Got ‘Underdeveloped’ Milk? – Part III

Nutrition assessment at KIHEFO. (Photo - Nikki Janzen)

There’s a queue of thirty-some people who are hoping to bring home milk for dinner at the corner store dairy, and only four employees behind the counter who are busy grabbing weathered notes and heavy coins from hands whilst filling plastic bags with what let’s call ‘white gold” in Uganda. …

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Got ‘Underdeveloped’ Milk? – Part II

Milk - 32 flavours and then some.

I’m growing fat and nourished on unprocessed milk these days whilst living in Uganda.  I don’t have much of a choice, at least, not like I do in Canada when I go to the grocery store, and see shelves stacked with yellow, purple, blue and red plastic-capped jugs of milk, representing homogenized, 1%, …

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Got ‘Underdeveloped’ Milk? – Part I

My cornerstone dairy in Kabale, Uganda.

One of my culturally-absorbed addictions in Uganda would be considered a highly contraband substance in Canada. It’s white, creamy, and delicious – and I “take it” straight from the cow’s teat. Raw, unpasteurized milk. Three boiled cupfuls a day. What’s illegal in Canada – to sell or buy raw milk – …

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My Three Sisters – Outliers Against Conventional Agriculture

Mural in Managua, Nicaragua.

My good luck last week came with the rain. It had been bone dry in Kabale for over three weeks. The sun had baked the clay soil hard as a hockey puck. My garden was thirsty. And I was thirsty (and exhausted) from hauling water up the steep concrete steps that led …

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Monsanto and The Seed – Sowing an Uncertain Future in Uganda

mon3

I didn’t march against Monsanto last weekend. It would’ve been me marching against the dust of the dry season here in southwestern Uganda. Small village farmers would’ve looked up from working in their gardens, weeding sorghum, hand-watering vegetables, and handing their child a sweet potato. They would’ve wondered. Who’s Monsanto? I …

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I Dreamed of [Death By Mangoes] in Cuba

cuba2

Two summers ago, on the map maker’s spec of a Caribbean island called Cuba, I dreamt of bicycles, turkeys, death by mangoes and murals (and not necessarily in that order) – amongst other magical symbols and sensations. I close my eyes and move through memory… …coasting backwards…pedaling my bicycle along the skinny …

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Negotiating Nature’s Edge – Swamp & Safari Land vs. Small-Scale Farming

Guide at community-run Bigodi Swamp.

I was standing at the end of a wetland sanctuary, and the beginning of a farmer’s field of sweet potato and maize. I was at the edge of ecosystem. In the “interface between two mediums”…stepping through the space that permaculturalists describe as “interesting and beautiful” and even “more productive” (Mollison, …

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Postcards from Uganda – African Kitchen, Hunger & Rabbits

Women's digging group in Kabale, Uganda.

Today is a public holiday in Uganda. It’s International Women’s Day and the government actually gives people the day off work – another reason (aside from the weather) that I’m glad to be in Uganda, and not Canada. Even though I know the hardest working women on the face of …

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One Fish, Two Fish – Pond Potential for Food Security in Uganda

Aquaculture project

As a young boy, Lazarus Ruzindana’s remembered his father hand-digging a small pond near their home in the sloping valley village of Nyakiju, Muyumbu – located in the Kabale District of Uganda. He had packed the pond with stones and clay and during the rainy season, it became a humble …

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The Breadbasket Paradox in Southwestern Uganda

Over 80% of Ugandans are involved in agriculture.

My first couple of weeks in Uganda have provided ample food for thought. I’m living in the town-centre (and district) of Kabale, which is located in the southwestern part of the country that borders with Rwanda to the south. It’s a long way from the capital city – nearly nine …

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Shoots & Sprouts (A Revolution in My Salad Bowl)

Radish shoots contain 18% Vitamin C

My relationship with salad will never be the same. That’s my favourite one-liner for the early morning market goers at the Edmonton Strathcona Farmer’s Market every Saturday. Popping up from behind the Sunrise Gardens stall, I unabashedly share my ‘born-again-sprouts’ story with a steady stream of people whose eyes are …

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Ode to Cuba – Day of the International Peasant Farmer

Myself and Fernando Funes, Cuban agroecologist.

Es un sueño estar aquí – it’s a dream to be here,” I told my new friends who had come to pick me up at the airport in Varadero, the skin around my eyes dark and sunken, yet my eyes bright, alert, ready to drink in everything Cuba. It wasn’t …

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