photo (3) copy 2Contributed by Luwayo Biswick

Next month (26-30 May) Kusamala will hold its first permaculture course designed specifically for gardeners. The course is designed for gardeners in Lilongwe who want to learn how to design landscapes by implementing permaculture techniques, strategies, and designs.

The course will be taught in Chichewa and covers topics such as permaculture ethics and principles, ecological processes, soil and water management techniques,  zone planning, planting calendars, natural pest and disease control, and urban permaculture design. Integral to the course teachings will be understanding the harmonic interactions of ecosystem elements and how they work together.

A unique aspect of the course is that it will provide hands-on experience and not simply permaculture theory. Class participants will have an opportunity to practice what they learn so that even those who do not have an agricultural background, will be able to understand what permaculture is and how it can be implemented. The knowledge acquired in the course will help gardeners and their clients establish edible lawns right in the heart of urban settings. These edible lawns provide multiple functions and yields throughout the year, while using the same amount of space, water, time, money, and energy they currently use to maintain the ornamental, but not productive, flower and grass lawns. Urban settings hold great potential beyond lawns and flowerbeds, and if well designed these spaces can provide all the food people need, cut on the cost of water bills currently paid for watering flowers and grass, reduce ecological footprints, food miles, and pollution. Finally, participants will be able to apply the permaculture principles they learn for urban gardens in many other settings. For in permaculture, every design is unique and specific to the area you are, while the ethics and principles remain universal.

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The course fee is $300 per person including meals and boarding onsite at Kusamala. An additional course in English will also be offered from the 9th to the 13th of June. For more information or to sign up for either course, please email luwayo@kusamala.org.