In honor of the great traveling road shows of the early 20th century, we at re:char decided to take our message, products, and a bit of live entertainment to the streets of northern Bungoma County.
Armed with a neighboring restaurant’s flatbed truck, we and our sales reps were able to reach hundreds, if not thousands of area farmers. While the promoted message was brief while in transit, we were able to settle in four different markets (Myanga, Chwele, Kimilili, and Webuye for those of you with easy access to google maps) along the way.
Upon pulling in to each market, our locally recruited dance team (the third best in western Kenya for those up on the rankings) unleashed a fury of choreographed moves, drawing in the crowd.
If the entire day was a complete failure otherwise, we at least made the afternoon of this elderly woman during our stop in Myanga. Twenty straight minutes of raising the roof. I kid you not.
After the crowd’s appetite for entertainment was sated, one of our sales reps named Nightingale brought it all home with stirring speeches about the harms caused by chemical fertilizers to both soil and bodily health. Additionally, she explained how use of biochar can reduce chemical usage and boost yields from currently degraded soils.
Nearly everyone we met throughout the day had a great time, and left each stop with a newfound interest in re:char, biochar, our Rutuba Kiln, and an open invitation to visit our farm.
Speaking of visiting our farm, just two days after our road show we hosted a planting event for area farmers to learn about application of biochar to the soil. The idea was simple – the long rains are just around corner and that means everyone is making preparations to begin planting. We want people to be including biochar in those plans.
We had around one hundred farmers show up throughout the day to learn about organically increasing their yields and decreasing their chemical fertilizer usage. It’s amazing how well the ideas of organic agriculture and deforestation prevention have resonated with Bungoma farmers, and really it makes sense when people are this close to their food and their land. For the record, the bottom right picture above may look like a chemical spray, but it’s actually a 15% human urine mixture we recommend as an organic way to add nutrients to the soil.
While we obviously buy in to the idea of biochar and taking steps toward organic agriculture, it is becoming abundantly clear that our neighbors here do too. We have distributed 30 kilns to excited customers in just the past few days, and that number will be closer to 40 by week’s end.
Acre by acre, the BLACK REVOLUTION is taking root in western Kenya.