On June 5th the Nancy Ellen Crooks Foundation launched Nancy’s Gardens at Village to Global school in Vihiga County. Papaya, locally known as pawpaw is one of the easiest fruit to cultivate. This low maintenance plant takes just nine months to produce fruit and after that, they produce fruit continually. Another perk of papaya is the fact that once you eat the fruit, the seeds can be planted right back in the garden!
A ripe pawpaw fruit is bright orange and extremely delicious. Even when not ripe, the fruit can be cooked or eaten raw and made into a spicy salad. In addition to being delicious and easy to grow, pawpaw has numerous health benefits which is the main reason NECF chose pawpaw trees to kick off Nancy’s Gardens.
Pawpaw are packed with essential vitamins and minerals aids in digestion, boosts your immune system which helps prevent infections and illness, promotes weight loss, helps regulate menstruation and treat constipation and so much more.
According to a report done by Save the Children in August 2017, the main factor behind the rise in malnutrition is a lack of household food supplies, including milk, low food stocks and a rise in food prices. According to UNICEF in September 2017, almost 370,000 children across the country now require treatment for acute malnutrition, including 72,600 who are suffering from the most severe form, which requires specialized, life-saving care.
Growing pawpaw is a self sustainable way to help provide children with much needed nutrients. Not to mention it’s amazing taste!