As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, food security is a huge issue in Kenya. Prices rise unexpectedly at the first hint of any instability, when people start hording food. Home gardening allows people to grow food for their families as well as to sell to or barter with neighbors for other items. Our homestead includes nearly an acre of cultivated land. We had to wait for the former owner to harvest his existing maize crop, but now we’re preparing to plant on this portion.
We have currently planted tomato, kale, spinach, managu (African nightshade – a nutritionally dense indigenous food), onion and potato. These are the main staple vegetables – along with carrots, cilantro and parsley – in a Kenyan diet.
This homestead is also lush with fruit trees, including avocado, bananas, papaya and mango. Most of the home gardening is self sustaining already. Occasionally, new seeds need to be purchased for new crops, such as the Kenyan pumpkin crop we’re testing for possible expansion into our agricultural scheme (the Kenyans term for “a business venture”). What is needed is farming tools.
Next steps for our home gardening projects:
- Purchase a wheelbarrow ($55)
- Hand tools of various types ($15)
- 100 Meter Garden hose ($28)
- Drip irrigation line ($135)