Books, Kenya, The Farm

I started a very small farm at my house in Kenya because I was excited about being more self-sustained and also because I plan to use what I learn when I get back to the United States. I know vegetables aren’t by any means expensive here in Tala, but it’s the principle of the matter! A bonus is being able to control the inputs to my little ecosystem; which means all my crops will be “organic.” Well, I was pretty excited about my endeavors until I came across a passage in Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce. On page 20:

All present agriculture, whether it is slash-and-burn or sod-breaking, involves the reversion of a climax system to a pioneering one.

“Holy shit,” I thought, “he’s right.” Here’s an excerpt from earlier in the paragraph giving some background:

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Kenya, Pictures, The Farm

I’m the proud father to budding sprouts of beans and corn! I figured I should put some pictures online so you guys can see the progress of the farm, so here you go..

Alan with his small farmSpinach, cilantro, skuma, bell pepper, onion, lettuce, beans…

The first picture is me standing between the two raised beds (the right bed is smaller and entirely dedicated to growing yellow corn), and the second picture shows my rows of spinach, cilantro, skuma, bell pepper, onion, lettuce, and beans.

I can hardly wait until it’s time to harvest!

Kenya, Pictures, The Farm

Thanksgiving “feast”Things are picking up here in Kenya! As you can see from the photo we had a glorious Thanksgiving feast (scrambled eggs, vegetables, hash browns, and hot chocolate). The power was out all day until just about after our feast was winding down. Luckily we have a gas stove and several rechargeable lanterns. Therefore I submit that Thanksgiving be held in Kenya next year as well… come on over!
Sara and the girls

In other news Sara and I have made many friends in the staff and students at the college. Lately we’ve been socializing with the staff at tea and lunch breaks, and hanging out with the girls in the evenings and at the market. It’s strange because they’re about our age (around 20, give or take a year) but because I’m staff and hold somewhat of an authority over them it might not be good to spend TOO much time with them or get too close. In any case, they’ve been helpful in navigating the market and learning some of the Kiswahili slang and some basic words in other languages (there are some forty two ethnicities in Kenya). One night the girls bought some extra vegetables and made a dish especially for Sara and I. It was full of cilantro (which I love!) and delicious. The picture of me with the huge lump of white stuff is from that night as well… it’s ugali (a staple here, made from corn and used kinda like naan, chapati, or a tortilla for scooping other food up).

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