We have arrived in Uganda to begin discovering A whole new flora and fauna which is constantly surprising us. Tropical fruit trees, sugar cane, plantain, and bananas and everywhere and so many unknown plants. Some I can place into families, and others…. I can’t. Kira farm (where we are living for the next three months) is a 22 acre site with large areas in cultivation. Cassava, upland rice, pineapples, maize, and sweet potato are the main crops. In addition to these there is an orchard with mangos, guavas, and various citrus, and there are also the beginnings of a medicinal garden.
Emmy, the manager of the farm part of Kira, gave us a tour which included some amazing things about the site and the plants grown here. As you may know part of our plan while travelling is to record stories of how plants are important to people so I was blown away when on our first day in Uganda Emmy told us about Artemisia and its anti malarial properties. If you have been to the Oxford Botanic Gardens where I worked before coming here, you may have seen Artemisia annua in the new medicinal beds. You can imagine my surprise when one of the first plants we were shown here was Artemisia (I assume it is annua but will find out next week) which is being grown for its anti malarial properties. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.
Emmey showing us Artemisia
We only met Emmy briefly (in fact I suspect I have spelt his name wrong), but he has a wealth of knowledge about plants, and is more than willing to share. He also mentioned about a dozen other plants with fun medicinal properties. In the coming weeks as we get to know him better, and if he is willing, we will record some of this information in a more formal way and create one of our first profiles. Exciting times ahead.