A wide variety of crops are grown during the hot and wet seasons in Malawi (November to April) and then harvested as well as stored in the cool dry season (May to July). The most commonly grown crops in my community include maize, groundnuts, cassava, and sweet potatoes. The uneven distribution of rain earlier in the season caused moisture stress and resulted in crops wilting - in some cases permanently wilting - and lowering crop yield. Rainfall distribution improved later in the season, benefiting the late-planted crops and late maturity crops.
Although, there’s been an onset of poor rains, local farmers are harvesting their produce and selling in the local markets. One of the joys of being a Volunteer is eating with the seasons and helping cultivate a more resilient, sustainable food system. When we purchase food that's in season from local farmers, we're supporting both local farmers and the local economy. Buying seasonal food from local sources means that the food has spent less shelf life in traveling and in storage, which can significantly cut back on environmental impacts.
Flying termite swarms mark the start of termite season. They are mainly attracted to light, which makes catching them in my community even more interesting because of our lack of electricity. Some community members use homemade lamps made from tins, while others trap the flying termites straight on the ant hill.