Urban cows and organic gardening in Addis Abeba

In march 2013 Rocking Soils and MetaMeta circular economy started to test the production of organic fertilizers in the urban environment. With basalt rock dust, cow dung and a few more materials we mounted a system that is been tested for urban gardens in the city.

In Addis Abeba people enjoy the best fresh milk. Lack of refrigeration facilities forces urban farmers to keep dairy cows in the city. Many urban farms in Addis supply the largest amount of fresh milk to the Ethiopian middle and low class. Local cows are  kept nearby the urban mills where the flour from maize, teff, wheat, chickpea, beans, among others is produced for the people and the husks are set apart for the cattle living next door. It minimizes transport proving that best logistics are where you do not need transport.

The presence of cattle in the city means also that small amounts of fresh cow manure are often available in the urban environment. Often is this resource underused. Sometimes this manure is dried and sold as fuel for the kitchens, but due to the smell this practice is slowly been abandoned in the urban areas. This manure is an excellent resource for the urban organic gardener.

Many gardeners already showed their interest as they are aware of the high prices of the artificial (imported) fertilizers.


From left-up and clockwise: Mothammed, Mulu, Sandra, Abebbechm, Afra & Ruben …¬†more photos