This farming season I was able to help a friend with all the stages of the farming process. We sowed the corn, weeded (several times) and finally harvested.
All the steps involve multiple members of the family and sometimes even extended family. The sowing is definitely the easiest part and the weeding is by far the hardest. Long days were broken up by a lunch break in the cool shade of a tree where we ate bean cakes his wives prepared right there on the spot (from scratch!).
This corn harvest is extremely important to the family since it will be their primary food source for the next year. They will grind it to make a flour which will be cooked as sa’abu (or tuo zaafi), the main staple in the region. This bland mash is eaten daily with various soups made of leafy vegetables.
Traditionally, it’s the husband’s job to provide the staple and the wives’ responsibility to provide the ingredients for the soups to accompany it.