Saturday, February 13, 2010
Vesey's Seeds make an unusual impact in Kenya
As an added bonus for attending family nutrition seminars held in August 2009, Wakulima dairy farmers were presented with Winter Squash seeds that had been donated by Vesey's Seeds, York, PEI.
While I had images of golden mashed squash this farmer was even more excited by the vast number of large leaves that the plants had produced. She also reported harvesting 3 squash (many more were on the vine). Squash vines surround 3 sides of her home and the leaves are regularly picked to use in 'mokimo'.
Mokimo, or irio, is a mixture of irish potatoes, green bananas, green leaves and maize kernals. The mixture is mashed to make a green 'mashed potato' that I would akin to Kenyan comfort food. Recipes vary between families but up to a kg of leaves can be in a family's daily mokimo; providing Vitamin A to the family (as does the squash itself).
Vitamin A is important for good vision, to prevent 'nightblindness', and for overall good health. Vitamin A is deficient in the average Kenyan's diet as reported by UNICEF 2005. We are hopeful that our nutrition education with a variety of seeds can help alleviate this deficiency with our partner farmers at Wakulima Dairy Ltd.
Feb 13, 2010