Spinach farming brings hope into the life of a teacher in Nyandarua
Farmers Trend features Joseph Gichiria, a passionate spinach farmer who lives in the outskirts of Njambini town Nyandarua County. With a broad smile of someone who has money, he attributes part of his earning to the succulent edible green spinach leaves in his farm.
He begins, “I am a teacher by profession in a local school in the vicinity thus enabling me monitor my vegetables easily. My wife Lucy Gichiria takes the reins of tending the crops. She has been of enormous help.”
“Spinach farming is demanding and thus I have to wake up early to attend to them before heading to school. If I don’t wake up early, I won’t get the desired quality and quantity; thus won’t fetch good prices in the market,” he affirms.
He says while growing the spinach in a seedbed, the seedlings take presumably 2-3 weeks to mature. After getting the desirable sets, he uproots them and transfers them to a well prepared land.
“I then dig holes to around 30cm depth to accommodate the plant taproot and later add organic compost or manure into the holes to help provide the necessary nutrients for growth,” he says.
He also reveals that seeds can also be sowed straight in the dug holes. The seeds should be soaked in water for about 24 hours in order to enhance germination. For seedbed the the seeds are sown thinly in rows.
Gichiria, “I usually source for labor from the locals who assist with weeding the weeds as this minimizes competition.”
“The base green leaves should be harvested first allowing the top ones to mature. They should be cut off carefully to avoid injuring the plant,” Gichiria noted, as he concluded that youths need to get out of their comfort zones and embrace farming as an agri-business.