I was brought up on a rural farm, where we always had answers to tough questions. We had an indirect answer to the question on what farmers do after they were done planting seeds. The answer was in the form of a question, “What do pastoralists do while their livestock graze?"
When I sat down to write this post, my assumption was that I had the answer. I then reflected back to my younger days, but all I could remember was that, the seasonal farm workers left immediately they completed their assigned tasks. I now realize that I do not recall what the regular farm workers did. How did they spend time as they waited for the seeds to sprout, followed by the weeding season.
I Just realized that I will have to re-experience it, before I can provide the answer. Today is the fourth day since two of us completed planting on our 40X80 plot.
The farm opened on May 19
The long-awaited message arrived on May the 18th, that the farm would be open for use, from noon the next day. Recall from my last post, how I had spent more than ten days tending to my seedlings indoors?
We arrived at the farm six hours later. We spent some minutes admiring the well-tilled and marked fields, before we started the planting.
What did we plant?
We subdivided our plot into sub-plots and started planting. Finally, my 36 seedlings of Kale, which had by now turned lime green, were planted in rows.
We dug out shallow lines, added compost and water before we planted the Kale and a variety of seeds: Beetroot, pumpkin (squash), spinach (Swiss chard), ground cherry, leafy onions, cucumber, amaranth, fenugreek, black eyed beans and kidney beans, and sunflower for beauty.
The sun decided to set, so we left the farm at 9:30 pm and went back the next day from 4:00 to 7:30 pm. The soil was dry, so we watered the farm on both days, using water from the provided drums.
Choosing between mosquitoes and the scorching sun
To avoid the sweltering day-time temperatures, we opted to implement farming activities in the evening. From past experience, I knew there would be mosquitoes, the reason I dressed in long sleeves and leggings, just to discover that I was mistaken. I could not believe the number of mosquito bites I counted on Sunday morning. My arms were covered in red pimples. Then did I realize how aggressive those mosquitoes were, they bite through clothe.
Once bitten, always shy – I plan to find something offensive to the mosquitoes. Please shout out if you know where I can purchase that head-to-toe overall, made out of a mosquito net.
Have you planted, or plan to plant vegetables? What is stopping you? Stay tuned to learn more on what I did after my planting season.