Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Rainy Dry Season

I have come to the conclusion that there will not be a dry season this dry season. The rainy season has extended into the dry season by several months. While this is good for keeping the dust down and respiratory infections low, this extension has more serious ramifications too. The farmers depend on the (usually) dependable rainy and dry seasons to determine when to sow their fields and this year’s mish-mash of rainy/dry season has the ability to seriously disrupt crops. If the farmers plant too early, mistaking these past two months of rain as a super early start to the rainy season, and the dryness begins, then their crops will wither in the fields. Their families will go hungry and since school fees are often paid through the sale of crops, their children will stop their education and remain at home. If the crops fail, farmers will not have enough money to purchase new seeds in time for the next rainy season and won’t be able to sow their fields in time, thus missing another harvest and the cycle continues and the hungry season (which usually occurs just before the crops are harvested and last seasons’ reserves have become low) will endure.

I’m debating myself whether to start my garden or wait until the rainy season is supposed to begin – sometime in April or May, I think. It’s not such a life or death thing for me. But I’ve been thinking and planning this garden for a while now. I brought all sorts of seeds with me from America; contemplating what types of veggies I’d have access to and which ones I’d miss the most. I received two packages in the mail this month (thanks mom, dad and Kim!) so I’m going to fill those with soil and plant a little herb garden but I’m also going to try for some veggies too. I’ve never really gardened much, but I figure it can’t be too hard. Ugandan soil is so fertile that everything grows, and grows FAST. So sometime this week or weekend (I hope) I’m going to borrow my neighbor’s hoe and plant some spinach, Brussels sprouts, radishes, and broccoli.

I’ll keep you updated.