The blog is back? Yes. It is. I have been urged by a friend of mine to start writing again especially now that fellow agricultural enthusiasts (Without Greenhouses) are back preparing their land. So, im going to give a few tips just to make it easier for you
1. KNOW your market before planting anything
It is very important to know what your people would like to have. My mistake last year was eggplant (SMH) it was so big, so beautiful. Slightly too big for a household to enjoy before it went bad not to mention the outlets that had promised to take it from my hands refused to keep up their end of the bargain. My advice, get something you can sell to anyone (although that exactly what everyone’s doing)
2. KNOW your land
Last year, this was something I didn’t even consider. Soil testing ߘﾮ I just woke up one morning, looked for land near the water source , set my roots down and just let it rip. Lucky enough the soil was good for most of the croppage and it turned out great. Simple really, take a small sample to the nearest agriculture office or college, for a small fee, they will Inform you on your soil type, what crops flourish, what you need to do to make it better.
We’ve all heard that farming is a great investment and to be honest it is. However, its frustrating, heart wrenching and low key depressing. The wait ߘ￠heavy rainsߘ￠The outcome ߙ￠and the calculations to break even ߤ￮ Issa struggle, the chest pains are real. So much is needed, more labour, more water, more manure, more fertilizer, week after week something crucial is needed but I’ve never felt anything quite like watching people buy your products and tell you everything is ߔￊ
4. SIZE isn’t everything
I’m talking about size of the area to work on, not …… Dirty minded individuals. You can do so much on so little and get so much in return. Truly. Same as you can do so much on a big piece of land and get so much more in return. It’s all about what you can do. I’d advisestart small, know your limits, expand on them as time goes on. Then again, what are limits hey, do as much ass possible
I think this is key for any Farmer. Zimbabwe markets are very fickle. What is hot today won’t be so hot tomorrow. What is flooded today, won’t be so flooded tomorrow so variety is key. Take a day, walk around the markets (Mbare for instance or Food Lovers ) glance around at what is on the floor, the costs to grow and supply, can you meet demand etc some questions to ask. Visit your seed supplier,talk to them, they will lie to you of course to sell their seeds but sometimes fortune favors the bold. When planting get as many varieties as possible. I mean, get two-three different varieties of the same plant (if possible) as well as different varieties of crops. Go with your tomato + cucumber + lettuce + potato + rape + tsunga + whatever your heart ( and pocket) fancies. 3-4 may bring more to cover the others, you get a steady profit and you send some to me for helping you with this blog (lol)
6. SEEDS VS SEEDLINGS
Personally I’m a fan of seedlings. I’m not lazy to buy seeds, nurse them, transplant them and watch them grow but I don’t trust myself. I’m not exactly full time ( more like 3/4s) and I prefer seedlings because they are already on the way and I get to make sure they don’t die. Also, I haven’t mastered the art of the nursery part. A friend of mine prefers seeds to seedlings, says seed companies sometimes lie about the variety of the seedlings and it affects yield, pests etc. I get his point. I should try both at some point, weigh the advantages and disadvantages but for now, I’ll get seeds from approved seedling houses (North Samora types)
I think that’s it for today, if I missed anything, comment below, send me a tweet at @ndini_Keith. Also a S/O to @EmergingFarmer. They won’t follow me back but I’ve learnt a lot from them.