Maize

 

So. Maize is pretty much life here in rural Uganda. Maize and beans. Throw in some cassava, sweet potato, and a bit of matoke (smashed cooked bannana that is not like bannana or plaintain…) and you have the local diet.

The maize is grown twice a year – yup – two growing seasons. I still find this amazing (or amaizing – terrible. sorry). So the current crop is about a foot high and seems to have been doubling in height each week. The last crop has been drying in an old chicken coop, and the kernels are now being taken off the cobs by hand.

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Cobs are put in a sack and smashed to bits by someone with a big stick and a lot of energy. The cobs and kernals are then poured out of the sack and the remaining attached kernals are taken from the cobs manually. I now have blisters – soft hands.

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New camera: Canon SX 230 – It is good but frustrating. I feel much less like I have a stack of money hanging around my neck – which is good. But slightly blury corners on macro photos, and chromatic aberration (purple fringing) at high zoom are things I will have to learn to deal with. I knew there would be compromises and hopefully they are not so great they jeopardise the project. Time will tell.

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One response to “Maize

  1. Dorothy

    Dear Malcolm
    Do hope that you can overcome the difficulties and frustrations with your new camera. However glad that you have a replacement for your stolen one. What experiences you and Amanda are having. Apart from the blisters on your hands I hope that you are both keeping well.
    Yes Africa is hot, vibrant and harsh in a way that most people in the so called developed countries have no idea about. It is so good to read your blog. Thank you. For me it brings back so many memories of childhood and my youth. One kinda of forgets some things too when ensconsed and wrapped up with other things in a very different climate and life including customs and values. We are so spoilt in the UK especially in food which is so abundantly available and comes from all over the world. I often think of farmers struggling in various ways to grow and reap the crops which most people who do not have a clue in the countries in the so called ‘developed’ world take for granted and enjoy in their daily diets.
    I was particularly interested to hear about the twice yearly crops of maize in Uganda. In southern African there was only one. There must be a high rain fall in Uganda and very fertile soils to support this. Yes it is amazing how fast the ‘mealie’ (maize) stalks grow and the crop of corn cobs form.
    Thank you for the pictures too illustrating your stories.
    Lots of love from us all to you and Amanda
    Best wishes with the work you are doing.
    God bless you both in your lives and work and the people you work with and meet along the way.
    Auntie Dorothy.

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