding forming the focus of the series, and vaccination against Newcastle Disease for her local chickens.
The episode also introduced a new idea for farmers with little space or very steep land. The vertical bag garden, by partner RealIPM, as a way for farmers who live in smaller areas to grow large amounts of produce. The vertical bag garden is a simple, yet effective, way of growing leafy greens (such as kale) in a small space, and farmers can grow beetroot, onions and even maize in the open top of the bag. This bag is better than flying gardens made of old sacks, as the material is already perforated with planting holes at the right spacing, the material deflects the sun, stopping soil degradation, and the bags come in different sizes. Their expert also spoke about using loans to get into the vertical bag business, which RealIPM is developing with its financial partners.
All in all, filming was a success, with a great episode to look forward to in Series 6. Next, the crew head to Kajiado to meet a Maasai farmer, Godfrey, and his wife Evelyn.