QuietYell Portfolio: Ferme Agro-Pastorale
When dear friends, who serve as missionaries in the African country of Burkino Faso, requested help for an illustrated logo for the community “small farm resource center” they’ve been helping the locals develop, we jumped at the chance to serve them in hopes that our work might bring additional pride, joy, & hope in their endeavor.
The elements of the logo were requested by the client and serve of great importance to them in representing the various aspects of Ferme Agro-Pastorale (“Shalom Farm” in English, or “HƐrƐforo” in Jula), their community farm:
- The local farmers of the Burkina Faso village this farm is comprised of and supports.
- The cattle & their importance to farming activity.
- The chicks and their importance to farm growth. Multiple shown to express productivity.
- The corn crops the farm grows. Multiple stalks shown to express productivity.
- The valuable forage trees (Leucaena) typical of the land.
This logo is used on brochures, business cards, roadside signs, t-shirts, and more.
Below is an overview provided by Shalom Farm:
A Ministry among the Muslim Jula people of Burkina Faso, West Africa
The vast majority of the Muslim Jula people of southern Burkina Faso are subsistence farmers who are barely able to make a living. Most also raise a few head of livestock and a backyard poultry flock.
Surprisingly, their longstanding poverty is due more to cultural, social, and religious conditions than to climate, land availability, and soil quality. It is in this context that Shalom Farm is being developed.
Shalom Farm, on twelve acres of depleted farmland near the village of Kangoura, functions as a combination agricultural experiment station and working demonstration farm. We are seeking improved methods of crop and food animal production to share with farmers in the region.
But because we recognize that the root cause of the poverty among the Jula is due to their worldview, we are developing Shalom Farm in the name of Jesus, living out Biblical principles as Christian farmers and sharing Bible stories with people as we have opportunity.
New farming techniques alone will not make a deep or lasting difference for the people. What is needed is the transformation in the lives of the farmers and their families. As people become children of God through faith in Jesus, their minds will be renewed. Relationships within the community will improve. Only under such conditions, will true, Biblical development – God’s Shalom – become possible.
Work began on Shalom Farm in 2010. We now have five head of a dual-purpose milk and meat breed of cattle and a flock of seven sheep (and one goat) on 4.5 acres of improved pasture, along with four turkeys, and about fifty chickens. We’re leaving another 2.5 acres for natural pasture. Another 4.5 acres are in crops – corn, soybeans, and cowpeas, with relay crops of moringa, pigeon pea, and jack bean. On a small section infested with witch weed (a common problem in area farms), we are experimenting with velvet bean and tropical kudzu to combat the weed.
Two full-time employees do the bulk of the work on Shalom Farm. We have a third, part-time employee, and hire groups from Kangoura village for contract work when necessary. Our major approach to farming is to till as little as possible and leave as much mulch as possible, favoring organic over chemical fertilizers.
One unique endeavor at Shalom Farm is the Mustard Seed Project. Here, we have been sectioning off a twenty-meter by twenty-meter area using living fence. Within each 400 square meter section, we are planting pasture grasses and legumes, as well as forage trees.
It takes two years for this living fence to become effective as a fence. Sections one and two on schedule to be functional in mid-2014, at which time we hope to do a trial with sheep grazing within these sections. Some of our chickens are presently on these sections. A third section is now being planted. This will eventually become the farm’s pasture, permanently sectioned off for rotational grazing. The present pasture will be cultivated for crops.
Toward the end of 2013, before the annual dry season begins, we plan to establish a drip-irrigated forage bank next to the hand-dug well. These forages will supplement for the livestock the hay that will have been cut, dried, and stored from the pasture during the rainy season.
We are working on alternative protein sources for the poultry, such as vermiculture (worm farming) and the collection of black soldier fly grubs. In addition, some of our chickens are in the pasture along with the livestock. The chickens profit from the fly and parasite larvae associated with the manure, and the parasite load and fly populations are reduced for the livestock. The chickens also get proteins by eating insects, thus aiding the pasture grasses and legumes.
Already we have found several projects that have worked on Shalom Farm and have a high probability of success on villagers’ farms. Some examples are drip irrigation for vegetable gardens, the cultivation of moringa tree to improve the nutrition and health of children, and the planting of certain relay crops to increase production on a cultivated field. We are now beginning to demonstrate these methods to visitors to the farm, which is generating interest in trying them out on their own farms.
This extension work is a vital function of Shalom Farm. As we discover and demonstrate successful approaches to increasing food production, we are beginning to share these with farmers of different communities in the region. This enables us not only to help people in the name of Jesus, but also provides opportunities to share the gospel message with them. Thus, we are able to both demonstrate the gospel in action and proclaim this gospel.
We are grateful for the Lord’s blessing upon Shalom Farm in the course of her first three years of development. Join us in asking Him to give us great success in our efforts to bless the Muslim Jula in the name of Jesus and call them into the Kingdom of God.