Yesterday around 10.00a.m, when the drizzling subsided, we went to the coffee plants to remove suckers. I didn’t know what a sucker was before. Now I understand the weight of the insult- you sucker. Ever painted a high wall with a roller or fixed a few light bulb holders? De- sucking is the same pain in the neck. I can’t say I enjoyed the job. The coffee plants are long and with the morning drizzle, the minute you pulled the plant towards you got a wet splash across your face. See, 100gm tin of ordinary coffee goes for ksh.200. A kilo of raw coffee beans is selling for ksh.106 at the moment, the highest pay they say. At times they get ksh.20 per kilo.
Yet the farmer prunes, weeds, de-sucks, harvest for that kind of cash. Somethings have me puzzled. A farmer grows coffee he cannot afford in its final form, yet lives in a lopsided, temporary shelter. I’m trying to put away the thought- how much does a 500gm tin of Java or Nescafe coffee cost? A small cup sold for ksh. 120 four years back.
So as we de-sucked the coffee plants and got wet from the dew, I kept thinking about sweet potatoes and terere(pig weed) you are better off planting every inch of your land with those.
After that neck biting task, we beat some macadamia to snack on as we warmed lunch.
Macadamia has two outer hard covers. You can tell it is ready when the outer green cover breaks to reveal the harder brown shell. If you roast them for a while, when you break the hard cover, they come off the shell easily, the heat enhances the taste too.
I read in an Awake! Magazine that Macadamia nuts regulate blood pressure. Funny, I live in a place where every third person has issues with B.P or diabetes, or both, they all have macadamia trees, which is a children’s snack. The rest is carted off to the international market.
One day, I might understand farmers’ logic. The patience, the hard work, the undying hope. I never met a farmer who didn’t believe in God.