We’ve just received photos from an inspection of the school’s permaculture garden by Ministry of Education officials and Stacia Nordin, a permaculture expert working on a project for the Ministry of Education School Health and Nutrition. Stacia literally wrote the book on practical permaculture in Malawi, so it was a real treat to receive a visit from have her and the Ministry of Education officials.
Stacia was very impressed with the garden and the school itself, and was especially happy to see that the school has its own water supply, a rarity for village schools in Malawi. Funded by a previous volunteer, this tap is crucial for providing safe water for the children, and also for providing water for them to wash their hands before eating. Naturally, all waste water goes back onto the garden to water the plants!
A full report is in the pipeline, but in the meantime we can share these photos of the garden, looking fertile and growing well. The district education managers have even been using the school’s garden as an example to show other local schools how to set up their own permaculture gardens.
Among the crops grown are pumpkins, watermelons, cassava, sugar cane, maize, bananas, plantains and rice. These crops are harvested to provide food for the pupils of the school, some of whom arrive at school not having eaten. The garden has been designed and developed with permaculture principles in mind, so as to make best use of the available water, and avoid the use of artificial fertiliser and pesticides.
The seeds for the plants were donated by the students’ families, many of whom are farmers. Rainwater is collected from the classroom roofs and stored for use in the garden, and manure is sourced locally to act as fertiliser.
Future plans for the garden
There are plans to use any surplus crops, along with crops harvested during the school holidays, to sell at the market in Nkhata Bay in order to raise funds for the school. The school welcomes visitors and volunteers interested in the garden and the school itself.
To find out more, email email@example.com