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I haven't gardened there, but here's what I've found that may be of some help to you.
When I googled plants that grow well in that region, I found the following: sorghum, castor beans, coffee, cotton, okra, black-eyed peas, watermelon, gourd, pearl millet, teff, enset, African rice, yams, kola nuts, oil palm, and raffia palm. I'm sure there's more.
I have the "Sunset Western Garden Book of Edibles" book. You may want to check this book out at the library (not sure if African libraries would have it, not sure if you're there or somewhere else in the world right now). Anyway, the book defines every region based on weather patterns, which will help you narrow down the climate zones and it also has a few suggestions (but not all) on what edibles grow best in each climate zone. Once you find the climate zone, you can probably google what plants grow best in each zone, since the subsaharan region is vast and has several different climate zones. If the book doesn't work out, you could always google "climate zones of the world."
Hope this helps, good luck and god bless!
Edited by: LAURA_LYNN at: 8/1/2012 (14:24)
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Niebuhr (Prayer adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous)
"Work It Harder, Make It Better, Do It Faster, Makes Us Stronger,More Than Ever Hour After,Our Work Is Never Over"
"Rome wasn't built in one day!"
We've already shared ideas about ants. I'm in Florida and am also using the square foot gardening method. We do get freezes, 1 or two mornings a year, in my zone. But Square foot gardening makes it easy to protect the plants that need it. I'm getting ready to plant my fall garden for the first time. I've only planted in the winter in the past. I'm going to try to grow year round by putting one or 2 boxes in the shade of the hedge on the west side of my property in the summer. Perhaps I can grow some salad greens there. I haven't decided if I will put plywood bottoms on those so I can move them easily to more sun in the winter. They might get enough morning/early afternoon sun there after all.
Do you have the newest book? I downloaded the Kindle version to my computer. He talks about using the method in third world areas because of not needing fertilizers and lots of equipment in order to make the method work.
I have also used the SFG method with my third grade classroom. We had 8 4X8 foot raised beds outside our classroom. They raised so many vegetables I had never grown before!!
So, post your questions and I'll dig into my memory bank or other resources and see what I can do. I don't know much about the Congo and the different types of insect pest you have.
Do you have a way to take digital pictures and post them on your blog? I think we could probably help with those little black pests that are eating your legumes if we could see them and figure out what they were.
Edited by: BRAVELUTE at: 8/1/2012 (16:33)
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Thank you! It's really interesting being here. Our agricultural expert here is far away and communication is not as easy as it is in English, so I was hoping to find someone I think there may be people using this Spark plan who are gardeners in Florida or Hawaii, or other hot spots, and it would be wonderful to learn from them. I wonder how to find some of them?
Thank you for writing. That's a great quote that you use with your messages.
I have no experience gardening in Africa, but I salute you for your efforts!
Things do not change; we change.
Henry David Thoreau
Hi, I'm working to help people in sub-saraharan Africa have better nutrition, and would very much enjoy communicating with anyone who has experience gardening in the tropics.