Mama and Daddy Birds

I am happy to report we have a very important flock of chickens at Kota Ganate right now. These chickens will be the parent stock for the hatchery we have been developing for several years. We received this flock at the end of June just after they hatched. For those of you who aren't in the poultry biz, parent stock are the chickens that lay the eggs which are then hatched to produce chicks for the hatchery. They are the mama and daddy birds, if you will.

By the end of the year, we will be able to start hatching chicks ourselves and selling them to local farmers! Our short-term goal is to hatch 1000 chicks per month. Then we will quickly increase our production throughout next year. Each chick sold will produce 75 cents in income for Onesimus (each chick bought and raised by a farmer will produce significant income for him and his family as well, helping the local economy).

Early next year we will actually be producing a profit at the Kota Ganate Hatchery!  As we increase production, all of the profits will help fund Onesimus' ministries to children living on the streets. I'm excited about that - how about you?


A new flock of parent birds


toothbrush in pocket


Finally, I want to thank those of you who have been praying for me. For two months I've been struggling with a knee injury, which has kept me confined in my house for the majority of the time.


Here's a look at Jonathan's swollen


Despite being unable to do much myself, the work on the Kota Ganate Agriculture Project has continued. It is a good reminder that this is God's work, not my own. Please continue to pray for me as my knee is still weak.

Farm Life in Chencha

Farm Life in Chencha

People often shutter when we mention our living conditions in Chencha; no running water, pit latrine for bathroom, electricity most of the time, internet if we’re lucky, and a lack of most modern conveniences.

On the Farm Update #2 - Apples

Since the idea of growing apples was the first thing that brought us to Ethiopia, I thought it fitting to share this aspect of the farm next in this series of updates. Apple production started in Chencha 10-15 years ago and has since become a very important part of the economy in that area. Many of our friends and some of our staff were sent to college on "apple money". Today Chencha is famous in Ethiopia for it's apples.

When the leaders of TFC and Onesimus envisioned a farm, apples were the first thing on their mind. Although poultry is starting to take more of a leading role on the farm, apples are still (and probably always will be) an important part of it.

We have a small orchard of a few hundred trees that is a couple of years old (we are awaiting permission from the government to plant more).

We also have a fairly large nursery where we are propagating several thousand seedlings for sale or planting. The nursery has apple trees in many stages, from newly planted root-stocks, to newly grafted seedlings, to year-old seedlings. The month of Nehase (August) was a busy time in the nursery. I learned a lot about apple propagation from our technicians as I snapped pictures while they busily worked and eagerly shared their knowledge with me. I hope that you enjoy the pictures below.

A young apple tree bearing fruit.

Birhan preparing new root-stock for planting.

Birhan at work

Birhan producing root-stock

Apple seedling growing.

Birhan & Jacob grafting.

Jacob preparing scion.

Freshly grafted seedlings

A view of the nursery.

Last years seedlings

Jacob working


To learn more about the farm, read On the Farm Update #1 - Welcome to the Farm.

To support the farmers, donate now.