When people in Namibia talk about farms, they mean livestock – goats, sheep, cows, etc. (What we call ranching in California.) We’re talking vegetables now, which is uncommon around here. CCF is working towards sustainability every day. Chris and I are planning to grow vegetables and fruits here at the center to be used at the Cheetah Cafe (which feeds visitors) and at the Hot Spot (which feeds staff and volunteers). I’m not sure yet whether to call it a big garden or a small farm. We are starting at garden scale with the hope that there will be enough of both success and water (have I mentioned that this is extreme desert?) to make it a small vegetable farm. So far we have chosen a site, made a garden design, and moved a huge pile of aged manure to cover half the ground we’ll be cultivating. The garden site is right next to the home of a group of four very friendly cheetahs who have been keeping me company while I’m trenching for a water line and spreading manure.
While working on our own projects, Chris and I still participate in animal husbandry – feeding cheetahs, feeding livestock guard dogs, and cleaning goat pens. Some of our most incredible wildlife sightings happen when we make the rounds to feed all of CCF’s 46 cheetahs. This takes several hours as they all have very large enclosures; there is a lot of ground to cover.
We’ve also been enjoying ‘sundowners.’ We head out on a drive with our CCF community to the big field to watch the sunset, see loads of wildlife, and have drinks. I’m thinking sundowners is a good tradition to bring back to the U.S. Lots of the photos below come from these good times.