OPIAI MARKET GARDEN & STAFF HOUSING
For many years the staff of Hands in Service lived together on the Village Technology compound, and their families supported one another through many crises. After returning the land and workshop buildings to the Church of Uganda, the staff moved out one by one, but always with a longing for that experience of community.
In 2005, a four-acre tract was graciously provided by the Lord on the outskirts of Soroti town, only 2 kilometers from the Hands in Service office and workshop. Within days the work of restoration of the land began, land worn out by decades of over grazing and continuous cropping. Protective fencing was built, compost added and a 42 meter borehole dug with an amazing output of water, enough to provide drip irrigation for vegetables and trees. A solar pump and elevated storage tank was built and installed by young men who had learned welding skills at the HIS Jubilee Workshop.
Today citrus trees and vegetable gardens cover this organic market garden as well as Neem trees and other hardwoods which provide shade and leaves for preparing organic pesticides for the citrus and crops. Agricultural practices such as cover cropping, mulching, composting, crop rotation and animal husbandry have been implemented with the hope that the farm’s success will demonstrate to other Ugandans a way to farm sustainably, support their families, and nurture God’s beautiful earth.