Farming 101: How to Grow Tomatoes Outdoors

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tomato farming in Zimbabwe

Tomatoes are a favourite vegetable for most farmers in Zimbabwe. They don't require much space, produce a high value for the amount of space they take and are a consumer favourite. They do however present a number of challenges for even the most experienced open-field grower. These range from wildly fluctuating prices to problems with weather conditions and pests and disease.

If you are a first-timer, you should start off on a small site. This way you can keep your costs down while you learn how to manage your new crop.

What you'll learn in this post:

  • Choosing your tomato variety
  • Preparing your soil 
  • Tips for cultivating your tomatoes
  • Techniques for disease and weed prevention
  • Marketing your tomatoes

Always be experimenting

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I started experimenting growing this vibrant purple cauliflower variety on my farm. I saw them in the seed market and thought they looked pretty cool. They took a while to grow, and first it looked liked like a failed crop because it was predominantly leaves. The cauliflower head popped out a little later and boy it was impressive. This is one of the things I love about farming. Experimenting is always fun and  rewarding. I love to try out new crops and see the results and potentially find myself a new niche.

Emerging Farmer Weekly

Friday, November 13, 2015




Hello, Emerging Farmer!

Welcome to another issue of Emerging Farmer Weekly, our hand-curated list of farming news, resources, and tools.


NEWS

Zimtrade develops a new information portal
Zimtrade's developing a new trade, investment and information platform to better facilitate international trade. It's scheduled to launch in March 2016.


Africa, Zim Face Strongest El Nino
El Nino is forecast to intensify and cause more droughts and floods in 2016.

Meet the Emerging Farmer: Tapiwa Giwa


Tapiwa Giwa is a young urban farmer and part-time accounting consultant. We caught up with him to learn how he decided to turn a piece of idle land into a productive urban farm in New Marlborough, Harare.

How did you initially get started farming and what do you grow?

After trying a series of small businesses and struggling to grow any of them, I decided to utilise a 500 square metre space at the back of our house to grow horticultural produce. Deciding to invest in that tiny piece of land was the easy part, the investment was relatively low with a fair return on my investment. Due to space constraints, I have grown one crop at a time in order to keep producing commercial volumes. So far I’ve been able to grow: cauliflower, red onions, lettuce, red peppers and oyster mushrooms.


Emerging Farmer Guide to Horticulture

Monday, November 9, 2015

Horticulture in Zimbabwe

Editor's Note: We are excited to bring this guest post from Rumbi Mbambo. Rumbi is the force behind Greens Grenade and co-founder of Hortech. She is currently studying for a degree in Horticulture.
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What is horticulture?

Horticulture is the science and art of producing, improving, marketing, and using fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants. It differs from botany and other plant sciences in that horticulture incorporates both science and aesthetics. But to use this definition of horticultural products, it is necessary to know what crops are appropriately assigned to the horticultural industry. It is generally accepted by researchers and educators in horticultural science that horticultural crops include:


Meet the Emerging Farmer: Mrs. Muteriswa

Friday, November 6, 2015


This week Emerging Farmer talked to the former teacher and reluctant farmer, Mrs Muteriswa, who is farming in Alabama, Kadoma. Mrs Muteriswa raises pigs and cattle and grows maize, vegetables and tomatoes on her plot. She sells her pigs and beef to Koala Meats (a local abattoir and butchery).

How did your farming journey start?

My husband has always been the farmer at heart, I am a city girl at heart. About six years ago, he decided he didn't like the city life anymore and shipped us to the plot in Alabama. The first days I was so disgruntled and I hoped this would make him change his mind.

                                     Asi hazvina kushanda (It didn’t work).

Then one day an uncle came to visit and sat my husband and me down. He had hatched a plan to help us start our farming journey. He told my husband and me, he would give us the seed and the tractor to farm and all we needed to do was buy the diesel. When the crop was ready he would come collect it and sell it for us. And true to his word this is exactly what he did for us. As time went on he kept encouraging us and helping us until eventually we started doing it on our own.

As time went on, I came to realise that farm life is much cheaper and more hustle free than city life and I began to appreciate it. As my appreciation grew, the things happening on the farm grew with us. Now we have eight mother pigs and we have grown our cattle herd from 12 to 40.  A week with my vegetables I can get about $50 a week which helps pay for the labour on the farm.

Emerging Farmer Weekly

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Hello, Emerging Farmer!

Welcome to our first weekly hand-curated list of farming news, resources and tools for emerging farmers in Zimbabwe.

FARMER UPDATES

Ruramiso Mashumba of Chomwedzi Farm, the first Emerging Farmer we profiled here, received farming equipment from global equipment company AGCO in "Young Farmer Wins Big"

NEWS

Goat Farming for Regional Export
Zimtrade conducted a market study and found opportunities for raising goats for regional export.

Urban Farming Carries the Day
A look at how urban farming is disrupting traditional agriculture through better access to markets.

Horticulture Sector Maps Out Revival Path
Strategy for setting up a National Horticulture Development/Promotion Authority to help revitalize the struggling horticulture sector

 
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