Gardener's Course participants from Left: Lafiosi Mwambe, Lovemore Josam, and Henry Kagwada. With lead instructor, Luwayo Biswick.

Gardener’s Course participants from Left: Lafiosi Mwambe, Lovemore Josam, and Henry Kagwada, with lead instructor, Luwayo Biswick.

Last week Kusamala held its first Gardener’s Course participated by three gardeners: Henry Kagwada  from Mngwangwa village traditional authority Chilooko Tchisi district, Lafiosi Mwambe from Kholowa village traditional authority Tsabango Lilongwe district and Lovemore Josam from Nkhupa village traditional authority Chimutu Lilongwe district. The 5-day course helped the participants understand what permaculture is and how it differs from conventional agriculture while also providing a basic understanding of ecological processes from water and nutrient cycles to the succession process. Through the course, the participants learned how permaculture is modeled on natural systems and how these systems are inherently well equipped to cope with the challenges humans face today. The gardeners departed Kusamala last Friday, but will take what they learned here and apply it to their future endeavors not only in the residential gardens where they work, but also in their own home gardens, staple fields and everyday life.

Course participants putting the final touches on a new compost pile.

Course participants putting the final touches on a new compost pile.

Henry Kagwada enjoyed the course saying: “I’m completely transformed and hoping to go transform the world, starting with my family. I have learned that while conditions on the surface of the earth have changed considerably over time, life has always managed to adapt in order to survive and thrive here. So our challenge as stewards of the planet is to redesign our systems so that they are adapted to any situation, whatever time of the year it might be, and no matter where we are.”

Lovemore Josam also praised the course and said, “My brain was dry like October when I came here but now my brain is wet like January. I have learned many things I did not know before, like how to set a vegetable and tree nursery, what permaculture zones are, and how to make inoculum compost [compost that does not just nourish the plant but introduce beneficial soil life as well].”

The English version of the Gardener’s Course will be held next week, 9-13 June, and is still open for registration. If you are interested in attending or have any questions regarding the course, please contact Luwayo Biswick: luwayo@kusamala.org.