Saturday, 7 July 2012

Sowing some more!

Sunday was our day of rest, but Monday dawned brightly and found us sitting in the field by 7.30am preparing for the day’s work with bowls of Jollof Rice. This sustained us for the next 6 hours…..well, with a few calabashes of Pito at regular intervals. 

Marking rows was more complicated today due to the proliferation of trees and bushes in the way. These obstructions necessitated the walking around with reels of cord and the inevitability of tangling! Finally, we had a straight run to the bottom of the field. Fatigue intervened late in the afternoon and eventually work was halted. By then, Louisa was on her own with the sole assistance of a P6 pupil who deserved a medal.

This chameleon strode swiftly across the field to inspect our work. As I circled him he didn't take his swiveling eyes off me for a moment! He posed for this shot and then walked up a tree to watch us from a good vantage point.

Later that night the rain began to fall again, wonderful for the sown seeds but not boding so well for the continued sowing on Tuesday. As we monitored the weather throughout Tuesday morning it looked hopeful for a completion of the marathon task. Nothing is that easy in Ghana! As school closed the thunder clapped and the black clouds slowly made their way across the sky towards us. Jennifer in P6 assured Louisa that between them they could finish the job before the rain reached them and they dashed off to try.

I was sent off home before I was soaked. Honestly, I didn’t take much persuading! From the shelter of our veranda I watched the sky and the progress of this violent front. Surprisingly, it was 2 hours before the heavens opened. The “farmers were able to reach the final row and the whole field was sown. As night fell and the rain soaked down through the rich soil those pairs of seeds will have been swelling beautifully in their dark beds, all ready hopefully, to yield huge, healthy maize plants, “as high as an elephant’s eye.” Our harvest will come in October but there will be monitoring & maintenance duties in the meantime. I’ve yet to learn the details of these!

It really is fantastic how much is growing now and the speed with which progress is made. Some crops look close to harvest time whilst others are clearly, being newly sown. Every available piece of ground is being turned over, weeded and planted with something. The rains are almost daily and often a continuous soaking rather than a flash deluge, much more to a farmer’s liking. Not quite one week on and tiny shoots are already appearing from the seeds we sowed! The future bodes well!

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