Grow Strong is a non-profit founded by American Amy Lint and Kenyan Malaki Obado that promotes food sovereignty in the Kenyan district of Bondo, an area inhabited by the Luo people.
Traditional Foods and Non-Food Crops
As Bondo District is a semi-arid part of Kenya, there is not enough water during much of the year to grow many common food species. Grow Strong promotes traditional plant foods grown in this area as a way to help provide enough food during dry periods of the year. Some also provide crucial micronutrients to the local diet. These foods include:
- Aloe - known locally as ogaka - used medicinally
- Amaranth - known locally as dodo
- Asystasia gangetica - known locally as atipa
- Asystasia mysorensis - known locally as atipa
- Cleome gynandra (Spider flower) - known locally as akeyo or dek
- Commelina africana - known locally as odielo
- Commelina benghalensis - known locally as odielo
- Corchorus olitorius (Jew's mallow) - known locally as apoth - cook with cowpeas so that it becomes slippery and soft
- Crotalaria brevidens - known locally as mitoo
- Crotalaria ochrodleuca - known locally as mitoo
- Eleusine coracana (Finger millet) - known locally as kal, used for making uji together with cassava
- Ipomoea aquatica (Water spinach, Winter spinach)
- Moringa oleifera
- Rhus natalensis (KwaZulu Natal rhus) - known locally as sangla
- Sesamum calycinum - known locally as onyulo "like apoth"
- Sesamum orientale (Sesame) - known locally as nyim
- Solanum nigrum (Black nightshade) - known locally as osuga
- Sorghum bicolor (Sorghum) - known locally as bel
- Urtica massaica (Stinging Nettle)
- Vigna unguiculata (Cowpea) - known locally as bo
- Zanthoxylum chalybeum - Knobwood - known locally as roko
Additionally, they promote growing sisal (Agave sisalana), a local, drought-tolerant plant that is used to make rope
Grow Strong also encourages traditional dishes, such as uji, a healthy fermented porridge made from finger millet and cassava that has fallen out of favor in Bondo District.
- Grow Strong
- Web: http://www.growstrong.org/
Resources and articles
Related Sourcewatch articles
- Jill Richardson, "Kenya Diaries: Day 16, Part 1 - Welcome to Bondo," La Vida Locavore, March 5, 2012.
- Jill Richardson, "Kenya Diaries: Day 16, Part 2 - Thirsty Animals," La Vida Locavore, March 6, 2012.
- Jill Richardson, "Kenya Diaries: Day 16, Part 3 - Tour of Farming in Bondo, Part 1 (Grow Strong)," La Vida Locavore, March 6, 2012.
- Jill Richardson, "Kenya Diaries: Day 16, Part 4 - Tour of Farming in Bondo, Part 2 (Grow Strong)," La Vida Locavore, March 7, 2012.