Dry Season Gardening
It seems a bit counterintuitive, but some of our best, locally-grown veggies only show up at market in the dry season. You’d think they’d be abundant in the rainy season but too much sporadic rain during and a multitude of pests make gardening difficult. Farmers are also more focused on ploughing, sowing, and weeding their main staple crops of corn, millet, beans, and groundnuts.
In the dry season, those with access to plots by the creek can maintain healthy vegetable gardens if they are willing to do the hard work of irrigating the crops. And it’s hard work! Very few of the gardeners can afford a water pump (or the fuel to run it) so they manually carry 10-gallon jugs of water up and down from the creek. Humidity stays below 10% most of the dry season while temperatures can hit 110F so the plants need a lot of water.
Just south of Nalerigu is the predominantly Bissa village of Nagboo that is known for its dry season gardens. Most of its produce ends up at the Nalerigu market for sale. These gardeners produce cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, hibiscus, and amaranth greens.
I recently biked down to Nagboo with just a DJI Mavic drone and an iPhone and took some photos and video of the gardens. The gardeners were very gracious and happy to show off the fruit of their hard work.