GROWING FOOD

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GROWING FOOD

For understanding and researching food crops and nutrition:

  1. What we eat
  2. Good eating (1)
  3. Good eating (2)
  4. Food plants

For planning the garden project:

  1. What shall we grow to eat?
  2. Crop experts

ABOUT THESE LESSONS

The lessons in Set D aim to stimulate learners’ interest in home-grown food as an enjoyable experience, a source of health and a personal achievement. They build up learners’ skills and knowledge and make good eating a point of conversation in the home.

After deciding what to grow, you will have to decide what lessons you will need on essential horticulture (Set F). The garden project will also involve decisions about preparing and processing food products (Set G). The overview lessons from Set H should be spread through the growing season.

1. WHAT WE EAT

This is the first of three very basic lessons about diet, to be followed by Good eating (1) and Good eating (2). The aim of these lessons is to make learners aware of what they eat and of some important dietary messages. It also enables teachers to find out about learners’ diet, their feelings about food and their ideas of what "good food" is.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- are able to describe their own diet
- become aware of the idea of variety in a diet
- become aware of how many different fruits and vegetables they normally eat.

RESOURCES NEEDED

- small samples or pictures of the local staple food (e.g. rice, cassava, maize) and some frequently eaten local foods
- a large circle of paper/cardboard to represent a plate/dish
- glue

LESSON

1. Lead-in Present the paper "plate" and lay it flat.
Ask: What is the main food we eat every day? When learners tell you, put a sample of the staple food in the middle of the paper plate and glue it on. Introduce older learners to the term "staple food".

2. What else do we eat? (For younger learners) As learners suggest foods, glue on food samples, draw pictures on the "plate", or write on food names. Put animal foods on the left and plant foods on the right – learners should say which side. If they mention mixed dishes (e.g. soup, stew), ask them to say the main ingredients so as to decide where to put them. At the end, display the "plate" on the wall.

(For older learners) Divide the plate into sections, as in the Guide, label the parts, ask learners to say which section each food should go in and write in the names. After a few foods, learners copy the "plate" into their books and work in groups to extend the lists.

3. Counting Learners count how many different foods they have thought of, how many animal foods, how many plant foods / fruits / vegetables etc. Ask them to guess how many different foods they eat each day. Explain that for homework they have to count them.

FOLLOW-UP

1. Food count: one day Younger learners count and remember all the foods they eat in one day, tell their families, and report in class.

2. Food count: one week Older learners draw up a table (as below) showing all the different foods eaten in one week, divided into animal foods/legumes and fruits and vegetables.

3. Poster: Our Food Create a circular poster (like the food plate) with pictures and names of the commonest local foods, and display it. It will be useful for later lessons, in particular Lesson D3 Good eating (2).

FOOD COUNT FOR ONE WEEK
  Animal foods and legumes Fruits and vegetables
Monday    
Tuesday    
Wednesday    
Thursday    
Friday    
Saturday    
Sunday    

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Nutrition and health Diet

THE FAMILY MIXED MEAL GUIDE

2. GOOD EATING (1)

This lesson and the next aim to build positive attitudes to fruit and vegetables, first through personal preferences and then with reference to nutritional value.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- become aware that fruit and vegetables should be highly valued
- express personal preferences for particular fruits and vegetables
- learn to appreciate the smell, taste and texture of particular fruits and vegetables.

RESOURCES NEEDED

Bring (or ask learners to bring) samples of fruits and vegetables which are particularly good for the diet (e.g. carrot, tomato, broccoli, mango, guava, red capsicum, orange sweet potato, pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, groundnuts, pawpaw, orange). They should be in edible form and attractively presented (e.g. on leaves, in a basket, in coloured paper). If learners bring them, ask parents to make sure that the foods are washed, and handled with clean hands.

PREPARATION

Learners count the number of different foods they consume in a day or a week.

LESSON

1. Lead-in: clean hands Say that today we will be handling foods, so everyone’s hands should be clean – i.e. washed with soap and running water. Give learners the opportunity to wash hands.

2. Food count Ask learners how many different foods they ate in a day or a week. Show you are impressed by a) many different foods and b) a lot of fruit and vegetables. Lead the class in clapping each time there is a mention of beans, green leafy vegetables, yellow or orange fruits or vegetables etc. N.B. Take the opportunity to get an idea of learners’ diet. Is there variety? Is there enough fruit? Are there enough vegetable protein foods (beans, peas, groundnuts)?

3. Personal preferences Explain that fruit and vegetables are very important foods and very delicious. Display some food samples. Ask which they like best, why they like them and how they like to eat them. Praise ALL positive responses and build up feelings of enjoyment.

4. Sensory awareness: Five-Star Foods

Based on Kiefer and Kemple (1998)

a) Choose one food (e.g. a carrot) and keep it hidden. Ask two volunteers to stand in front of the class and close their eyes. Bring out the food so the class can see it.

- Volunteers (and class) "listen" to the food (e.g. break the carrot). What is the sound like? (e.g. sharp, snappy). Can the volunteers guess the food?

- Next, volunteers smell the food. How does it smell? (e.g. earthy, sweet).

- Volunteers handle the food and say how it feels (e.g. cool, hard, damp). Can they guess?

- Ask volunteers to open their eyes and take a good look. With the class, describe the food (e.g. It’s long and orange and it has little hairs on it. Inside it has different shades of colours.)

- Give volunteers a piece to eat. Ask them to eat it slowly and say how it tastes (e.g. sweet, crunchy, cool). Join them in eating and show obvious pleasure.

b) Divide the class into groups of five. Each group selects a food. They go through all the senses (smell, taste, touch, hearing, sight) in the same way, then report back. Once they have fully appreciated the food, they can eat it – but wash it first.

FOLLOW-UP

Five-star food Learners find a favourite fruit or vegetable at home. They examine it with all five senses and tell families about it (families can participate too!). They then draw them, write a description or poem (as in Guides A and B), and read them out for others to guess (as in Guide C). Collect poems or descriptions together in a Fruit and Vegetable Book.

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Language Vocabulary for sense impressions, poetry

Art Still life

LEMONS

What can you feel? see? smell? taste? hear? How many senses?

I love lemons

The wonderful smell is in the juice, in the skin, in the leaves and the flower. It stays on your fingers.

You can smell it when you walk by a lemon tree in the sunshine. Lemons have oily skin and shiny leaves. Tasting a lemon makes your mouth pucker up.

 

Lemons soft and squeezy

Lemons sharp and pointy

Lemons rough and lumpy

Lemons sour and tangy

Lemons make me sneezy!

By a child in Bradford http://www.bradford.gov.uk/

So when you hold

The hemisphere of a cut lemon

Above your plate

You spill a universe of gold,

A yellow goblet of miracles,

A ray of light that was made fruit

   From Ode to the Lemon by Pablo Neruda

 

FAVOURITE FOODS


"Let me tell you about the GRAPEFRUIT of my dreams. The flesh is pink, not yellow. Each little part is free from its membrane, so you don’t have to tear it out and spray juice all over yourself.

The taste comes in two parts – first a sharpness which wakes you up, then a wash of sweetness. The tiny globes of juice are the size of tadpoles. Each of them bursts separately in your mouth. This is how a grapefruit should be."

Adapted from Julian Barnes (1990)

"AVOCADO is my favourite fruit. It’s very strange and heavy to hold. It is dark and rough on the outside but inside it is gold and soft.

The flesh is heavy and oily like thick yellow cream. And in the middle there is a huge solid pip which will grow into a new avocado tree.

With a little salt, it’s just perfect. I eat it with a spoon."


WHAT IS IT?

? " There are tiny ones and big ones. The thin skin, brown or dark red or silver, slips off like paper. If you cut them into rings you can see that they are leaves, each leaf wrapped inside the other. And in the middle – nothing! The smell fills the house and sticks to your fingers for hours. You can eat them with many foods – fish and rice, meat, tomato, beans." ?

WHAT IS IT?

Find the picture below!

 

? " This is a strange fruit. Most people think it’s a vegetable. Tap it and it sounds hollow. It’s about as big as a big fist. It’s red or yellow or green. It has ribs inside with little white seeds on them. When it decays, it wrinkles up first, then it goes soft in patches, then it goes liquid, with a very nasty smell." ?

WHAT IS IT?

Find the picture below!

3. GOOD EATING (2)

Many people undervalue fruit and vegetables nutritionally. This lesson aims first to find out what learners think, then build up positive attitudes and finally send them out as "food missionaries" to promote fruit and vegetables.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- appreciate that fruit and vegetables are essential to health
- recognize the special value of dark green leaves and orange/yellow fruits and vegetables
- can express and explain some simple messages for improving the diet.

RESOURCES NEEDED

- small pictures or names of common local foods on cards / pieces of paper, including several fruits and vegetables, some yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and some dark green leafy vegetables
- some means of pinning up these "food cards"

PREPARATION

The "food cards" can be prepared by the teacher or by the learners.

Draw a "ladder" of about 15 rungs on the wall or board to pin the food cards on.

LESSON

1. Lead-in Show the prepared "food cards". Learners each choose one which they think is a really good food, a food they should eat every day or at least once a week. Older learners can say why they think it is good.
As learners make their choices, pin up the food cards on the "ladder". The more "votes" the food gets, the higher it goes. This gives a quick picture of learners’ "food values".

2. Food values Look at the "food ladder" together. Tell learners that all foods are good foods and everything they say is right. But some foods are particularly good.

a) ALL fruits and vegetables are very important. Ask learners to move all fruits and vegetables one step up the ladder.

b) ORANGE AND YELLOW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
are very good for eyesight and for staying healthy. The class identifies these (e.g. pumpkins, carrots, mango and papaya) and calls them out. Learners move them two steps up the ladder.

c) Finally, DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES keep us very healthy. Again, the class identifies these
(e.g. amaranth, spinach, pumpkin leaves and sweet potato leaves) and calls them out, and learners move them up two steps.

d) Older learners choose a food, look it up in the table in the Guide and tell the class what it is particularly good for.

3. Messages Teach younger learners these four messages and ask them to tell their families:

Eat many different foods.
Eat many fruits and vegetables.
Eat dark green leaves.
Eat yellow/orange fruits and vegetables.

4. Advice Give older learners a mixture of good and bad advice, as below. They have to pick out the good advice (marked with a star*) – e.g.

Eat orange fruits and vegetables.*
Eat mostly meat.
Eat rice/cassava/maize (or other staple food) every day.*
Eat many fruits and vegetables.*
Eat some meat or beans and a lot of fruit and vegetables.*
Eat only fruit and vegetables.
Eat dark green leafy vegetables often.*
Eat many different foods.*

FOLLOW-UP

1. Food values Learners ask family members to name good foods as they did in class, then tell them the messages.

2. Flag Make a GOOD HEALTH flag with large strips of orange, dark green and yellow paper/cloth. Learners stick pictures or names of dark green leafy vegetables and yellow and orange fruit and vegetables onto the appropriate coloured strips. Display the flag and train learners to explain it to visitors.

3. Local food guide (for older learners) Ask a local nutritionist to help learners draw up a modified Guide showing local foods.

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Nutrition & Health Nutritional needs and nutritional value

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF COMMON FOODS

FOOD

VERY GOOD FOR ENERGY

VERY GOOD FOR GROWTH

VERY GOOD FOR HEALTH

Cassava flour

***

Mealie meal/maize

***
**
*

Rice

***
**
*

Bread

***
**
*

Sorghum

***
**
*

Millet

***
**
*

Yellow/orange sweet potato

**
**

Orchid roots

**
**

Pumpkin

*
***

Okra, fresh

*
*

Beans & peas

***
***
**

Bambara nuts,fresh

***
***
*

Dry groundnuts

****
***

Green leafy vegetables

*
*
***

Tomato

*
****

Bananas

**
**

Pawpaw

*
****

Guava

*
****

Orange

*
****

Mango

*
****

Avocado pear

**
**

Meat

**
****
***

Liver

**
****
****

Chicken

**
****
***

Fresh fish

*
****
***

Dried/smoked fish

**
****
***

Kapenta/chisense

***
****
****

Caterpillars (dried)

***
****
**

Grasshoppers

**
***

Termites (fresh)

***
***

Milk (cow)

**
****
**

Breastmilk

****
****
****

Eggs

**
****
**

Vegetable oil

****
*

Red palm oil

****
****

Margarine

****
*

Sugar

***

Sugarcane

*

**** The more stars the better

Note: This chart is extremely simplified. Learners should know that ALL foods give us energy, help us to grow and keep us healthy, but that some foods are particularly good for some of these needs.

4. FOOD PLANTS

Urban children often have no idea how their food relates to the plants it comes from. With processed foods all children may have some difficulty, and even rural children find it hard to say what an onion is!

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- are aware of the range of plants that can be eaten
- can recognize and name the different parts of food plants
- can classify foods according to the part of plant they come from.

RESOURCES NEEDED

- a large bag
- large labels saying ROOT, STEM, FLOWER, SEED, FRUIT, LEAF
- samples of foods which come from different parts of plants (see table below) - easy ones for younger learners and a mixture for older learners

Plant part Easy to guess Difficult to guess
roots and tubers carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, cassava root ginger powder, cassava flour
stems celery, kohlrabi, sugar cane granulated sugar
leaves spinach, sweet potato leaves, lettuce, cabbage onions, tea
buds broccoli brussels sprouts
fruit citrus fruit, avocado pears, bananas, mangoes, papaya cucumbers, peppers, okra, tomatoes, pumpkins
seeds rice, maize, sunflower seeds, millet, tree nuts, beans bread, maize flour, rice cake, coffee, cooking oil

PREPARATION

Put the collected foods into a large bag.

LESSON

1. Lead-in Show three or four plant foods. Learners think of other plants we use for food.

2. Which part?

a) Draw a picture of a plant showing root, stem, leaf, flower/bud, seed, fruit (as above). Learners name and label the parts.

b) Set up labelled stations in the room for the various plant parts (Root Corner, Leaf Table etc.).

c) Show the first plant foods again and ask what part of the plant they come from. The class classifies the samples and puts them under the correct label.

d) One by one, learners pull more foods out of the bag. For each food the class decides which category to put it in and learners carry the foods to the correct corner.

Idea from Kiefer and Kemple (1998)

FOLLOW-UP

1. Collage Younger learners draw foods from plants and say which part of the plant they come from.

2. Poster Older learners create a poster with a drawing (as in the Guide), showing local plant foods in the appropriate categories. Teams can be responsible for different segments.

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Biology Plant parts, plant life cycle

FOOD PLANTS

5. WHAT SHALL WE GROW TO EAT?

Garden managers may take the final decision on what to grow, but learners should be consulted and encouraged to think of the end result and should if possible make some of their own choices. This lesson, which should be done before planting, develops their capacity for reflecting, deciding and planning. Follow up this lesson with further research in Lesson D 6 Crop experts.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners make decisions/suggestions about what food crops to grow based on preference and understanding.

RESOURCES NEEDED

- cards with pictures or names of local fruits and vegetables from Lesson D 3 Good eating (2).

LESSON

1. Lead-in Explain that if we want food to eat we have to decide what to grow. Learners call out a few ideas for crops and pick out appropriate "food cards". Add some choices of your own.

2. Criteria How shall we decide? Present the four questions

- Do we like it?
- Is it very good for us?
- Can we grow it?
- How can we eat it?

For older learners, write up a question in each corner of the board. For younger learners, give one question each to four learners, who stand in the four corners of the room and call out their questions.

3. The food candidates Take a card for one of the suggested foods. Discuss all four questions for this food, calling as much as possible on learners’ own knowledge.

a) Do we like it? Learners to say how they like to eat this food (e.g. in particular dishes).

b) Is it very good for us? All foods are good for us – but show special favour to orange/yellow fruits and vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, groundnuts) and oilseeds. Learners recall what they learned in Lesson 3 Good eating (2).

c) Can we grow it? Discuss how easy or difficult this crop is to grow.

d) How can we eat it? How shall we prepare it? Also ask: Is it difficult? Will this be a main dish or a snack? What other foods will we need to go with it? Can we grow them too? This is an opportunity to think about the final dishes and other foods needed to create them.

4. Selection If the answer to all the questions is favourable, stick the food card in the middle of the board. Discuss the other proposed foods in the same way until there is a collection of "highly approved" foods on the board. These are the class’s recommendations.

5. Checking Older learners review the recommendations to check that there are

- several different foods for variety
- most of the necessary ingredients for some good dishes
- some foods for drinks and snacks (see Guides A; B; C).

FOLLOW-UP

1. Advocacy Learners tell families some of the foods they have selected and why. Older learners write an "advocacy sheet" for a crop of their own choice, or design an advertising poster responding to the four questions.

2. Snack book Compile a "snack book" of local snacks with recipes and pictures by learners.

3. Special snacks Learn to make maize/sorghum popcorn (see Guide B) and sprouts from beans or pumpkin seeds (see Lesson A5 Seeds and germination).

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Home Economics, Nutrition Snacks and drinks.

SNACKS FROM THE GARDEN

FRUIT

Fruit and sugarcane

Fruit leather….

Eat them raw but wash them well.

... can be made from guava, banana or pawpaw.

ROOT CROPS AND CEREALS

Some snacks from roots and cereals are sweet potato, cassava, bread roll, maize cob, rice cake.

LEGUMES, NUTS AND SEEDS

Nuts, beans, peas and seeds are very good foods.

Bean and seed sprouts are delicious and nutritious. Try alfalfa, barley, broccoli, celery, lentils, beans, pumpkin, sunflower or wheat.

Young beans and peas are delicious raw.

Eat sprouts in sandwiches, salads or soups.

HOW TO MAKE POPCORN

Use well-dried maize or sorghum grains.

Heat in a well-covered pan.

Shake it until it has all popped.

Mix in salt OR honey OR cane syrup OR butter.

 

DRINKS FROM THE GARDEN

 

VEGETABLE AND FRUIT JUICES AND FRUIT NECTARS

Try mixing juices (e.g. carrot and orange).

HERB TEAS AND SPICE DRINKS

Dry herb leaves for tea – mint, lemon sage, tea, rosella, medlar.

GINGER BEER

Bruise dried ginger roots and ferment with sugar and water.

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water is an excellent drink.

BEAN MILK FROM URD (BLACK GRAM) OR MUNG BEANS (GREEN GRAM).

Boil beans till soft, pound to a pulp and squeeze through a sieve. Keep cool and drink like milk.

 

6. CROP EXPERTS

Once you have decided what to grow, learners can gather more information about the particular crops. Becoming "crop experts" gives learners motivation and a sense of status. This lesson prepares them for independent research and a role as class consultants. N.B. Full presentations from student teams will need a second lesson.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- research the crops they have chosen to grow, and become "crop experts"
- learn to find information from several sources.

RESOURCES NEEDED

Each "crop team" will need the Crop Factsheet Questionnaire (Guide A or B) to take away. For younger learners, use a simplified version (Guide A). Make copies, or suggest that learners in teams copy out a few questions each.

PREPARATION

Choose one of the crops that the class plans to plant and complete the Factsheet Questionnaire for it (Guide A or B). (Both have examples of the questions answered for a sample crop, kale.) Make a note of where learners can find information about crops.

LESSON

1. Lead-in Learners recall the crops they want to plant. Write up the names. Explain that they are all to become experts on different crops so that the whole class can consult them.

2. Crop facts What do we need to know about these crops? Look at the Crop Factsheet Questionnaire (Guide A or B). Learners discuss and answer the questions for the crop you have prepared. Give answers where learners can’t. Say where you got the information.

3. Selection Learners select the crops they want to study and form "crop teams".

4. Sources Learners discuss what they already know about their chosen crops, and where to get further information – for example, observing; asking at home, in markets/shops, in fields/gardens; speaking to teachers, friends, family, neighbours, local gardeners; reading seed packets / gardening books or the Food Factsheets in the School Garden Manual).

5. Time frame Discuss and decide how much time crop teams will need to complete their Factsheets, and fix a date for class reports.

Note: If this project is done well, learners will become a very useful "class memory". Make sure the class consults them and uses their knowledge, and do so yourself to set an example. But keep a check on what your "experts" say! Class presentations (by older learners) not only spread knowledge, but also allow you to check learners’ facts and correct mistaken ideas.

FOLLOW-UP

1. Presentations (older learners) Teams present their findings. An alternative to oral accounts is poster presentations: each team pins up its completed factsheet in a different place. Half the team stays with their factsheet to answer questions while the others circulate, studying each others’ factsheets and asking questions of other teams.

2. Reference factsheets Teams prepare final versions of their crop factsheets, corrected and clearly written, and put them in the Garden File. Use the factsheets as part of a promotional display when the crops are harvested.

3. Advertising campaign If learners are familiar with advertising, teams can run campaigns for their crops in the school.

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Project work Research strategies: finding sources.

CROP FACTSHEET QUESTIONNAIRE

(for younger learners)

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

What food is this?

 

Is it grown a lot in our area? Where?

 

Is it good for us?

 

Do people like it?
Do they think it is a good food?

 

How much does it cost to buy?

 

How do we cook it and eat it?

 

Is it easy to grow here?

 

How do we plant it and where?

 

How should we look after it?

 

What else can we do with it?1

 

1E.g. groundnut shells can be compressed for fuel; sunflower oil is good for lamps or as lubricant; pigeon pea stems make good fuel; bottle gourds make containers; bananas leaves are used for baskets and wrapping food; papaya leaves tenderise meat; pineapple fibre from young leaves makes fabric, coconut shells are used for bowls.

QUESTIONNAIRE A COMPLETED FOR KALE

(example for younger learners)

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

What food is this?

Kale

Is it grown a lot in our area? Where?

In the hills

Is it good for us?

Very good

Do people like it?
Do they think it is a good food?

Yes but they do not think it is very special.

How much does it cost to buy?

3k per kilo

How do we cook it and eat it?

With fish and in soup

Is it easy to grow here?

Yes

How do we plant it and where?

Start it in a tray.

How should we look after it?

Weeding and watering

What else can we do with it?

Put it on the compost if not used.

 

CROP FACTSHEET QUESTIONNAIRE

(for older learners)

INFORMATION NEEDED

QUESTIONS TO ASK

ANSWERS

The crop

What food is this?
Is it grown a lot in our area? Where?
What for? (sale? home eating?)
Are there different varieties?

 

Nutritional value

Is it good for us? What is its food value?

 

Local status and attitude

Do people like it?
Do they value it as a food?
Are they right?

 

Price

How much does it cost to buy?
Is it expensive for families to buy?

 

Dishes, snacks, combinations

How do we cook it? How do we eat it?
What do we eat it with?
What is the best way to eat it?
How should it be prepared for full food value?

 

Easy to grow

Is it easy to grow here?

 

Time frame

How long does it take to grow?
How long does it go on producing?
When should we plant it and harvest it?

 

Planting instructions

How do we plant it and where?
Does it need thinning?
Does it need transplanting?
How much space does it need?

 

Care and cultivation

How should we look after it?
Does it need a lot of water or shade?
Does it need staking or trellising?

 

Pests & diseases

What attacks it?
What can we do about it?

 

Harvesting and storing

How do we harvest it?
How do we store it?

 

Preserving, processing, packaging

Can we preserve it? How?
Does it need curing or processing?
What packaging does it need?

 

Other uses

What else can we do with it?

 

Promotion

Does it need promoting? If so, how?

 

QUESTIONNAIRE B COMPLETED FOR KALE

(example for older learners)

INFORMATION NEEDED

QUESTIONS TO ASK

ANSWERS

The crop

What food is this?
Is it grown a lot in our area? Where?
What for? (sale? home eating?)
Are there different varieties?

Kale
It grows in the hills, in small fields.
It is mostly grown as a cash crop.
There are two main varieties here.

Nutritional value

Is it good for us? What is its food value?

It is very rich in vitamin A and vitamin C.

Local status and attitude

Do people like it?
Do they value it as a food?
Are they right?

They think it has a pleasant flavour,
but they do not value it much.
They should value it more.

Price

How much does it cost to buy?
Is it expensive for families to buy?

It is quite cheap, about 3k a kilo, but it is cheaper to grow at home.

Dishes, snacks, combinations

How do we cook it? How do we eat it?
What do we eat it with?
What is the best way to eat it?
How should it be prepared
for full food value?

It is eaten as a relish with cassava or fish, cooked with tomato, onion and oil. It is good in soups and stews,with groundnut paste or fish or scrambled eggs, or boiled in coconut milk. Eat it with a little oil or fatty food to help the vitamin A.

Easy to grow

Is it easy to grow here?

It is quite easy to grow, but it has to be started in a nursery bed.

Time frame

How long does it take to grow?
How long does it go on producing?
When should we plant it and harvest it?

It takes 60-85 days (2 to 3 months).
It goes on producing a long time.
We should plant in May and June so we can eat it July to September.

Planting instructions

How do we plant it and where?
Does it need thinning?
Does it need transplanting?
How much space does it need?

Sow seeds in trays or in a seedbed.
Thin when they have 4 (real) leaves.
Transplant when 10-15 cm high, 40 cms apart in rows 60-85 cm apart.

Care and cultivation

How should we look after it?
Does it need a lot of water or shade?
Does it need staking or trellising?

Weed regularly. Water well; give shade in the afternoon. Keep the soil firm so plants do not fall over.
No staking.

Pests & diseases

What attacks it?
What can we do about it?

Not much attacks kale.
Protect the seedlings from slugs.

Harvesting and storing

How do we harvest it?
How do we store it?

Pick young leaves from the top, and side shoots. Cut with a knife.
Stand in cold water.
Eat the same day – don’t store.

Preserving, processing, packaging

Can we preserve it? How?
Does it need curing or processing?
What packaging does it need?

Dry the leaves in a solar drier.
It does not need special processing.
Keep leaves in airtight plastic bags.

Other uses

What else can we do with it?

Put it on the compost if not used.

Promotion

Does it need promoting? If so, how?

Tell people what a good food it is.
Give a demonstration of solar drying.

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