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ESD Garden

THE KEMI ESD GARDENS

The ESD committee has initiated the establishment of different ESD gardens including:

  1. Herbal plant gardens
  2. Botanic Gardens
  3. Orchards
  4. Indigenous vegetable garden
  5. Indigenous tree forests
  6. Tree/fruit/flower/vegetable nursery beds.

HERBAL PLANT GARDENS

The KEMI Herbal garden establishment was an idea initiated by the director of KEMI Mrs Grace Ngaca in April, 2018. The idea was taken up by the committee given the importance of these herbs being medicinal. Medicinal plants are valuable resources for our health care system since ancient period. These natural herbs are important source of drugs for alternative medicine systems. They are thought to constitute 80% of total drugs used by humans. These natural healing herbs are used in treatment of many diseases and disorders.  Their specialty is advantages like better compatibility in the body, easy metabolism, low side effects and also less expensive than synthetic drugs. Further they are not harmful to environment after disposal. They don’t require heavy manufacture, expensive analysis and storage facility. They retain their potency for long period if stored well. Many of them can be used as home-made preparations, during emergency or can be bought as over the counter drugs without physician prescription. These medicinal plants come under different types of plants and not restricted to one family or type of plants. Some of the herbal plants existing in the KEMI ESD herbal gardens include: Aloe Vera, Black pepper, Garlic, Lemon grass, Mentha piperita, Pyrethrum,Turmeric, lavender, Oregano, strawberry, Sage,  Rosemary, Spear mint, Thyme, Tropical mint among others. Conservation of medicinal plants is very important for future use.

BOTANIC GARDENS

A botanical garden or botanic garden is a garden dedicated to the collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labeled with their botanical names. The ESD committee has taken the initiative of establishing such in the insititution. In principle, their role is to maintain documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display, and education. The trees in the botanic gardens are both medicinal and ceremonial. These garden is given priority when important guests visit the institution and are required to leave a mark by planting a tree. There is the opportunity to provide visitors with information relating to the environmental issues being faced at the start of the 21st century, especially those relating to plant conservation and sustainability. Trees in these trees include: Ashok, Moringa, miniature, Meru oak among others.

ORCHARDS

The ESD committee thought it wise to initiate the establishment of orchards in the institution as on ot the ESD projects. An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. The KEMI ESD Orchards consist of mainly fruit trees and nut trees. These gardens serve an aesthetic as well as a productive by providing a beautiful fence, shade and fruits that can be consumed by the KEMI stakeholders or be sold.  Most orchards are planted for a single variety of fruit but the KEMI orchard consist of a number of different fruit trees such as mango trees, tree tomatoes, passion fruits, pawpaw, berries among others. While the importance of introducing biodiversity is recognized in forest plantations, it would seem to be beneficial to introduce some genetic diversity in orchard plantations as well by interspersing other trees through the orchard. Genetic diversity in an orchard would provide resilience to pests and diseases. The orchards in KEMI are basically to be used for capacity building of its stakeholders.

INDIGENOUS VEGETABLE GARDEN

The KEMI vegetable garden comprises of a number of indigeneous vegetables including Sagaa, managu, terere, Mrenda, Onion leaves, among others. Consumers and producers of African indigenous vegetables have a reason to smile following release of nine varieties by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) in July 2016. It is the first time the agricultural inputs and produce quality regulator is releasing pure seeds of indigenous vegetables to the Kenyan market. The licenced vegetables are Night shade (Managu), Vine spinach (Nderma), Jute mallow (mrenda), and Spider plant (Sagaa).

Besides early maturity and resistance to drought and diseases, the vegetables are also highly nutritious. The quantities of valuable macronutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamins in the vegetables are higher compared to some of exotic vegetables. While consumption of the local vegetables have suffered as result of concerted efforts to promote exotic brands like cabbages and Sukuma wiki a number of Kenyans are turning to indigenous vegetables as a way of warding off lifestyle diseases. This is the main reason as to why the ESD committee thought of establishing such a garden.

INDIGENOUS TREE FORESTS

The KEMI ESD committee has also initiated an indigenous forest which consists of a number of indigenous trees. Such trees include:

  • Yellowwood (aka Podocarpus falcatus) ...
  • Croton megalocarpus.
  • Waterpear (aka Syzygium guineense)
  • Fountain Tree (aka Spathodea companulata)
  • Lead Tree (aka Leucaena leucocephala)
  • Moringa (aka Moringa oleifera)
  • Fever Tree (aka Acacai xanthopholea)

The committee thought of this to keep a good record of the indigenous trees in Kenya.

TREE/FRUIT/FLOWER/VEGETABLE NURSERY BEDS

The committee thought it wise to establish their own nursery beds to cut on the costs of purchasing seedlings.

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