A continued focus of our weekly online UK/Nigeria meetings has been the subject of permaculture.
This was not a word or principle I had come across often in my day-to-day life in South London.
However over the past two years I have been lucky enough to begin to learn more about it - and to appreciate the importance of designing the proposed model farm at Attachab along the principles it dictates.
Even as a relative newcomer to the discipline, I recognise it is the most practical and commonsense way to proceed. Not only does it make ecological and financial sense ... it should also help provide sustainable communities. In short, I am very much a convert!
My interest in permaculture has been largely due to the expert knowledge and enthusiasm shown by our technology transfer guru Marcus Simmons. I encourage you to check out his great slide presentation about Permacuture .
Marcus, together with senior members of Fantsuam also visited the Songhai Centre in Benin in November. The Centre is a true example of permaculture in action, showing systems of sustainable agriculture that renew natural resources and enrich local ecosystems.
Fantsaum, of course, already have some knowledge of these techniques. They are now being inspired by their visit to Songhai - and by the input from Marcus.
As regular readers will know, Fantsuam has a site at Attachab for a model farm. They also have the kitchen garden at Ungwar Masara for permaculture experiments.
The kitchen garden at Ungwar Masara, a new topic to our online meetings, is where Marcus has been mentoring Sambo. So far Sambo has used ridges of dry mulching and it was reported at the meeting that he has already seen an improvement! We were also informed that a new well has been dug. I'm told that photos and a report on Sambo's permaculture findings are in the pipeline and we eagerly await his observations.
To learn more about permaculture or to share your knowledge with us, why not join our First Thursday meetings? Here we are looking at food production, permaculture and related issues.