Patrick Kamadi, 56, sells fresh creeping vines including cucumber and courgette along streets of Kakamega town every day.
He grows them alongside carrots, beetroots and the white radish on his one and half acre farm at Mahondo along the busy Kakamega – Mumias highway.
The creeping vines bear edible cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetable. Kamadi resorted to cultivating the crops when he was first diagonised with arthritis over 30 years ago.
“I was living in Nairobi then and you know in Nairobi you are always on the move. I had perfected the art of juggling between business and casual jobs,” said the father of four.
He didn’t think twice about venturing into farming when a friend advised him to be eating the cucumiform fruits, carrots, courgette, raddish and even beetroot in order to manage arthritis.
Kamadi had to relocate to his rural home where he embarked on production of the crops on his small farm as they were not found anywhere else in the area.
Although he can safely say he is free of arthritis, Kamadi has managed to build a business out of his search for a cure.
The crop’s medicinal value has pushed their demand in and out of the county.
“Carrots, beetroots, cucumber and courgette take between 30 to 45 days to mature which is good for me, the demand has also been on the rise as more and more people embrace healthy eating. I also make salads from the vegetables and the response so far is great,” he said.
A plate of the salad goes for Sh100 and in a good day, Kamadi can make up to Sh5, 000 from selling the roots as well as salad.
Radishes are grown in large scale for export in Makindu at the Coast and Kibwezi.
Patrick Kamadi harvest radish in his farm in kakamega. [Duncan Ocholla]