I just want to let everyone know that gardening is very easy! Especially if you put a lot of cow poop in your soil. I'm sure i'll run into myriad problems in the future but for now the garden bed I started two weeks ago, the one i started 1 week ago and my snall 13-sack tree nursery are all doing very well. When I have a better internet connection I'll post pictures but for now i'll just describe what I've been cultivating...
Bed 1: 30 Nebedie (Moringa) Trees, 7 Okra plants, 5 Cucumber plants, 10 Jaxatu Plants (Bitter Tomato), 10 Nave (like carrots but white?) Plants.
Bed 2: 4 Cucumber plants, lots of Carrots, Lettuce which I'll thin down to around 5, 2 Watermelon plants, and 3 Honeydew Melon plants
Bed 3 (not planted yet but dug and ready for seed): Garlic, Potatoes, Marigolds, Tomatoes, Basil and Parsley.
Tree Nursery 1: out of 13 sacks; 2 Acacia trees, 3 Cashew trees and 1 Neem tree have all sprouted.
Tree Nursery 2: out of 30 sacks; I've just planted all Cashews and 2 sacks I'm testing some Lemon seeds.
Gardening seems so scary at first but so far it's been so easy and very fun and relaxing. It also gives a great sense of accomplishment. When I get back to the states I will definitely garden, no matter where I live.
Yesterday I went to the city of Velingara and bought a kilo of cashew seeds from Eaux e Forets, the Forest police here in Senegal. It was 2 dollars, or 1000 CFA. If they have a good sprouting ratio I'll sell them to whomever wants to start a tree nursery of their own at the price I bought them: 20 seeds for 50CFA (10 cents or 2 lollipops, or 2 seasoning cubes (MSG!) which are essential to every dish here). If they care to buy the seeds, I'll collect the cow poop and sand they need and my host dad, the village chief, will give them the nylon tree sacks. I'll work with them to make the nursery so they learn how.
And in a year or three we will all have cashew apples and cashew nuts to eat and sell! Or lemons, or guava, or papaya...