Friday, 29 August 2008

Foodfunfarm Blog in Tanzania (Safflower, Wheat, Seed beans)

I am attempting to provide basic information by each recommended blog (location; acreage; stock, crops and fibres raised) to make it easier for people to find the sort of blog that interests them.

If you are linked on Farm Blogs from Around the World, but if this information isn't next to your link, please do drop me a line, and I will edit your link. dropped me a line about their blog and farm, and I've edited their link accordingly.

Here's what Ivan and Lynda had to say about

The farm is situated in the Western foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa's highest peak) in Tanzania, East Africa.

The farm is 3500 acres in. size and we practice dry land farming - nothing is irrigated & we are one of the first farms in the area to practice zero tillage.

We grow the following 3 crops:
  • Wheat (for supply to the local Tanzanian flour market/bakeries);

  • safflower (the oil is extracted, pumped into huge bags that fill a whole container - think box wine ! - & is shipped by sea to the USA)

  • seed beans (for export to Holland, also by sea). Beans have been successfully grown on the farm for around 35 years now.

It is still Winter here in East Africa and we are busy with our bean harvest. Our beans are grown for export to Holland as seed beans and are all picked and sorted by hand to avoid damage and to ensure a top quality product.

Seed beans being removed from their pods by local labour

We provide work for some 120 people during this time -all of whom are local subsistence farmers from the surrounding villages and otherwise have no other source of income.

We also let them take all the remaining bean 'hay' (pods etc) home to feed their livestock, for which they are very grateful as during the dry season when grazing is scarce, this can very often make the difference between life and death when it comes to their livestock herds. (Here in Africa, a family's wealth is judged by how many cattle and goats they own.)

Wheat being harvested.

We finished our wheat harvest about a month ago.

This photo was taken from our front veranda of a field being harvested right in front of the farm house.

A Place in the Auvergne
Ian Walthew

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