Africa Update and Baby Stevie

Mikael has spent the last few months cultivating his groundnut farm otherwise known as peanuts.   Just before the start of the rains, usually around June, Mikael like all other farmers in The Gambia, will clear their fields using what’s called the ‘slash and burn’ method, afterwards they brush their fields, hopefully in time for the first rainfall.  As soon as the rains start the land is ploughed and the seed-nuts are sown.

The rainy season is coming to an end and during this time Mikael will be harvesting his crop. The plants  are uprooted and laid on raised platforms to dry out. Once dried out the plant is thrashed to release the nuts. They are then sorted through a  spinning colander which has rotating cylinders with holes in or meshed panniers. The nuts are then weighed, graded and transported to various collection points around The Gambia.

The local name for peanuts is gerte. Swadou, Mikael’s wife will take the groundnuts to the food market where they are sold wholesale in little bags. The nuts are offered in a variety of styles, including roasted, salted, sugar-coated, and sometimes boiled. They are also sold in small tomato pot sizes for about 5.00 dalasi per pot. The shells from Mikael’s groundnuts are used as fertilizer on his farm.

Baby Stevie is doing really well and growing so fast, he will go to market with Swadou wrapped in a ‘Khanga’ which is a shortish piece of cloth tied around the torso, so the baby sits low on the back.  Being carried this way is quite safe and for much of his young life this is how he will be carried.


Baby Steve

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