Saturday, 6 September 2014


This harvest was abundant.  When we arrived at the Widows' Farm in June the maize crop was very green, very tall and many of the stalks had two and some even three ears on them.  Many people told us that no crops in the village compared to ours; they were not as tall or fruitful.  

With the help of many people, including some men, the large field was harvested in one day.  Harvesting involves removing the ears, husking them and carrying them to a central place for drying.  All of this is done manually.  The smaller field was harvested a day or two later in a few hours.  Many of the ears were massive - huge!

Harvesting the Maize
Margaret (about 80 yrs, 4'5")
She's so cute and can out-lift some men!

When the maize was dry enough to process it was spread out over a large area in front of the farmworker's house/storage barn. We are careful not to exaggerate or quickly assign the supernatural to things;  however, when we were "shelling" the maize - stripping the kernels off the cobs - as we were loading large amounts of maize into the hopper of the sheller we noticed and eventually commented on the fact that the mass of the maize that was spread out appeared not to be diminishing.  No matter how much we were loading into the hopper the quantity of the rest of the maize was not going down.  

The Group that Came to Harvest the Last Crop
  The last time we harvested we filled five 210 liter tubs full of processed kernels of maize. This time we had to buy FIVE MORE to contain the harvest.  Wahoo!       
 Margaret and Sarah Gleaning the Cobs.  It takes several days to dry and process the maize.  Each day it must be spread out in the morning to dry and then brought back in at night; this goes on for about 4 days before we can "shell" it - which took a couple of days this time.  There are 3 or 4 faithful ladies who come help with this part.  We give them many of the cobs to take home.  It is a treasure to them, for they can use them for fire wood.                                                 
                                                            Margaret Taking Cobs Home for Fire Wood   

PLANTING THE NEXT CROP                                                                 
Johnfred has told us that a very large group of ladies came out to plant the next crop of maize.  There were so many that it only took one day to plant about 1 1/2 acres.  This group were beneficiaries of new dresses that were made possible through generous donations of many of you folks.  They said they wanted to show their appreciation by helping with the harrowing and planting.  

We went to take photos of some of the ladies and their dresses when they went for fittings. They were so happy and several of them posed for the camera.  We told them we would be sending some of their photos in our newsletter.  We all had great fun!!

Blessings and Much Love to You All,

John and Marty


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