When I lived in a small town in northern Benin as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I remember the period of a month or so in late spring, between the time when the last of the stored harvest of the prior year ran out and when the new harvests from the current year started to appear in the markets. It was a lean time of expensive canned food or buggy flour. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to subsist solely on the produce of our garden.
The last task in the garden was to remove a large branch from one of our plum trees. Our original motivation in pruning was to improve the health of the tree; however, we discovered that the removal of the branch allowed for more sunlight to reach some of the mounds in this year’s squash bed (20).