Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Canadian black-eyed bean plant as the Kenyan kunde vegetable

This evening I had the wonderful experience of gathering once again with some fellow African women friends of mine at one of the Patchwork Community Gardens. I have been very eager to start talking about some autumn planting and we are all sharing in the exciting process of discovering which veggies that are indigenous to our various African regions can also be found here in Canada.

Today I discovered from one of my fellow African gardeners that the indigenous Kenyan vegetable known as "kunde" that is grown for the consumption of its nutritious leaves, is the same as the Canadian "black-eyed pea/bean".

Grown in Canada, "kunde" is perfect for fall planting as the leaves can begin to be harvested in as little as two to three weeks. For the next couple of weeks, we will be mobilizing a group of women from the local East African immigrant network to fill up some unused garden plots the various Patchwork Community Garden sites with "kunde" seeds.

This gardening season I have also learned a couple of other interesting facts for producing culturally relevant foods: Broccoli leaves can be harvested as a kind of "Sukuma Wiki"; The most common "Sukuma Wiki" (kale) plant available locally is also a winter vegetable that will return in the spring. So much to look forward to!!

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