We want to say THANK YOU all so much for your continued support these last few years. With your assistance, we have been able to help enrich the nutrition and financial lives of villagers all over Uganda.To date we have given out seedlings and suckers from mango trees, various banana trees, avocado trees, mulberry bushes, strawberry plants, raspberry bushes (those didn’t work but we tried!), cashew nut trees, star apples, guava trees, soursop trees, bread fruit trees, jackfruit trees, multiple varieties of lemon and orange citrus trees, amongst others!
We are now proud to announce that our fruit tree project has now been fully funded and we will be closing the donate option to this project on GlobalGiving.
You are all AWESOME donors, and I am sure you will find some equally fabulous other projects to contribute to!
Did you know that there are over 1000 different types of bananas? Out of those, about 500 varieties are edible. I'm honestly not sure How many types are grown in Uganda, but we currently grow five different varieties on the farm.
We have a standard yellow banana that we westerner seeing most supermarkets, locally called bogoya. Sweet ladyfingers that are known as menvu , two types of plantains down as matooke and gonja respectively, And a variety of sweet red banana whose local name I cannot remember.
Additionally, bananas are not grown on trees. The banana plant is actually a very large herb distantly related to ginger.It has a wet layered stem and produces new banana trees from the bottom that are known as suckers. Suckers spring up and we harvest them year round to plant new banana trees at new locations. And we give them out to any villagers who are interested!
Some bananas are eaten raw, well most are cooked either through steaming or frying. Well they are not necessarily a high cost item, they serve as a staple of the Ugandan diet. Bananas are rich in dietary fiber, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and a a plethora of vitamins and other nutrients. In these times of cover 19, quarantine, and restricted travel, having a consistent, nutritious food source is important!
I realize that I should be telling you about new fun projects we are doing with fruit trees, but honestly, since the COVID-19 lockdown the markets have dried up and the economy is struggling. Most people we work with have reverted back to subsistence farming until the country stabilizes again.
They still have the fruit trees and the trees are producing lots of nutrient rich food for their families and communities. However, instead of investigating markets and new fruit varieties, everyone is focusing on maize. It is a high yield crop and the porridge and breads made from it are filling and easily stored.
When the airport reopens and things return to normal we expect the economy to rejuvenate and we will go back to focusing on exotic fruits and cash crops. Until then however, maize it is!
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