This week in Uganda has been full of excitement. I spent the week at the Lubbe Vegetable Farm. Maize harvest and preparations for the next planting season are in full force.
There is much more manual labor involved in maize production in Uganda than we currently see in in the United States. At harvest time, the ears are harvested by hand in the field and placed into a gravity wagon. The maize is then transported to an area where the ears can be seeded. The Lubbe Farm has two shellers, and it takes a team effort to use them.
The maize sheller in action
Even with both shellers going, the process takes a long time. Once the maize has been sent through the sheller, the farm workers separate the cobs from the kernels by hand. The cobs will be used in place of wood by the workers and the community for cooking fuel.
As the maize is coming off the fields, preparations for the next planting season are being made. The tractor drivers are harrowing the fields and the team spends a morning calibrating the planter. It is calibrated to be certain that we are planting the maize at the correct spacing and to be certain to apply the correct amount of fertilizer.
The youngest member of the team is hard at work!
Calibrating the planter
Although maize is the main event at the farm right now, we cannot forget the children's homes. On Thursday, we harvested carrots to send to the homes on Friday. Harvesting carrots was an all-day event for our team of five. In the morning we harvested them from the field, and after lunch we washed the excess dirt off of them and set them out to dry. The Lubbe Farm supplies to 311 homes that have eight children and a house mother in each. This week we sent pumpkins, carrots and sweet potatoes. I was busy helping calibrate the planter so I missed distribution, but I hope to make it next week.
Carrots are washed before they are sent to the homes
Jennifer Bryant is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Bryant is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is in her first year of the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on international agriculture development and sustainability.