The hot season is swiftly and sweatily moving upon Ndorong-Sereer. We desperately need more trees in this town. While each family compound has one or two massive shade trees providing relief from this heat, the public spaces and unpaved paths are left bare and vulnerable. Parents are yelling at kids to not play so vigorously in the sun, and during the hours between noon and four, working outside is highly discouraged. To make the heat more bearable, we’ve decided to plant 300 trees in the public spaces of Ndorong-Sereer. We set up a tree nursery in the women’s garden and the women have begun filling tree sacks. There are 102 women in the garden and each woman will have 20 tree sacks and twenty trees (a felangaa Roog). A portion of the trees will be for the town, a portion will be for the live fence to protect the garden, and a portion will be fruit trees for the women to bring back to their compounds.
In addition to the trees, the women will start pepinieres for rainy season crops including cassava, bitter tomato, hot pepper, potatoes, and perhaps another round of eggplant. The currently planted eggplant is doing very well and starting to flower. It’s been intercropped with lettuce and replaced many of the dying cabbages. The cabbages have been ravaged and deformed by grasshoppers and onions are looking pretty puny. For the onions we’re thinking of making a compost tea, which is essentially soaking a large sack manure or compost in a barrel of water for a few weeks and then watering the plants for an extra boost of fertilizer. The tomatoes are the women’s pride and joy since they are growing vigorously and heavy with soon-to-be ripened fruits. The women also mulched with peanut shells but didn’t like the aesthetic so removed them. We’ll try millet chaff next time.