What’s next to drool over from Taaru Askan?
Though the farm is in its early stages, you can easily imagine the bounty it will produce.
Assane toured me around even the unsown areas, laying out before my imagination which crops will go where. His enthusiasm was unbounded.
“Rows of broccoli here, an entire area for kale and swiss chard there, more hot pepper bushes, and some corn and watermelon,” he says, looking out over the empty field. Indeed, all of these and more are coming up in the next months!
“And where will the goats go?” I teased.
“Ooooh, me, too, I want goats,” says Assane, “we are trying to convince Nicole.” He smiles. Nicole?
What charismatic mega-vertebrates are there? Well, there’s the guard dog, SySy. Whose bark and girth give no hint to his cuddly core. There are mosaic murals of elephants who once tread this ground. And just beyond the farm gates is a nature preserve, meaning troops of small monkeys are there watching your every movement from across the path. Adorable.
As I pulled out of the farm’s gates, with our cooler full of fresh goodies, I thought about how lucky I was to be a visitor to the Taaru Askan farm. How lucky are we all that Nicole and Mamadou are visitors to this planet as well!
Vision, care, curiosity and excitement. What more can you ask for in your farmers?
Since I am not lucky enough to be a steward of Taaru Askan or even of a terrace garden right now, I can contribute to the farm’s great work by sharing it here. I got my kale and a few hours reprieve out of sultry, polluted Dakar. Most importantly, I got the deep satisfaction of knowing where my food comes from. From a good, good place.
You can enjoy the delicious farm goods from Taaru Askan every month at the Dakar Farmer’s Market, or get a taste of just how fresh and scrumptious their crops are in our Abracadabra lunches.
Nicole Dewing, a former lobbyist and director of cultural exchange programs come farmer, is half of the Taaru Askan duo. The other half of this heartfelt endeavor is Mamadou a long time hobby farmer and currently director of Corps Africa Senegal, a version of the US Peace Corps but embodies “Africans helping Africans.”