Last week on Wednesday and Friday I headed out to Madwaleni High School to help them get started on their food garden, bringing the usual tools, seedlings, and enthusiasm for permaculture and food security! Madwaleni is one of the schools chosen to implement the Home Field Advantage program, an initiative of Mpilonhle made possible by CTAOP (Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project), and so we were blessed with a large space for the garden and a ready supply of water. Because of these resources and the support of the administration and staff of the school, it was possible to construct a food tunnel on the grounds, with thanks to the support and knowledge of African Conservation Trust (ACT) and coordination by Beni Williams.
Food tunnel at Madwaleni
Madwaleni also has a wonderful and involved group of Agricultural Sciences (AS) educators, one of whom, Mrs. Siphiwe Ntshangase, attended the May training along with one of the field assistants, Mr. Bethuel Buthelezi. Even before I got to the school on Wednesday, the AS educators, learners, and field assistants were hard at work inside the tent, digging trenches for beds and collecting grass and manure for the layers. Some of the boys digging the trenches sang along to their work and I enjoyed perfectly harmonized (of course) renditions of songs from ‘Shosholoza’ to more modern selections by Professor. I was happy to step back as Mrs. Ntshangase and Mr. Nene, another educator, coordinated the efforts and explained the methods and benefits of key permaculture and organic gardening principles. Mr. Nene was helpful in reminding learners that one pays quite a bit of money for organically-grown products at Woolworths, yet they have all of the materials and now the knowledge to create this system in school and at home for much less! The group of learners chosen to receive some of the initial training will now be responsible for passing on the knowledge to their classmates. As with the other schools, all of the food from the tunnel will go toward supporting learners who are in need of nutritional support. As the project expands, we also hope to see a community garden built around the tunnel and will hopefully also get some fruit trees donated for the creation of a small orchard.
Measuring the depth of the pit bed to 50cm
Mrs. Ntshangase instructing the learners
Mr. Buthelezi and learners planting seedlings
Many thanks to the gardening team at Madwaleni for your hard work and inspiring ownership of this project. They are a model school and are in the process of creating something very beautiful. Green thumbs up!
Lastly, for those looking for a little more inspiration to try these methods for yourself, check out the amazing produce from the Nhliziyo garden, which we planted back in June…
Now that's what I call lettuce!
Cabbage, spinach and green pepper
The Author Sifiso Zulu - Women's plays an important role in our life's and they mean it, I choose to treat women with care
All women’s are still celebrating woman’s month perhaps I would like to know where did you go or how did you celebrate your day on Tuesday the 9th of Aug 2011, it only takes a strong woman to decide, act and lead the fact is someone with a good courage, strong personality knows what best in life.
“Woman’s your decision can change every situation you are in, thus enabling you to achieve whatever you want to achieve”
In life you must learn to speak positive things not negative remember we are created by God image a word that we spoke each and every day shall come to pass either good or bad, there is power in your word. You deserve better a successful life how I wish if you can learn to trust, believe in yourself and be bold because you are beautiful and special
On Wednesday, 3 August, I went up to Inkosibonga High School near Hlabisa to help them expand their already beautiful garden and transfer some knowledge about permaculture and organic gardening to a group of learners, teachers, and community members. As part of Mpilonhle’s food security program, we also donated tools, seeds, and seedlings to help the school build its garden and provide more nutritious food for learners. I worked with Mr. Mkhwanazi, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic field assistant who attended the training with ACT, as well as the equally enthusiastic Agricultural Sciences teacher Ms. Mpanza, to help train a group of over 20 learners in permaculture methods including the creation of trench beds and intercropping. The principal of Inkosibonga, Mr. Xaba, was so supportive that he drove his bakkie to a neighboring house and filled the whole back with kraal manure to help us enrich the soil in the garden! It was once again such a pleasure to work with the high school on this great project. Keep up the great growing!
The principal, Mr. Xaba, showing learners how it's done!
Diligently taking notes on the construction of trench beds
Laying the initial layer of cardboard in the bed, which serves both to recycle the material and hold in water to keep the bed moist
Planting in the new trench bed
Inkosibonga garden team
How much courage do you have?
How much courage do you have? Would your friends, co-workers and family members call you a courageous person?
“The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
The dictionary defines courage this way: the ability to face and deal with a dangerous or difficult situation. There are two parts—first to face, and then to deal with.
It is interesting to read modern writers on the subject of courage because they give you some interesting definitions. For instance, one that is often quoted goes this way, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” General George Patten defined it this way: “Courage is fear that holds on for one more minute.” Franklin P. Jones said it this way: “Courage is the ability not to let people know how scared you are on the inside.” Captain A. Riddenbacher put it this way: “Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. Where there is no fear, there is no courage.”
Think about the definition. It is the ability to face and deal with a dangerous or difficult situation. I ask you again: how much courage do you have? Would your friends call you a courageous person?