Read Kustancias story, and then visit her at the Boyd St. Urban Farmstand Wednesdays 2-5.
My name is Kustancia Ounde and I am 56 years old. I am a farmer from Southern Sudan. In Sudan we started our farming season in March. It starts raining in March. It rains until June when the sun comes back and starts to dry everything out. It rains again in July. I grew all sorts of fresh vegetables, millet, sorghum, pumpkins, white beans, other kinds of beans, cabbage, and greens. In May we planted red sorghum, cassava, sweet potatoes and corn. In June we planted cotton and in July we planted sesame and corn for a second time. During the heavy rains, the termites leave their mounds. In March and April we harvested four kinds of mushrooms that grow out of the sides of the termite mounds when it is raining. In January and February we did lots of fishing and hunting. At home we kept pigs, goats, ducks, and chickens.
I have been farming in Maine for four years and it is very different than farming in Sudan. In Sudan we had our corn fields planted very near the village but we had to walk about 1.5 miles to get to our sorghum fields. We also had to walk very far every day to gather firewood.
My children are interested in farming. With the moneywe made from farming, they were able to attend school. They also helped me grow mangos. I like farming in Maine. If I stay home, I am tired. When I come to the farm, I get to talk to people and have a job to do. My favorite part of farming here is when I have vegetables and I can go to the market to sell them and talk to the people who come to the market. I need help going to the market and help growing my vegetables. I eat vegetables – all of them – and a little meat. I love vegetables and salad. I eat everything I grow.