The aim of every planting initiative is harvesting. As one puts down the first seed into the ground, their mind is already on the harvest they aim at receiving. All efforts are channelled towards getting a good harvest, and when it has started, there is a feeling of satisfaction that your efforts were not in vain. This best sums up the atmosphere around the campus these days since it is a time of harvesting our nuts in the farm.
You might be asking yourself how we tell when the nuts are ready for harvesting. It is quite simple actually; the cultivars we have fall down the nuts when ready. Sometimes nuts may fall because of heavy winds or other factors without being ripe and get picked up by harvesters. This is usually not a problem because there are other methods we use to select the ones which are ripe and those which are not. We will discuss those methods at a later date when it is time for doing that.
While all the stages of the nut process – from planting to selling – are important, harvesting forms a fulcrum of the entire process. It is a period that introduces receiving the value of the efforts made whilst also requiring more focus in making sure that every nut is accounted for in order to make as much revenue as possible. Since the workload has increased, there are additional workers who have joined us in order to meet the deadlines required. Our students are also part of this essential task of making sure that our efforts are not in futility.
Still on the note of our casual workers, one of our aims is to play a part in curbing the poverty level in Swaziland through providing employment opportunities to local people. Though we are currently not able to employ a large number on a permanent basis, we are; however, pleased that for a few months per year we are able to enable people to provide for themselves through the harvesting job we offer. God has blessed us with this great initiative, it is therefore prudent for us to also bless others when we can.
On a concluding note, harvesting is not the final stage of the macadamia nuts processing. There are other stages that follow after harvesting before the nuts are taken to our other partners in South Africa. We are truly grateful to the women and men who are giving their all in making sure that this work gets done as effectively and efficiently as possible. As one of the workers said, “This is our form of worship,” indeed we want to bring glory to God through every effort we undertake.