Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sowing to Reap Benefits

Invitations to watch the Queen travelling to St Pauls for her Jubilee Celebration Service on anybody’s TV were so thin on the ground that we were forced to go to the Spot at 9am this morning! Shandy in hand we searched satellite channels in vain. Eventually we gave up and walked home, Shame! We came via the Electricity Office to pay the last month’s bill of £5. Maybe I should stay here forever! Water comes in at a little less - £3 approximately!

As we negotiated a new route through the town we were accosted by Edith who was on her way to her farm to sow maize. We accepted an invitation to join her and ended up under a mango tree drinking strong, 3 day fermented pito. (My second alcoholic drink before 10am!) She had a team of neighbours helping to peg string as guidelines for the planting. 

They showed us calabashes with elastic finger stalls to allow you to hold it and pick out the grains to sow, all with one hand, the other being occupied with a cutlass making the holes in the ground. Ingenious and it works perfectly. 
I had a go but was told to rest after only a very few minutes. Maybe I was falling below their exacting standards, or more likely………… it was their excuse to bring out the pito again. They had a huge field to sow and were sure they wouldn’t manage it all today. It was fairly clear why! Shortly afterwards we were escorted home, via Edith’s father’s house. He sat under a tree with two sticks nursing a broken leg and his wife sat in the courtyard, also with a broken leg, apparently! As there is no access to x ray I imagine, “broken” is a term applied to many an injury. His maize looked significantly further along the growing process but maybe he didn’t have as many pito breaks as his daughter. This shows 3 weeks growth. You can see how quickly crops sprout here with perfect conditions.

Evidently they will be sowing beans and ground nuts too. These involve digging mounds to enable planting in the sides. These mounds protect the seeds as the heavy rains can flash flood areas and wash them away.

So, our Jubilee Day was not quite as we had planned but considerably more educational, sociable and entertaining, none the less.

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