We have had no rain and I had to choose not to water the remaining half of the maize field, which had reached silking stage. The reason is judging from the first half I have an idea of what our effort will yield and it's not much. Since I now have willing people to work with, increasing the plot's income is now at the top of my list, if I am to keep these people interested.
We concentrated instead, on planting beetroots in choumollier beds. We did battle with the sun a lot but we finally beat it. We however lost all our beets seedlings to creatures or pests. Leaves would fall to the ground, or have big holes and eventually the whole plant would die. I feel like my main aim of regenerating the land is my enemy in this instance. Our vegetable beds seem to be a habitat for so many creatures because of the mulch and zero fertilizer. The creatures have no knowledge of how they are munching on our hard earned labour.
I got stuck for a moment because going the non-regenerative way route is not an option but it's proving to be impossible. I then remembered that when we plant in the rain seedlings have a better chance of surviving and once they pass a certain stage, they are not bothered much by the creatures. So I had planned using the weather forecast to plant in the last week of February into the beginning of March where rain was being predicted. This was okay, because we have another issue, there is only one seedling producer we saw with beetroot seedlings and we have to plant before he runs out. I checked the weather again today, things shifted, it looks like we won't have rain until end of March and this is definitely too late. So I now need to look at how to make concoctions that deter pests from beets and then try planting one bed. If it works I can plant the rest.
We are now picking up some of the dry cobs from the field, termites are chewing the stalks causing them to fall and then they end up eating the cobs, I think rats are also eating the fallen cobs. The cobs are smaller than I am used to but, what we have is nothing short of a miracle.
We are also harvesting cowpeas' leaves, they are still just a few though.
It's been a while since we got rain, we need it for the silking maize that's in the field.
My sister's cucumber project was affected by the excess water that we had. I hope I will be able to discuss with her on what I realised. I think that as we grow, there is more to growth than just focusing on what brings in a lot of money in a short space of time. We need to also grow with the space in terms of our capacity to handle the cash crops as they seem to need a little more attention. We are definitely putting our second vegetable in the choumoullier beds, by beginning of March, in the raised bed area. That way we can manage our growth without increasing labour or land.
For now we are fortunate to have people who want to work with us. We are doing extra projects outside farming to earn income with them, so that they do not feel the need to move away. This will buy us time to multiply our produce and when the plot can satisfy everyone, it will be a lot easier then.
Exciting times really, for me to be talking in such a way in 2024. There was a very dark time when I was so sure all of this dream of mine was over.
It's like pieces of the puzzle are coming together at the plot. For the first time ever we have over 30 ducklings. We need to work on protecting them form the rats or whatever would eat them.
I think there is a level that the plot has grown to, which is so different from all the past years. I seem to be in a place where the combination of labour, land and capital is easier to work with to become productive. My sister is using her accounting skills to help with the financial side, Mai Kumbi her life experience to bring opportunities and Kumbi his effort to make things happen at the plot and all this is happening within my means. I can't wait to actually have a big tangible desire be satisfied, the joys of life, new wonderful things being supported by our own little space. That will be a dream come true.
We have new ducklings, again we got 8 ducklings. We seem to now, be doing something right. There are 4 more ducks that are sitting on eggs. I have harvested some of the vertiver grass so that we can use it for bedding, also so that it makes sense a little why grass growing could potentially be beneficial to us. Two trees were accidentally buried with soil and died, and I can't help to think that to an extent it is because the trees aren't that important, so I will try to prove how necessary some of the things I believe are important actually are, when I can.
It's been over a year since we started working with the peanut butter business. The owner has proven to be honorable because he repayed all of his loan. The slight problem is that we run the risk of crippling him thinking we are helping him. He still wants a loan of the same amount for the same exact inputs as last year which is worrying because it could mean there is no growth whatsoever. Our interaction with him could help him see for himself what his true problem could be if we can make him be honest to us and himself about what is going on in his business.
My challenge is I feel like my partner in helping small businesses grow is leaving me to deal with everything by myself. He did put it in the money, but I am on the ground, and at least talking about strategies and plans on what it is we want to build could go a long way in clarifying what action to take. At the moment I am stuck with a peanut butter business in need of help and I cannot do much without an agreed on course of action, that separates us from micro-financers who might not necessarily have any interest in growing a business, but are only after making interest on capital.
Then for my 'school crush friend' he made a voice call days after I had blocked him. He stays in another country, where he relocated so as to earn a living and for him to make a voice call is a lot financially. When I saw the voice call I had to revisit my action of blocking this man. This is one person in a foreign land, who just needed a friend to talk to as he goes through a rough patch in life and because of my misplaced way of thinking that I really can choose to put aside I had chosen not to be there for him. So much for people care principles. I had to unblock him and sort out my thoughts and so far I am glad I did this. I am there helping my friend and I am doing this with the cleanest thoughts.
I have started with my seedling growing trials. This year what I am changing is the pressure I put on myself to get things right and quickly. So I put a few onion seeds down and I am working on the right depth. The first trial has almost half that didn't getminate and I think I need to deepen the seeds, the other seedlings look like they wilt after germination as if the root system is too exposed and I also noticed that the side that had poor germination was damper than the other one, so I need to try and have my trays as level as possible. I put a few beetroot seeds and I started with a depth of roughly an inch, I will check after 7 days how the germination will be. My target is to have healthy seedlings in the ground by end of March for both onions and beets.
I went to continue with weeding of the field to expose the cowpeas and I was so happy to find Mai Kumbi using the rocket stove. She and her husband are planning on making one at their homestead. They were concerned about the top seat for the pot, but I told them anything from little stones can do, to just help the fire breathe, will be fine. I will see if my sister can help me get a seat since she had already said whoever wants to build a stove and has limited material, she is willing to sponser if she is in a good financial space at the time. This is to just keep the couple excited about making their own stove.
It's like the weeds in the field are on steroids, it's as if we never weeded. I found that such a huge area has already been weeded, the family (Mai Kumbi and family) at the plot was weeding even when it was raining and I appreciate this so much. It's still so wet and we cannot use a hoe to remove the weeds so we are pulling them out. The area I managed to pull out was so small and my hands were sore already. I am really surprised Mai Kumbi and her husband weeded such a big space.
There are two things, either last night I was seeing things where in my head I thought I was really good at dancing while in reality it was something else, or I felt so shy today I lost my groove. I tried to dance for my sister but it was so difficult. I was actually glad I wrote that I will share my video in the heat of the moment, because it meant I had to dance and I tried many times. It was so much easier having someone to be dancing with, alone it is a piece of work. I am committed though to mastering dancing, I don't think I should be this self conscious with dancing. I have included the video I am coping and the one I did.
I am celebrating a dance triumph. I have a dance routine I saw online, from South Africa and since before Christmas I have been trying to copy it with zero success. I could not understand how this guy would move so fast and still listen to the song enough to dance to the rhythm. I got it now and I will share this later on, I needed to let it out to someone otherwise I was going to wake my sister up and I'm certain this wouldn't have ended well.
We had our second production meeting today and it was a success. Towards the end of the meeting I sat staring at my sister and my mind drifted. I remembered our first attempt at discussing about productivity and it was a total disaster. We found ourselves arguing and the meeting became about everything else but the plot, if my other sister was not around, we wouldn't be working together. She heard us shouting at each other and she kept her cool and during diner, she asked calmly how our meeting went and we both exploded and she talked to us until we got back to our senses and remembered that we both just wanted things to work, so we rescheduled our meeting and it was a success.
The main things we talked about today were crops we want to add to what we are already growing that can help boost profit, how we can slowly introduce growth without straining the resources we already have. It was quite eye opening and my sister offered to present on product life cycle to help assist with creating a common understanding of things from a business perspective.
There were no predicted heavy rains and it is not raining today. I am glad I did not waste my time freaking out about this.
I had forgotten a very brief conversation that occured at the plot. Mai Kumbi helped with weeding in the field and she saw a lot of worms. She got concerned and asked if I had noticed the unusual worm quantities. I remember telling her, that worms are a large contributer of the feed that the maize gets, sometime back when she asked what my soil has that makes us not to put any store bought fertilizer. She might have heard what I told her then, but I don't think she understood. I still can't tell whether she got it this time around but I know that continued exposure will make her understand eventually. There are now a lot of worms in the field and it's noticeable as proven above.
We went to the plot today, we have had showers since morning. We are still getting hours of heavy rains and today one of the predictions says we will receive around 32mm of water. It's getting difficult to keep a level head with plenty of things happening and this includes a cholera outbreak and flooding.
I planted some more grass and my sister got more cucumbers. I saved up some money and bought some groceries for reselling, this I owe to the different skills that we possess, i.e., Mai Kumbi my sister and myself. Mai Kumbi is an opportunists and is in touch with what's happening around, my sister is firm and has her eye focused on profit making and I have created an environment that allows us to benefit positively from each other. We have gotten our first profits and we are all excited. This is one of the things that is making it better today. Otherwise I am controlling my anxiety so that I do not get into a panic mode that's draining and really does not benefit me at all, and I will say I am doing way better than in the past.
It's been raining for the past few days. The rain will be a lot of it, in a very short space of time causing flash floods, the water harvesting pit filled up in a few hours the day we received the first heavy rains, it was almost empty, it's bottom was showing.
In our last meeting with my sister, we agreed that we need to start establishing systems at the plot, this will lessen misunderstandings while at the same time helping with control over our growth productively. So we will be starting on how we want pruning of kale to be like, for us to produce a leaf with a standard size and consistently. We have reserved 2 beds for this and once we agree on how we want it to be done, we can standardize it for all beds.
We managed to weed an area in the field before it started raining heavily, to open up the space for the cow peas which was not looking too good, to grow freely. We will see if the rain will change things.
From the people side, it turns out my school crush was going through a really rough patch in his marriage, so we were reminding each other about values and I was just being there for him and this meant talking almost daily. I only realised the day before yesterday that though I was helping him to fight for his marriage, my emotions were getting mixed up and I had to cut off our communication. I think I was falling for this man again, especially now when I was seeing him fighting for his family, it was actually proving how good of a man he was. Withdrawing from talking to him has left me in an unexpected mess emotionally and I feel like unblocking him so that I can hear his voice, but I know I cannot and it is painful, but I know I will get over it.
My sister has had a bed of her own at the plot where she has been growing cucumbers. She has had her first harvest and she is very excited. Her excitement over the cucumbers is making it so much easier for her to find motivation for her to want to go to the plot, it makes my work so much easier.
Another one of our first harvests for the year are grapes, we are making juice with them and we are using the skins for making jam.
We had an interesting discussion today looking into making the plot profitable. We share the same goal with my sister but we differ greatly on how we see things. The good thing is with our different perspectives we were able to help each other see things in each other's perspectives and it does make one reflect.
One interesting issue was on using the term employer and employee and what it might mean. My sister feels having defined names will help us understand each other's positions and it kind of helps in setting limits and getting work done. Personally I feel that these names will only bring a division with some people feeling they are better and in the end we feel entitled to other people's efforts. What I agree with is things are slower when there is a lack of firmness. Striking the proper balance is what I feel we have to work on.
For the small businesses that I have been working with, I am continuing to work with one small business and they are proving to be trustworthy. The peanut butter guy is confusing me a little and I will tell why.
When he borrowed money he knew he was getting money entirely based on trust and if he did not bring it back there was nothing I could do to him. He did bring the money but he missed the due date by two months, a period in which for the first part I had to put so much energy to push him to pay back. One day I just decided to not push too much and accept whatever was going to happened and if it would be a bad debt I would take full responsibility. When I stopped the guy started bringing the money by himself in installments, and I appreciated the fact that he cared enough to make sure he paid back the loan. What is confusing is he was given room to talk about his situation at any given time and he knew the day for returning the money was flexible and all he needed to do was to tell us in advance if ever he was facing any challenges. He never would say in advance when he could not pay back the money and on the day he was supposed to give me the money, he had come telling me and not asking me, to extend the time he could keep the money. In my mind I felt like he is assuming that the one helping him did not have any problems and having a paying back date was just for formality's sake. This defeats what we are trying to build. If he is able to prove he is a man of his word, we can build a small group of people who can be loaning each other money, without interest, even if we will be working under tight budgets, because we will be having faith that with all things being equal, we will honor our word. Our window of testing each other's trustworthiness is now.
Now that he has paid back the full sum, he wants to borrow money again. It's a full year now since he has been borrowing money and I would have hoped that by now he would be standing on his two feet because his business is already established. I don't see how we are different from the common micro financers who will lend money and not care about the business they claim to be helping. I think money is the peanut butter guy's apparent problem, but there is a cause and we can only solve it if he is open to talk about what is going on. I don't know how to make him trust me enough to say things as they are and though I can see he needs financial help, I do not think it's wise to lend him, because it might be that his business is on the verge of collapsing and I will never know until he opens up.
Mai Kumbi called very excited about the stove it was a surprise. She is not talking about using it for the vegetable drying process, she is talking about really using it for daily cooking, things are getting harder and harder, we have been losing power and for some reason their area is the most affected and buying gas is becoming expensive, so she embraced it instantly. She made a voice call, which is a bit rare, it shows how excited she is. I am happy.
I managed to get material for a rocket stove for the plot. This time around I got new bricks well, except for the halves and I got proper sits for the pots to sit on from a local scrap yard. It looks nice and I think it will help make it an attractive piece to use. This period for drying vegetables is going to be a great opportunity for the use of the stove and hopefully Mai Kumbi will like it.
I have some time to dance today. I loved our little routine with my sister and I am targeting one small dance everyday of this year, starting from today.
The cowpeas in the field is taking time to spread and it's being shredded to pieces by some insect, there aren't any leaves left to harvest. We will see if the next rains will help the plant spread. Otherwise cowpeas is proving a very difficult plant for me to add into the field as an edible drought resistant ground cover.
We have a demand for dried kale, and both Mai Kumbi and ourselves would use either electricity or gas, but things are becoming expensive it will not make sense to boil the kale with anything other than fire. So I will take the chance to make rocket stoves for the both of us.
The boys at my sister's plot are using the rocket stove. She went yesterday and went round the kitchen area to see if there are signs of any other fire being made anywhere else and there is none. The boys seem to be prefering the rocket stove. No other villager has inquired about it, so we will see if we can thank one of the neighbors for being a good neighbor by making a rocket stove for them. The husband sees the rocket stove being used by the boys nearly every day, but he hasn't commented. We can take advantage of the fact that he has seen the stove in use, it will be a little easier to convince him it works because he has been seeing it working.
I am including my sister's vegetable garden pictures in this post I am no longer getting an edit option on my phone.
I visited my sister and saw her garden, she is doing quite well. She has had her first harvest of rape leaves and now she is harvesting for the second time. She has so much of it, she is sharing with her neighbors at the homestead, which is helping her strengthen a relationship with them. She is new and almost always away, her neighbors are her eyes and ears other than the boys who stay at her homestead.
We received really good rains up to the end of last week and more rain is being predicted after the 11th.
Again I am getting proof that what you constantly think about, is what the universe gives you. It's not really earth or people care related, but the post above Timothy, when you talked about you and your fiance, aligned so very much with my current thoughts and I was so surprised l felt I had to share.
Lately, my dominating thoughts are around relationships and this came about, when an old schoolmate I had a serious crush on reached out to me and we met last week. We had'nt spoken for over 10 years but reconnecting was so easy and I was so surprised that he had liked me also then though he never said anything. There I was thinking I am not good enough to be liked by anyone and the one guy I had liked so much in my life liked me back. He is married now and we both respect this institution so we can only be friends. I was so lucky because I got the chance to tell him what he meant to me, a chance I had thought I missed.
When the above thread was sent, it was just a few hours after I had been deep in thought trying to figure out what partners talk about to keep liking each other and whether a person goes out looking for stories so as to not become boring. Imagine how much I laughed when I opened my thread to get my answer, that anything can be a conversation for partners. A simple someone like me can be a conversation for a couple.
I went to the plot today, I like it when it's green. There is one tree that I successfully planted some years back it looks really nice this time around.
The trees that we planted are alive, except for the snot apple tree. The vertiver grass is also still there, so I will have plenty of slips to work with later on.
It's the beginning of a new year. The past year has brought beautiful connections with people and it has shown that a macro environment can go really wrong, but we do have control over our micro environments. There really is so much beauty and joy to celebrate, sometimes we just have to choose. I am mostly greatful for the people I shared memories with. I danced with my sister on the last day of 2023, this time it didn't take too much for me to learn the moves and for that I am happy.
It is easier to create a better place when we are connected.
The raised bed area is trapping a good quantity of water. The bottom is not level yet, so most water is flowing to one end of the area, it's still work in progress. All of that water would have flown out of our yard. So in total the water we have intentionally managed to slow down and allow to sink is water in the
1) zai pits in the maize field
We managed to plant the trees we had set out to plant. We are using the wick irrigation method to water 4 of the trees. The snot apple and banana trees don't have wicks.
We wrapped cloth with cello tape to make some wicks and we used wool on the other. We then wrapped cloth to cover the cello tape to protect it from the sun. The wicks are inserted in 5l plastic bottles which we filled with some rain water we collected from our rain water harvesting pit. The banana tree is inside the harvesting pit, it does not need extra water, at least for now.
Since 2017, we have planted a few indigenous non fruit trees and a couple of cactus plants. We will try to have one tree planting day yearly and we will see how many trees we can grow.
The maize plants survived and though the cobs will not be text book sizes, we will get something out of the field. We converted the vegetable beds into sweet potato heaps, that way we won't be tempted to grow more vegetables than we can handle.
This week I have had an opportunity to learn lifestyles of some people who are doing well who are from the past. They are both living lives that are beyond what I could have imagined. One is here in Zimbabwe and the other one is in Europe. I will say, the one who stays in Europe caught my attention so much. She showed life in the most simplest way, where she was just enjoying time with her family. She didn't even have makeup on, nor did she have clothes that are usually connected with success, the skimpy ones. She did show that she is a person of means and she was in a community that was so clean and organized, it was hard to think it was not a movie. It made me wonder if I am not basing my progress on mediocre things, not that I am pressured, but just that maybe my desires might be limited by all I know and there could really great things out there even in the line of what I am interested in. The difference between the living standards was so striking between here and Europe, how we are not raising our common living standards is not making sense.
I was actually celebrating a milestone, I have started doing dance and I am getting help from a cousin. To think that I actually have time to think and stress about dancing to me is such a good sign, it means I have room to stress about not so important things maybe meaning there is a load that was taken off as I progress in life. I do think though that such milestones are jokes in some people's eyes, after what I saw today. I don't want a mediocre life, though my dream is to help develop that great life where I was born.
My friend from Zim, after telling me his achievements asked me what I was upto in life. I am not proud of myself because I stammered a little at something I completely believe in and his look also was as if he was in shock of what I am referring to as achievements. I don't want to brush things aside because I am simply being stubborn. I need to know why I feel uncomfortable it could be something I have to address. Could I be working on the roots while others are busy picking fruits.
We are preparing for our tree planting day, tomorrow. This day is long over due, I have trees that are about a year old and everytime the day we plan for planting trees comes, there is something that happens to stop me from planting the trees. I will try to replant the avocado trees that just grew on their own at the banana area. The roots got broken so I am not sure of my success, but it's worth trying.
I have 6 trees, 4 different types. I will plant with the rain garden in mind. I am not going to be able to work on it this year, I will see what next year will be like.
We had our official first rocket stove meeting yesterday to build on our idea. We are certainly going to take our time to nurture this project. We have two places where we can assess and modify the rocket stove to fit the situation, and to check how it's appreciated. Rura, my sister's place has people who use fire only as their means of cooking. So we will be working closely with them to see if they will embrace the stove, without an incentive or force. Since it takes less effort to make a fire using a rocket stove, if we notice them resorting back to an open fire, it means there will be something the rocket stove is not satisfying and we hope they can be open with us.
The second place is at the plot. We use electricity and gas stoves for cooking, but we plan to dry cowpeas' leaves and for this we will be using fire. I will do the rocket stove and if Mai Kumbi likes it, she will want it for her homestead, where they use both open fire and gas for cooking.
For both places, if anyone verbalizes their interest in making rocket stoves at their homes, my sister offered to help with getting material for them. We are starting with common bricks, but if this thing grows and pulls whole villages, we might ask Soft foot Alliance to offer training for making rocket stoves from the soil, they are already doing this kind of thing.
I found out the reason that drove my sister into making a rocket stove. She has a lot of trees at her place, so she and her boys would just get firewood from their home. But on her way to her homestead, she saw trees that had been cut for selling firewood and that's when it struck her that we really are damaging the environment.
She is proposing that we find some kind of incentive to have people want to use these stoves. So we will be working together on this. She said one of the boys who stay at her homestead was super excited to see the stove. She has already told the boys that if they introduce these stoves to their families in their villages she will figure out what incentive to give them. In the long run, when the benefits of a rocket stove are felt there will be no need to give anyone an incentive.
Today was a great day. We got showers that actually wet the ground and I had a chance to dance in the rain celebrating. There was not much rain, but it looks like this week we might receive proper rain.
My sister made a rocket stove at her place. She usually talks about her plans prior to doing them, this time it was a surprise, a really good surprise to see her choosing to adopt a rocket stove at her place.
I had a great talk. We addressed our issue and it was not an ugly talk at all. We agreed to communicate better if we are to develop. My sister laughed her guts out because I spent most of the morning preparing for this talk and it lasted less than 10 minutes.
Yesterday I learnt by accident that Kumbi and his mum wanted to remove the shells that we put in the raised beds and today I have learnt it's because they think the shells are burning the new suckers. We talked about this. I did put the shells generously and now I am confused, I think the suckers are burning because the heat is extreme and it's not giving them a chance to develop roots but maybe it's the shells. I thought the shells were supposed to have the opposite effect of cooling the ground. So we are trying out suckers which are from the abondoned beds that have already developed roots and we will leave the shells as they are for now.
Mai Kumbi says maize prices have gone up from $6, it's now $8 for a bucket. It has not rained yet and we are approaching mid December, I hope things turn around soon.
I am meeting with Kumbi's mum and it's nerve wrecking. I am making my situation as clear to me as possible before I meet with her. Like you said Mk Neal
Their action shows they are disagreeing with my proposal, but they did not communicate.
How it's making me feel:
I feel disrespected because I believe I first talk to them of any ideas I have for us to plan together.
I feel like what I say does not matter
I need to understand if we are working together, or if there are two parties.
I need to know if they will be honest with me when we talk.
What do I hope to get from this talk:
I hope they will know that it's okay to talk when we are in disagreement
I believe they think I am not good at farming ( I kind of struggle than I should) I hope they will not brush me off because of this.
I hope we will wish well for each other and plan to grow bigger together.
Working with limits is forcing me to challenge myself in areas that are highly uncomfortable for me.
Today I had to be firm on the issue of down sizing the number of vegetable beds we have. I talked to Mai Kumbi and Kumbi about this, last week, and we agreed on the area we would continue with. I found Kumbi the day before yesterday, watering the area we had agreed not to water and when I asked why, the reason was it's because that's where they are taking their vegetables for their own use, since all other beds hardly have any leaves.
Today I found new beds with new suckers in that area and it did not make much sense to me. I am sure we had a discussion of why we need to reduce the area we are growing things. It's not just the pump, but we need to concentrate our feed and energy on a smaller area to realise profits and grow from there.
I feel I have to address this. It's not even an option for us to grow a lot of beds, we will not get anything. I have to stop planting of plants in more beds, before we succeed with the few beds we are working on. The problem is I do not like confrontation or disagreement. I don't know what to say, because at the back of my mind, telling someone I disagree with them, means I am not being a nice and understanding person.
My sister sent me pictures of her working on her garden. It's been a year since she started staying at her new place and both her and the owner have been buying all their vegetables and she is starting now to try and grow her own. She says the owner of the place is now also clearing some space for growing their vegetables.
Her own growth in relation to how she plans to grow her food is entirely up to her. I am happy for now that she has piled up her organic matter and not burnt it. She says she wants to mulch as well as to make composts. I already like where she is going with this.
We seem to have gotten the hang of growing our vegetables in this heat. The seedlings we planted last week are green and growing. We have had to put a lot of branches to provide shade and this time it's working.
Out photo shoot pictures came out today, I just love being a lady now, they look so pretty.
Thank you all for good wishes.
Tereza I am surprised at how similar things can be. Traditionally cow peas is dried and either boiled on it's own and just salted or it's mixed with other grains like round nuts, peanuts as well as maize, this is more tasty. During the harvesting period, fresh maize would be boiled in the same pot with pumpkins and green cowpeas and I think round nuts. They would just be put in different layers such that they would not end up as a messy mix and I hear each item would add flavour to the other. This I have just heard about but I haven't seen for myself. I have tasted fresh cowpeas boiled and salted, I liked these a lot.
I saw a friend with a foreign origin make burgers out of cow peas and I knew that cow peas would be looked at gently if I incorporate them in a burger which is a morden thing, since my wish is to start eating nyemba permanently. I was right because the reason why my sister is growing nyemba is because of the burger. I will find the next thing to reintroduce when we stabilize with nyemba growing and eating.
You know what I have found changing crops to be extremely difficult. It's only this year that I am getting so much support in intercropping maize with cow peas because it's really bad in terms of weather, cow peas is giving that extra hope of us harvesting something. But still that maize crop has had to be there for me to be taken seriously. Changing diet is not as flexible as I would have hoped and I think this rigidness is adding frustration to our growth.
I have to grow things that will be eaten at home and I am afraid of whether a drastic change, will be embraced. I feel it's why I am stuck, because I am working to prove that with what we are familiar with, this way of farming is still better and when I am someone worth listening to it will be easier to experiment with other foods.
My sister is growing cowpeas at her place by the way. She was bought by the cowpea burger we had in the beginning of the year and part of last year. So I think we just might be adding cow peas back to our diet. It's indigenous but it was scrapped off as the new civilization was embraced. So it's something we would eat once in a blue moon and it was looked down upon.