Friday, February 22, 2013

Soya Bean Harvest, Part I

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Please join us...
This week, Initiative to End Child Malnutrition at Nyakibale Hospital invites you to take a step into our garden...

Our nutritional and education garden offers a visual and hands-on learning experience to educate caregivers of our malnourished patients not only what foods build a balanced diet but also how to grow them in their own backyards.

Southwestern Uganda is lush and fertile. Residents here enjoy two rainy seasons, making it possible for anyone with the right knowledge and motivation to grow vegetables in a what is commonly referred as a "backyard garden"

Staffs, students and caregivers work
together to plant the garden just
before the start of the rainy season.
September 2012

This week, soya bean and spinach were harvested from the garden. Spinach is harvested about twice per month but this was the first time to harvest soya bean. The process started last year in September; the gardener, caregivers, nurses, and students alike met at the garden to plant carrots, soya bean, spinach and tomatoes. The vegetables are all regulars in our garden but soya bean was chosen because it replenishes nitrogen into the soil and is rich in protein, a nutrient many of our patients are lacking.

All of the produce harvested from the garden benefits our caregivers. The produce is brought to the canteen and is used to prepare meals for the caregivers in our Meals for Mothers program. Meals for Mothers is an IECM sponsored program for caregivers who are unable to purchase meals for themselves while attending to their children on the pediatric ward.

Spinach can be harvested and eaten the same day, no preparation needed beyond washing and chopping --- soya bean takes much more work before it makes to to the plate....
Day One: Wednesday

Step 1: Uproot the entire plant

                                                        Step 2: Tie together bunches with banana fibers and load onto the bike to transport to the hospital canteen.

Step 3: Lay the soya bean on a tarp to dry in the sun. Be sure to keep a close eye on the weather, in case of thunderstorm (very common here), the tarp must be folded up to keep the soya dry during the storm. But don't worry, the day is not lost, the sun can start shining again within an hour!

Day 3: Friday

Bean pods are dry... interested to see the next step? Check back next week!