The youth of St Dionysius Orthodox Church, Al Ain, planted Moringa saplings to mark the Environment Day on June 5. As the temperature is hot and intense now, the event organisers decided to plant Moringas, as part of Tree planting on Environment Day.
“The best time for planting here is between September and November when the climate is warm. The only plant that can grow in this hot summer is Moringa. It requires watering only once in a week.” says Fr Johnson Iype, the Vicar of the Church.
“Few days before the Environment Day, we planted the sapling in sacks, with a mix of soil and cow dung, so as to acclimatize the plant with the weather condition. On June 5th the youngster planted these saplings directly into the soil following the organic method of cultivation.”
Was Tree planting on Environment Day a one day project?
“The moringa planting is just the beginning. The saplings, planted in the form of a border fencing, will act as a protector for proposed vegetation. Once the moringas grow they provide two main benefits. Firstly, once the Moringas reach their full height they will block the desert winds from destroying the rest of the vegetation. Thereby providing a proper environ for the fruits and flowers to grow. Secondly, they will provide shade for the other plants.”
Interestingly, Fr Iype says that the more we water moringa, the more the leaves. On the contrary, less water produces more drumsticks.
Popularly known as drumsticks, moringas with their high nutritional and environment benefits, got acceptance world over as a superfood. Almost every part of the plant has nutritional and medicinal value. In permaculture, the leaves and branches of the moringa form mulch when the leaves and branches mix with the soil. Recent studies show that the moringas are good fertilizers too.
What did the youth learn from volunteering?
The kids learnt how to plant and take care of the trees organically.
After a day’s volunteering, the vicar gifted the youth and the children with a potted strawberry sapling, which is an indoor plant. They promised that they will grow and nurture the plants in their homes.