Week One

Hello.

I am back.

I have been trying to get back to writing for a while now but I just couldn’t piece the words together to write something interesting.

I was watching an episode of Big Bang Theory. The boys had picked up a avocado plant and had been growing it in a glass jar ( I was having an avocado sandwich at the time) and it got me thinking ,” is there an actual science behind this?”

Turns out yes, you can force an avocado seed to sprout leaves and roots from the roots with the right amount of moisture and sunlight. I love avocados. It sort of is avocado season, so why not have a little experiment of my own to see how it would go.

So far, I’ve collected

  1. The glass to grow seed in.
  2. Toothpicks to hold the seed suspended so it’s not submerged in the water.
  3. The water.
  4. The sun 😒.

Step By Step

Arigato 🙏🏿

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Dream Achieved

Let me just use this time to post my breakfast from last week.

Parsley – Because of its light scent and fresh tasteIMG_20180301_083038[1].jpg

 

Garlic Chive – The leaves have a mild but distinct garlic, rather than onion flavor IMG_20180301_083101[1]

For some color, Red Bell PepperIMG_20180301_083240[1].jpg

What’s red pepper without it’s brothers, Green and YellowIMG_20180301_083411[1].jpg

Thyme. No one knows how to use at my house and i had bought it. It’s expensive, I’m going to use it however i likeIMG_20180301_083502[1].jpg

Chillies for flavorIMG_20180301_084404[1].jpg

I had a flu. I needed a lemonIMG_20180301_084550[1].jpg

Well. This is self explanatoryIMG_20180301_084707[1].jpg

 

After putting on my Jamie Oliver, voilàIMG_20180301_090120[1].jpg

  1. Organic
  2. Fresh
  3. Homegrown
  4. Achievable

This is what i wanted when i first started growing vegetables, to be self sustainable. One of my biggest peeves is buying stuff i can grow for myself. The day i learn how to make cheese and brew beer, you may never hear from me ever again.

Excess Water……

Good Afternoon.

I’ve had a few people come to me and they’ve asked me a few questions relating to the current rainfall burst that most parts of Zimbabwe is experiencing after the young dry spell that we had a few weeks ago. Well, here we are.

pexels-photo-129574.jpeg

While most people know that too little water can kill a plant, they are surprised to find out that too much water for a plant can kill it too.

How Can You Tell Plants Have Too Much Water?

The signs for an overwatered plant are:

  • Lower leaves are yellow Plant looks wilted
  • Roots will be rotting or stunted
  • No new growth Young leaves will turn brown
  • Soil will appear green (which is algae)

(It all depends on soil structure, pH, retention capabilities, type etc as well as crop on the ground)

Why are Plants Affected by Too Much Water?

The reason for plants affected by too much water is that plants need to breathe. They breathe through their roots and when there is too much water, the roots cannot take in gases. It is actually slowly suffocating when there is too much water for a plant.

If a Plant is Over-watered, Will It Still Grow?

This may have you asking “If you overwater a plant, will it still grow?” Yes, it can still grow, provided that the issue that caused too much water for the plant is corrected. If you suspect that you have plants affected by too much water, address the problems as quickly as possible so that you an save your plant.

Don’t worry, farmers we will get there.

This is your friendly neighbourhood farmer guy, peace out

kitchen-garden-sprinkler-gardening-garden-730923.jpeg

 

Dry

Fellow horticulturalists. This heat is killing me. Most of my plants are showing signs of heat stress. What am I going to do?

1. Put straw on them. Shields from the sun. Keeps moisture too.

2. Start watering again. 3 times a week. Rain or shine.

3. Spray. Spray. Spray. Some larvae that attack fester in this heat.

4. Pray

5. Start preparing the next crop. February to Mid May is another season.

Salads, Salad, Salad

The staple food at my home. Greenery . I am partially to blame. Every salad you can think of, we have. Every meal. Breakfast, something green, lunch something greener, supper variety.

Weight issues do run in our family and the effects are abundant. Sometime last year, the best in the world has a serious health scare. Her exit from the Hospitai was a crack down for the rest of us. Her proposed diet become ours. Plenty of greens. Healthy living

Then I came I’m, with all my silliness. I thought,”Hey, I’m going to be a horticulturalist and I’m going to sell them.” I do so much, currently I have lettuce, peas, tsunga, spinach, rape, onion, chilli, sweet cabbage, tomato, bell peppers ( green, red, yellow), cauliflower, broccoli and they are so awesome fresh. I had to discontinue gem squash. At its prime we had it everyday. I won’t even mention you know who bought a whole crate of beetroot seedlings that have fought the bitter treatment I’ve been giving them ( Beetroot is Lucifer’ s hell on earth)

So yeah. Greenery/ Salad our staple food. That lettuce in my cereal. Lettuce and cut up peppers on my sandwiches. Cauli-Broccoli combo on my lunch box and whatever green for supper. Every day.

Battle Against The Sun

We now return to regularly scheduled programming..

By now my fellow agronomers, backyard horticulturists and beginners have selected the land, mix manure, watered it, selected crops to plant, down the seeds according to specifications and are now battling this sudden heat that can threaten our harvest. Don’t fret, I got you.

First, we are going to need straw, hay or that composting from the previous post. We all know how it is light and ventilated they are. This is important for your crops which are protected from the worst of the heat and are kept airy

Secondly, hay has great water retention properties. Once water sufficiently, the water stays on the hay for a considerable time which in turn is sufficient for your crops to feed up and go all the way up(dab) or sideways.

Third, with hay in the mix, you only need to water the crops once a day. The hay retains water, your crops will be safe. My only piece of advice is waterlogging. We tend to overwater because we assume the heat will destroy the crops. Hay prevents that but once the optimum levels are exceeded, the water logging prevents the effectiveness of aeration which may damage for crops.

Lastly, you can judge when your crops are strong enough to be on their own. At that moment, the straw can be used as manure. Water once a day, preferably late afternoon, enough sun to absorb water before the process of respiration occurs.

Any questions or comments down below. My next post will be on indoor grown vegetables..

Number One Must Do Thing in Harare

Hmmmm The first thing you must do is go down to the nearest township and purchase Lightning to send to your enemies. $15 is a bargain compared to waiting for Karma to come and fix someone for doing you wrong. Seriously, its a great buy. And here’s why

  1. It works in any weather, could be sunny, no cloud in the sky whatsoever, boom, zapped.
  2. It works even if the person isn’t outdoors. Person can be chilling in their bed and boom zapped
  3. Remember the old tale, wear red and you get zapped by lightning. No worries about that at all. It doesn’t discriminate color of clothing or skin. Zapped
  4. You must be worried about being caught. It is totally untraceable. No way your enemy will find it as come from you. This lightning is totally anonymous and goes through various VPN (Virtual Private Networks). Any attempt to trace and the signal will bounce around the world city to city. Totally untraceable
  5. “Hey, what if my enemy has a higher power and it back to sender.” No fret, once you purchase and send the lightning, you are protected. It’s like you have a rubber suit. Hell, for those who read Harry Potter , Protego Charm and this isn’t the Avada Kedvra. No worries.

So that’s my pitch. The number one thing to do when you get to Harare is buy lightning for $15 then recline at one of the numerous sadza spots ( especially Wariah), get a large serving of gango and chilli accompanied by Sadza and some alcohol, preferably Castle Draught 1895. It goes down nicely 👌

How not to get caught cheating😊

A bit out of norm. I didn’t know what to blog about concerning this topic till… 🔦🔦

Get ready to throw your devices away

How not to get caught cheating… I did a thread about this on twitter when I was Zim Curator. TOTAL UPROAR

  1. Your cellphone is a gold mine of information. That’s how you communicate with your side piece and thats how you get caught. Use anything but your main phone. This whole locked keypad and apps like Vault, Lock App just put the pressure on you and you will get caught
  2. Join a sport/Gym. No man smells fresh after a long day at the office. Going to a ‘gym’ means you can come home minty fresh and tired and people will think you are being health conscious. Do visit the gym once or twice a week at least
  3. Clear your browser/call/text history. Not all of it, just those parts related to the affair. All of it is just suspicious
  4. If your partner gets suspicious, laugh it off. You get mad, you get caught. Just don’t be mean about it. Keep it light..
  5. Make sure it is a total stranger. No connection to you in any way shape or form. Its best if they have someone too. Both of you have something to lose
  6. Keep separate birth control. Surely can’t be showing up at home with one missing. Come on
  7. A good wing person is key. Alibi alibi alibi
  8. End the affair after three months. FEELINGS
  9. TELL THE OTHER person THE TRUTH. it helps. Space is good for both of you.
  • Her house the better
  • Dont frequent her drinking spots. People remember (lasting impression)
  • Dont mix the venues you take main person. Someone always says something

I think that’s it. I’ll keep updating this.

NB : Purely fictional. You on your own.

Manure

Been so hard to lock down a WiFi hotspot.

By now, your land preparation should be done. If it isn’t, well, hurry up. Today I’ll be writing about manure. At some point you may have heard the next door neighbor asking someone which manure is best for their vegetables and the answer is always the same, Chicken Manure. I happen to think so too hey. It is lightweight, doesn’t cause much trouble with parasites, allows the plants to breath and so forth and yeah, I’m a fan.

However, I’m going to give a few tips to get you the best bargain for your buck.

  1. Buy different types of manure. Currently, I have a rabbit, chicken, cow, tobacco, horse manure.
  2. Mix it. Make it one pile (Preferably somewhere far from the homestead)
  3. Get bits and pieces of dry vegetation. Stuff like old leafy veggies, dry stalks, straw, mash them in the manure
  4. Water the pile for a week. The water serves as a catalyst to activate the rotting process, the dry stalks serve as water retention agents
  5. After the week, dig up the area you want to plant your croppage, mix the soil with manure, water it for at least 3 days then plant

The roots have food -> strengthen early -> big produce

NB : too much will kill the root

NB NB : that’s the bottom layer, you’ll need more of the light weight variety on top frequently, depending with how the crops are coming along

When exporting, some buyers test the produce on the organic content. Apparently, the world has become so health conscious , organic grown vegetables fetch more on the market than those greenhouse fertilizer grown. And if you do wanna use fertilizer, Compound C is for horticulture. I’ve seen people use Compound D ( That’s for cereals)

Yaaah. I think that is about it, any questions? No? Great..

Welcome back

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.

3. INVESTMENT

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

5. VARIETY

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.