At the age of 72, Mary Wambui Mugo, has defied the odds to be one of the oldest farmers at the Purdy Arms Organic Farmers Market. Every Saturday she braves the morning weather to be at the market by 9:00 a.m. Having been a farmer since 1962, Mugo decided to shift to organic farming five years ago, and has been participating at the organic farmers market for five years now, which has been profitable enough to sustain her through the years. Before she made the shift to personally use organic products, Mugo says she used to get admitted to the hospital for long periods of time. All that changed once she decided to reap the nutritious benefits of organic produce from her farm, she says she has strength in her body and has seen reduced trips to the hospital.
Her knowledge on organic farming is vast, having learnt all about it for more than five years and received a certificate on completion. Situated in Dagoretti, she has a plot which is divided in four and among the things she grows includes: Spinach, bananas, butter nut, sukuma wiki (kales,) carrots, tomatoes, cabbages, cucumber, beans, celery, coriander, beans, sweet potato, African nightshade commonly referred to as Managu. She is in charge of her own farm and her grand children help in tilling, weeding and harvesting. Mugo’s biggest client is the Kenya Children’s Home (KCH) that purchases organic produce worth more than KES 35000 from different organic vendors. Most of her clients at the farmers market are people who have decided to shift to a healthier choice.
Generosity is a virtue that Mary knows all too well. Like Winston Churchill said, we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Often at the farmers market, university students visit to learn more about organic products. She always goes out of her way to teach them whatever they need to learn, and even invite them to her farm to demonstrate and explain to them the organic farming process. Mugo plans to continue farming in the future until farming outgrows her, but plans to keep passing her knowledge to other people so they can benefit from organic produce as well.
The Purdy Arms Organic Farmers Market works closely with the Kenya Children’s home. OFM and our farmers have been able to provide Kenya Children’s Home with millions of shillings worth of quality organic produce since 2012. If you wish to support KCH and our farmers visit: www.ofmkenya.org
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