Meet Gladys Simonda – You don’t need a field to grow your food

I love to grow my own vegetables. It’s not only fun but rewarding too.  The process of creating a veggie garden can seem like a lot of hard work especially with limited space but once you know your way around your garden it’s quite easy.

“I had crates made from tree off cuts and bought black linning and added compost and pronto.”

Most people dream of having a large vegetable garden with enough space to grow everything they want. If you have this kind of land including the time and energy needed to till it, then go for it. However, a small vegetable garden is much easier to care for and you won’t have to visit the market again. There are three important processes that I follow and would recommend that everyone follows in any agricultural venture:


To begin, you’ll need a plain wooden crate. You can have these made by any carpenter. I then line my crates with black plastics which is cheaper but you can also use landscape cloth. The plastic will keep all your soil from leaking out the crate especially when it gets watered or rained on.

Once you’ve lined the crate, you can begin filling it with soil. But before that, you still need to consider the most important steps – space and type of vegetables. I like to mix my vegetables. The location of your garden is also very important. I’m talking about proximity to a source of water and the amount of sunlight it receives.


I don’t use chemicals for my garden. My vegetables are all organic and preparation starts with the soil. You see, healthy, nutrient-rich soil means healthy, strong plants that are more resistant to bugs and diseases. I always like to compare healthy plants  to a healthy body is that more resistant to infections. So, start by cultivating healthy soil.

By ‘Healthy soil’ I mean a soil that is full of humus – broken down organic matter. Humus is the ‘life-force’ of the soil. It gives  a home for billions of organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, algae, insects and worms. In one spoonful of healthy soil are more than six billion microscopic organisms. Unfortunately without these, your vegetables won’t grow.

Caring for your vegetables

Now you need to get in touch with your garden. You’ve chosen and planted your vegetables. To keep your vegetable garden going, well, you need to water it. Furthermore, you’ll want to give it a good soak two or three times a week if it’s extremely hot. Remember to remove weeds whenever you see them. You don’t want them stealing water and nutrients from your vegetables. If you can, put some mulch to prevent the moisture in the soil from evaporating. And invest in organic insecticides.

There’s nothing as great as enjoying the fruits of your labour. And if you’re entrepreneurial, you could sell your little bumper harvest! Why not give it a try?

Happy planting!

Meet Nyambe – a small scale Zambian farmer

14 thoughts on “Meet Gladys Simonda – You don’t need a field to grow your food

  1. Very encouraging Gladys!! Especially as one does not need a field but healthy well planned healthy soil space!!!
    Thank you!!!!

  2. […] Ginger thrives in deep, enriched, sandy loam (well-draining) soil with a pH of between 6.1 and 6.5 pH. Temperature should also be 22–25ºC. Because ginger prefers areas with morning sun only (two to five hours of direct sunlight per day), away from large roots and swampy areas, you have to choose your planting area carefully. Click here to read about growing in crates. […]

  3. It is encouraging especially that it is coming from a lady. Great thinking mama keep it up and let others learn from you.

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