It’s planting season where I live north of Boston. I’ve never been very good at getting a garden to grow, which is why I was blown away when I walked through the gate into Harriet Nakabaale’s small city yard in Kampala, Uganda, a few weeks ago. She had planted just about every inch of it—and all of it was green and edible. It was a true victory garden, especially in a place like Kampala where the hard-packed earth in crowded neighborhoods can appear so unforgiving. You just have to know how to work it, like Nakabaale does—patiently, with absolute devotion, and the knowledge that all your hard work will pay off in heaps of healthy vegetables.
For all you would-be gardeners out there, maybe this photo of Nakabaale—snapped in a rare moment of repose—will serve as a bit of inspiration to get you going.
And watch for others that we’ll be sharing. They are part of an ambitious effort to advise the Rockefeller Foundation in identifying promising innovations in African agriculture for small farmers. The idea was to do a scan of work being done across sub-Saharan Africa by our peers as well as local citizen groups, organizations, governments, and corporations, and then to try to identify ideas and projects that might be both innovative and scalable. We are writing up our findings now for the foundation to present at its centennial celebration in Nigeria in July. In the meantime, we have a treasure trove of great ideas, stories, and pictures–including the one above taken by Ami Vitale—of incredible people and innovations to share with you.