Monday, November 8, 2010

The Couve Story

Here are some of the children and their carers at the Zimpeto Centre, Mozambique. Each day, 150 kg of rice is cooked up in the Centre’s kitchen to feed them. Meat is too expensive except for very special occasions, but the children do get beans or dried fish several times a week. The rice is served up with a kind of soupy vegetable stew, usually comprising onions and green leafy vegetable that looks to me like kale (a kind of loose leaved cabbage). The locals call it couve.

Our task was to grow the couve, but there are two problems. First, Zimpeto is like a giant sand pit, as you can see from the picture, and that makes growing vegetables a challenge. Second there is no piped water in this part of Maputo. The Centre pumps all the water for the 400 inhabitants from groundwater beneath our feet, and from time to time we run out of drinking and washing water. Throwing water into the sandpit to grow couve made our maintenance man very nervous.
But this was the perfect setting to see how good we could be in managing the little water we have.

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