Saturday, February 20, 2010

It’s cold here… let’s garden!

The “cold” season is in full swing here (we’re actually getting pretty close to the end) – and so is cold-season gardening. I’ve mentioned before that there is a women’s group in a village near Kaymor and I help these women out in their garden. Lately I’ve mostly just been helping them pull water from the well and watering the vegetables with this water – sure is a great arm work-out! A local NGO helped them install a small-scale drip irrigation system this past October (soon after I got to Kaymor), and I think I will try to get a similar system installed in the school garden I am going to be starting soon with the elementary school in Kaymor. The women have mostly lettuce, cabbage, and a really big and sweet radish in their garden, as well as carrots, onions, chives, and mint. The kind of vegetables they grow changes quite a bit with the seasons – they grow eggplant, tomatoes, hot pepper, okra, bissap, and lydor (a medicinal plant) during the rainy season.

In the pictures below, the women in red is the president of the women’s group and the woman in blue is her sister-in-law and also a member of the women’s group.

The talibe just started a garden about a month ago – they cleared land out in the bush (just a few minutes’ walk from their house on the edge of Kaymor) and built a fence to keep out all the cows that wander through the bush. There are a couple guys that do most of the work in the garden, though none of them have had much experience gardening before so I’ve been working with them pretty closely to help them get started. They have mostly cabbage and onions right now, as well as some lettuce and carrots. They also have quite a few mango, banana, papaya, and other trees in their garden, all of which are still really small but will be producing in the next few years.

The guy on the left here is one of the “leaders” of the garden and the guy on the right is Tomsir, my friend who I teach English to and who is also a talibe but doesn’t work in the garden much (because the marabou often has other work for him to do).

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