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The Village Voice

old Permaculture Gardening Project …

Dumisile

Under the expert guidance of Rev Dumisile Mkhonta, students at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary are taught to grow permaculture gardens in order to encourage food security within semi-rural and rural church contexts.

 

Sustainable door-sized organic gardening: what on earth is it all about?

Philosophy and Ethics: Worms

  • living sustainably and harmoniously with nature
  • reaction to food insecurity
  • mimics natural growth and interactions
  • conservation of natural resources
  • soil conservation (no tilling, composting, green manure)
  • water conservation (mulching, use of compost)
  • careful energy accounting
  • reduction of waste
  • using “green” resources
  • recycling
  • healthy lifestyles, pure fresh food, no fertilisers or pesticides are used

How to design your own garden: Ladies

  • what are the plants, pests, predators in your area?
  • observe how the sun strikes the garden.
  • draw a list of plants and group them according to water needs and pest concerns
  • create beds 15-30cm above natural soil level, 2m wide so you can lean from the side and reach the middle. Raised beds are not tilled to save nutrients
  • place plants  requiring amounts of sun and water in the same bed, some pairings act as a natural pesticide for each other
  • place bigger plants first so they can provide shade for the smaller sensitive ones
  • avoid tilling the soil to conserve nutrients

Preparing and planting the beds: Workers

  • mark out the desired length (2m)
  • dig to a depth of 60cm, putting soil beside the hole
  • Layering:
    • first layer – grass/straw
    • second layer – soil
    • third layer – manure & compost
    • fourth layer – soil
  • water the layers
  • repeat this process until your bed is 30cm above ground
  • apply think mulch on the surface of the bed
  • the bed is ready for planting, dig to plant seeds/seedlings, make sure you leave the mulch on the soil all the time (save water, no weeds)
  • spacing for vegetables (between rows and plants)
    • spinach – 30 x15 cm
    • cabbage – 45 x 45 cm
    • beans – 30 x 10 cm
    • carrots – 30 x 05 cm
    • onion – 30 x 06 cm
    • tomato – 90 x 45 cm
  • feed plants with “manure tea” (soak a dry cake of manure in water, dilute mixture and apply around plant base)
  • make a mixture of green soap, garlic and hot pepper as a spray to kill pests (apply on plants covered with dew)
  • replace harvested plants with new ones. there is no need to till the soil.

Go garden!