Permaculture Progress

June 6, 2016 12:44 pm Published by

JBFC’s farm is not just harvesting nearly 400 pounds of food a week. It’s cultivating a new crop of rural Tanzanian farmers, who are committed to permaculture.

One of them is our neighbor, John, who manages Mavuno Village. He has attended seminars at JBFC with our permaculture team (pictured on right), which includes internationally-certified permaculture designer Mark Shepherd and EJ and Sophie Oppenheimer, who both have advanced studies in sustainable agriculture.

Permaculture stands for permanent agriculture. It is a branch of environmental design that focuses on creating agricultural systems that mirror natural ecosystems. Basically, permaculture calls for farms to operate like nature, where multiple crops grow in the same place and livestock work with crops to boost production and efficiency.

And after two seminars, John is a believer that permaculture plants the seeds for success.

“I learned so much and it changed the way I think about everything at my house,” John said. “The seminar opens your eyes to everything you can do with your own hands and right near your own house.”

John’s organization, Mavuno Village, encourages host families to take in orphaned children. John’s family of four lives with eight additional children, who were in need. The challenge of feeding 12 people daily is what prompted John to come to JBFC to learn about permaculture.

“It opened my eyes to ways to reduce the cost of food and feeding my family,” John said. “It was great.”

After his permaculture training, John implemented several elements of permaculture design including a gray water system, that diverts runoff from sinks and showers to water gardens and he moved his chicken coop adjacent to his crops, which provides his garden with natural fertilizer.

John has also shifted from annual plants to perennials. Instead of planting just one crop like corn, John has now added bananas, plantains, papaya, pomegranate, citrus, cabbage, guava, passion fruit, and breadfruit, which maximizes the growing potential on a plot of land and doesn’t drain the soil of all of its nutrients.

You can read more about the spread of Permaculture in the latest issue of JBFC’s quarterly newsletter, Habari, which should be hitting mailboxes in mid-June.

Read more about Permaculture on the JBFC Farm by clicking here!

You can also read about how we are preserving water at JBFC by clicking here!

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This post was written by Mainsprings