Planting mango seeds for Lubbe Farm's future
After my time in the north, I came back to Kampala and quickly got started helping with the different farm activities going on at Watoto. The first main project I began to help with was a mango seedling project. One of the farm workers at Lubbe Farm (Watoto's vegetable farm) had access to a large quantity of mango seeds and hoped to do something with them.
Dried mango seeds that are ready to be peeled.
The project began by bringing the mango seeds to the farm and letting them dry out for a few days. Each of the seeds has a hard exterior cover around it that has to be taken off before the seed can be planted. So, before we could plant any of the seeds. we had to spend time cutting open the hard outer shell around every single seed. There were more than a thousand seeds, so this obviously took a lot of time. I helped work on the seeds for one day, but many of the farmworkers spent a few days just peeling the seeds.
Mango seeds once they had been peeled.
After the seeds were all extracted from their casings, they were planted. Each seed was planted in a raised bed, but there weren't enough beds to hold them all so more had to be made.
A worker plant the mango seeds in a raided bed.
Currently the seeds are germinating and will be transplanted to a different area once they get bigger. After this, the farm will sell them, which will help bring money back into the farm.
The great thing about this project is that one of the workers came up with the plan himself and was able to carry it out. He had access to a lot of seeds, and Lubbe Farm had use for them. Once they are sold, it will help generate some extra income for the farm.
Hilary Gibson is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Gibson is from Shawnee, Oklahoma, and has one more semester left in the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on trade and ethics.