Happy November! It’s always hard to believe how time flies, especially as the year draws to a close. This year has certainly been full of a lot of agricultural adventures, and it’s not over yet! Last month, from 3-5 October, I had the pleasure of working with Mpilonhle’s Home-Based Carers and facilitating a garden training on an introduction to permaculture and organic gardening methods. In putting together the curriculum for the training, I used a mix of information that I had obtained from trainings with both the Peace Corps and the locally-based African Conservation Trust office and Manukelana Art and Nursery in Khula Village, who hosted our last training with the Field Assistants in May. The training took place over the course of three days up at La Colline, the Mpilonhle guest house, and consisted of one day of theory training and presentations and two days of practical work/study. The first day, we covered a wide range of topics, from planting bed construction and the benefits of compost to strategies for water conservation and companion planting and the importance of bees! During the second two days, we filled and planted two trench beds, dug, filled and planted two pit beds, made a gorgeous compost pile and practiced digging some holes and swales for water retention.
The enthusiasm and brilliant spirit of these amazing women was infectious, and their openness, wonderfully encouraging. With equal amounts of laughter and learning, it was a great three days, and I am very excited to continue to work with the carers as they take their new knowledge back to their communities and help their clients develop home and community gardens to fight poverty and hunger.