Touch the Soil News #275
Recently the news conglomerate All Africa, published an article on kitchen gardening in Busia County, of Western Kenya. Kitchen gardening is the practice of raising leafy greens, vegetables, fruits or herbs in close proximity to the kitchen. The reason for the resurgence of home gardening stems around three things – health, income from extra produce to sell and its becoming “vogue” to do so.
Timely rains and some irrigation infrastructure allows most kitchen gardeners to raise crops year-round. Local governments, NGO’s and non-profits are contributing to the success of kitchen gardening through training of crop husbandry, organic methods, and sustainable practices.
In addition to kitchen gardening coming into vogue, small subsistence farmers are also receiving technical assistance – allowing them to not only better feed themselves, but provide extra income from market sales.
In contrast, almost 50 million Americans (1 in 6) are food insecure and many without any basic resources to fall back on.
Kitchen Gardening in Kenya is light years ahead of homelessness and hunger surging in first world nations. Poor Kenyan farmers own 5 acres of farmland on average. (photo courtesy of AllAfrica)
Homelessness and hunger in America is typified by lack of access to land and gardening skills. Even well-to-do people of larger cities will rarely own 5 acres of farmland.
Since subsistence farmers are usually the poorest of the citizenry, they do have – on average – about 5 acres of land on which to raise food. While this form of living is rather rudimentary, consider the contrast to millions of homeless folks in first-world nations for which ownership of any amount of land is totally out of the question.
Even for the affluent in industrialized nations, owning 5 acres of good cropland with water is simply a pipe dream they’ll never achieve.
Part of what is making the kitchen gardening movement in Kenya a success is the resurgence of folks accepting vegetables and greens indigenous to the area.