This year, the women got a head start on cold season gardening season planting onions, green peppers, hot peppers, okra, daikon radish, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, and lettuce. They were one of the first to arrive in the weekly market with heads of iceberg lettuce so big, people thought it was a new type of cabbage. The women have sold all of their lettuce and have already transplanted a second bed. The women have also just harvested their onions, each group yielding around forty pounds of onions. Below are a few photos of their hard work!
Second round of lettuce nurseries growing in discarded bowls and plastic water containers. The lettuce is started in containers because the ants eat the seeds if they are planted directly in soil. This lettuce has been transplanted and is currently being sold.
Beds (5mx1m) of iceberg lettuce. Each group has a bed of lettuce, each head is sold for the equivalent of 20 cents.
Beds of Daikon radish (3mx1m). This variety of radish is ready to harvest in a month and a half and bring in a decent amount of money per kilo.
Top: Aissatou Laube and her harvest of radish.
Mid: Douda Ndiaye, helping his Mom, Seega Ndiaye, pick radish. Douda is the namesake of the husband of the first Peace Corps Volunteer to serve in Ndorong-Sereer. Shout out to Barbara (Coumba) and Douda Camara!
Onions grew much better this year than our last attempt. Much more vibrant and vigorous, undoubtedly due to the additional manure constantly worked in every two weeks. These have now been harvested and are being left to cure.
Mulching cucumbers, cabbage, and bitter tomato (Jaxatu). Our well has been running low for the past few months due to the weak rainy season, thus we’ve been mulching and watering once a day to help conserve water. These efforts have noticeably helped restore the water level in the wells.
Green pepper, hot pepper, and tomatoes, planted in individual zhai holes (holes amended with manure and bermed to better retain water). These are a huge money maker for the women.
Ami Faye and Mann Faye pulling water from the well. I’m so proud of all of the women and their hard work!