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I am not much of a gardener. Truth be told the thought of ever having my own house with a yard scares me. It just feels so grown up…ick! But here almost everyone uses what ever land they can find to grow something and with the added motivation of NEEDING my weekly fix (ok, sometimes daily fix of Mexican something- like salsa and guacamole) I had to figure out how to grow cilantro, right?

And our new exciting news: we are actually growing stuff besides mchicha (spinach) in our shamba!! Figuring out how to grow stuff when we first arrived was so low on the priority list…..way after say….learn how to buy things at the market….and figure out how not to die by drinking unsafe water……that we had not revisited it after a few failed and half hearted attempts. Lots of things grow in our yard already; star fruits, cooking bananas, and passion fruits. But when we returned this time we came armed with seeds from everything to cantaloupe to parsley and we also tracked down some local seeds so we are giving it a whirl. Pretty adventurous for us city slickers but with the help of our Mlinzi family we are growing stuff!!! We got some fresh udongo (dirt and manure) delivered by cow cart by a friend about a month ago and after planting everything, watering it (which Anni loves), and trying to keep wadudu from eating everything we are seeing the pay-off now!!
So far we have some cucumbers, hot peppers, cilantro, and tons of basil and tomatoes.

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We have to pick them a bit unripe because the bugs love to eat them (or kids jump over the wall and swipe them!)
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and by lots I mean TONS!
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Can you guess which is the American seed & which we got locally? šŸ™‚
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Enough basil to open an Italian restaurant!!
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Today we made some ridiculous amounts of salsa and bruschetta and still had enough tomatoes to take to our neighbors. Jason commented “we are like frontiersmen! We made our own bread and we used tomatoes and basil from our shamba” Yeah, like frontiers people only we have a bread machine and help in growing everything. So, no, definitely not so hardcore šŸ™‚

and we are trying some daisy seeds too…
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Yeah for our shamba!!

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don't know if you've got seasons or if your plants just keep producing, but it looks like you have enough to freeze for later & you could make pesto and freeze in ice cube trays with all that basil! I'm starting to go into production mode like that to prep for those long cold chicago winters! And having 2 kids make you a grown up I have to say…but you look young enough to be the nanny.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The whole American vs African seeds is just too funny. You should start selling the seeds! Looks like your garden is a success – much better than I could do.

  3. Anonymous says:

    that looks awesome! good job!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love that you're gardening! I always enjoy this time of year – like today when I needed tomatoes and a green pepper, and I could just go outside and pick my own!