Household Food Production - A Work in Progress

in #palnet2 months ago

Although still a very long way from its former glory and even further away from former levels of productivity, I must say that the farms food garden is making daily progress. Its been all blood sweat and tears since I have come back to the family farm, trying to get everything back up and running now that we have finally had some sustainable rain after extensive droughts, but when I start seeing everything take shape, it definitely makes it all worth while.

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One of the first things I noticed while hacking away at the overgrowth, was that my Cajanus cajan plants (also known as pigeon pea) not only survived, but was in fact thriving, above you can see the plant in full flower, starting to produce the first of many legumes for the season. I am more than impressed with the resilience of this gorgeous shrub.

Here is a little exert from an article online, giving a bit more detailed information on this plant:

"Pigeon pea is a pulse crop that is able to tolerate harsh conditions where other crops such as maize fail. Its ability to withstand drought makes it an ideal crop for smallholder farming. It has a deep taproot system whereby it can withdraw water and nutrients from the secondary level of the soil profile and it helps the plants to survive during periods of water deficit. Similar to most leguminous crops, pigeon pea has root nodules and it helps improve soil quality by atmospheric nitrogen fixation. Due to this, pigeon pea is cultivated in intercropping systems with maize and sorghum leading to reduced need for commercial nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers." ~ sorce

The same article also reaches a bit more into both nutritional and medicinal factors of the plant, but in my opinion barely scrapes the surface - definitely a plant worth reading up on.

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As for the rest if the garden, like I said, its really starting ti take shape, and with the new pump in place in the borehole, and enough water supply, I was able to progress to reconnecting the old irrigation system and in-line pressure pump that services the gravity feed water supply to the garden, above you can see the system laid out and in play.

At the time this picture was taken all of these beds had already been planted, and some of them have already started germinating, like the beans, peas, carrots and beets. Others were only planted now after the irrigation was set up, so that we can cut down on time expensive manual watering.

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Although some of the garden still has a very long road ahead, I am grateful that other sections are already starting to produce their first yield, I got my fist squash off of our pumpkin patch, and the spring onions are ready to harvest as needed (as seen in pictures above and below)

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Hardly enough to survive from, but certainly a good place to start.