We continue to make progress on the farm, although we still have a lot of work to do to get back to where we were before the Jos crisis of January 2010. We are still not yet cultivating even half of our land, but we are working on that gradually. Since all work on the farm is done by hand -- from forming irrigation beds, to manuring, planting, transplanting, weeding and watering—it takes a lot of labour to get things done, and labour has still been one of our constraints. We have had problems getting skilled workers to employ, since most of the population was displaced from Kuru village – the source of our labour before the crisis. But we are doing our best with workers who have to come from far distances to get to the farm on a daily basis. And with a lot of patience we have finally been getting some positive results.
We have lovely vegetables for you for next week, and more are on the way.
Our field of young lettuces is looking beautiful. We are finally getting enough to put lettuce back on the available list, so you can get as much as you need. However, varieties are a bit limited for next week. We have plenty of iceberg, as well as some reddish Batavia lettuce which is very sweet. Other varieties will be available the week after. For next week let us know if you need just iceberg, or want a mixture. We will try to give you what you want. We do not have endive frisee for next week, or radicchio. We will have to wait a few weeks until these are ready. Escarole is growing well, and it too should soon be available. We will let you know when they are ready.
Our French beans are also ready – we sent some this week, and we should have much more by next week. They are beautiful, sweet and tender. You will definitely enjoy them. We also have a limited quantity of mangetout. Order early if you need it. We do not have enough, so we are rationing it to half kg per customer.
Beef tomatoes from our supplier are very nice – big and firm. Plum tomatoes are also sweet and good. Cherry tomatoes are on the way but aren’t ready yet.
We still have good quantities of kohlrabi, both green and purple varieties. It is really lovely. We are planting lots more, since it seems many of you are enjoying it, and we will try to keep it available.
Courgettes are very nice as well. At the moment we have limited supplies of cousa, and we are waiting for the new batch to begin producing.
We have fantastic cauliflower, although the warmer weather will soon start affecting the heads and in a month or two they will be unavailable. But for now they are very lovely. Please note that the heads are very large – some up to 3kg. We will charge you by weight, and since we cannot cut them, unfortunately we will have to manage with the sizes we have. Hardly any of them are half kg, so please be prepared
for whatever size you get. We will try to send you smaller ones if you request, but this is not always possible. In any case, I know you will enjoy them.
Beetroots are finally available, and are very nice. I know many of you have been waiting for them for a long time. We also have lovely carrots, and we should have nice radishes too for next week. Leeks are beautiful, young and fresh.
In the greens department we have good Chinese cabbage and green cabbage. Our present batch of bok choi is finishing, and we will have limited amounts for next week. But the new batch should be ready to pick the week after next. Spinach is very nice and available in any quantity you need. We have limited amounts of Swiss Chard as well.
Celery is becoming available, and we will have a limited amount of it. The heads are finally reasonable in size.
New potatoes are available, and we have all sizes. Let us know what you need. They are very nice. We also have good sweet potatoes (white variety). Our own red type is growing and should be available soon.
We are getting nice red and white onions from our supplier who is bringing them from Kano. Despite all of the bombs and attacks in Kano last week, they are still coming in to Jos. The ones from the far north are nicer (drier, and last longer) than the ones grown locally. We can supply you with as much as you need.
Our new fennel is growing well, and should be available in about two weeks.
Not too much is available on the fruit scene, although we have been working hard on the strawberry field to get it into production. We have gotten a supply of horse manure, and this should give the plants a boost. We hope we will have some for you quite soon.
The warmer weather has helped our pawpaws to ripen, and we are getting more of them, although not as much as we need.
Please consult the order form attached for a complete list of what is available. Please do get your orders in by Sunday afternoon. We have been having problems with late orders, because we order beef tomatoes from the supplier on Sunday evening. So if your orders come after that we are likely not to have enough for you. Please help us out on this.
Thank you all again for your support and patronage. If we are lucky and continue to have relative peace in our local environment we should be able to get the farm into peak condition, so that we can continue to supply you with the best quality vegetables that we can produce. We can only hope for some peace in Nigeria as a whole in these difficult times, because without peace we have no future.
More farm news next week.