I never gardened before I came to Hewa, and honestly thought I would not like it. Having to know when to plant what during which season really overwhelmed me, but when you live in the tropics there are only two seasons- rainy and not as rainy so you can pretty much plant anytime.
And sometimes when I "planted" I simply threw seeds out in my yard. I planted pumpkin, cucumber, lima beans, black beans, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and papaya. But my greatest accomplishment was watermelons. I ended up with 27 watermelons growing before we left. We even ate some before they were ripe, because we were so hungry for fruit (our village is new, so there is not a lot of fruit because most fruit trees take years to grow).
|on the way to plant sweet potato leaves|
|eating our unripe watermelon|
Gardening here does require some hard work, though. You have to do some serious land clearing before you can plant, and there is constant weeding to be done. The jungle will easily take over your garden if you let it!
|clearing some land for planting|
Most of what we ate came from what my coworker planted for me months before we moved in. If she hadn't done that, who knows what we would have done! We ate greens, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes from the garden she previously planted for us. We even tried cooking the sweet potatoes in the traditional Hewa way of burying in the ashes of the fire and then eating. It looks weird, but it is actually really good!
|cooking sweet potatoes in the ashes|
|ready to eat|
|picking greens for dinner|