Exploring Africa

Community Gardening in Jinja, Uganda

For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been visiting a cooperative garden just north of Jinja.  A group of 160 HIV positive Ugandans come to learn about and grow vegetables not native to Ugandan diets.  They grow many different types of lettuce, carrots, okra, onion, tomatoes, just to name a few, instead of bananas, cassava, beans, and corn so that everyone is benefiting from a balanced diet.  They take the skills learned each Thursday and apply them to their own gardens to boost their immune system which combats HIV, malaria, and other viruses.

The group is chaired by Patrick, our mentor for the Ngobi garden.  He teaches these people along with myself about gardening.  He also has his group involved in a pine tree farming project to provide an income for the members and to help the environment.  And on top of that, he is one of the nicest people I have met here.  He cares for 9 orphans and his 2 cows shown below.  Anytime I need advice he is excited to share and is always giving especially when we visit other gardens,  I can’t leave without an arm full of fresh veggies, a pineapple, and a papaya.

The best part is his motorcycle that has a tag stating “Talinda Dogo” or “It’s not witchcraft” saying that if you want to be successful it is only hard work that stands in your way, nothing else.

2 replies on “Community Gardening in Jinja, Uganda”

Clayt, where does Patrick get his seeds or transplants for the garden? Does he know you are a rich kid from Dallas!

he has friends abroad that send some lettuces but everything else he either buys or harvests from the plants. And I’m not sure what he thinks of me except that I am good at digging, interested in farming, and always curios to learn about what he is doing.

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