An article in the papers had it that the Minister for Agriculture was concerned that Nigerians are eating more carbohydrates and not eating sufficient protein and vitamins. So while they are setting up committees to investigate the rise in food prices, we can make do with the fruits and vegetables we readily have available this season.
No matter how excited I get about the Agbalumo season, I try not to buy it early January because I have noticed that most times they are not ripe hence it is always sour and practically ‘slaps your mouth’ so it is best to wait until February when it starts getting sweeter.
So February is known for sweeter agbalumo and mangoes, yummy! Apart from agbalumo, some other fruits and vegetables are available in the market. There are oranges, carrots, lettuce and very soon we will be seeing different species of mangoes available for us to relish. This is the perfect season to bake carrot cakes, carrot soup, agbalumo smoothie, other smoothies with carrot in them and fresh orange juice.
Those days, we had all sorts of fruits planted in our homes and all we had to do was to pluck them and eat them. Some foods we had in the little farm at the back of the house or somewhere in the compound were guavas, mangoes, bananas, plantain, oranges, tangerines, okro, waterleaf, pumpkin leaves, scent leaf, yam, sweet potatoes, pepper, cassava, tomatoes, corn, avocado, pear, agbalumo and so many other foods we often buy these days.
Buying these foods can be annoyingly expensive sometimes. I am hoping to go back to what our parents did for us while growing up – planting food crops around us. I believe it helped in making us eat more fruits and vegetables with little or no cost. So if you happen to be living in your own house or you are planning to have yours soon, include a small farm in the plan. If you are renting and there is little space to plant a few of the items that grow quickly, we can start this year to cultivate for your consumption also teach the children about gardening or farming too. Let’s go back to farming at home