In March of this year the Kusamala Demonstration Centre welcomed its first apprentices, Edward Nkhata and Joseph Kaipa, sent to us by the Methodist Church. They have spent the past four months at the Centre, working side by side with our staff, learning from our demonstrations and trainings, and finding ways in which they can apply permaculture practices in their own communities.

As part of their apprenticeship at the Centre, both Edward and Joseph are creating their own designs for expanding the Memo garden. They have been hard at work designing and building new beds to function as demonstration plots that show ways in which permaculture can be implemented at the household level. Once they have finished their own sections of the garden, they will come together with our staff to evaluate the designs. Through analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the different plots they will be able to create a design that combines the best aspects of both. In that way their work will embody the permaculture ethic of fair share, which even includes idea sharing!

Permaculture designs in action

Once they have finished their apprenticeship Edward and Joseph will return to Mchinji to design and implement a plan for a 19-hectare farm owned by the Methodist Church. Joseph will focus on designing a plan for vegetable and crop production while Edward will focus on integrating animal husbandry into the farm plan.

Joseph recently shared with us his plan to build a household level permaculture demonstration site at his home in addition to his work with the Methodist Church. After going into the communities to teach them about the benefits of permaculture, he will invite people to his home to convince them of its importance and feasibility. In this way he will use his home as a demonstration tool to achieve his goal: the adoption of permaulture practices by every household in his district.

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