Commercial Farming to Become Self Sufficient
This photo was taken on a ridge just out of Mazabuka, it's very fertile and has access to water.
(riverfront land sells for AUS $250.00 per Hec.)
With proceeds from generous donations, we purchased a 3/4 hectare block of land only a few minutes away from the orphanage house we are renting.
A business man has donated a 8 bedroom two-story kit-home with a two roomed birthing clinic on the ground floor. We hope to have this on it's way by mid 2011. Their are details of the infrastructure needed prior to the kit home arriving. See (how you can help).
Our plan for the new home/clinic is to be self reliant by generating our own power, bio-gas and water supply. This will be achieved by a battery bank recharged by solar and wind to run electrical appliances and lighting through a 240v converter. Bio-gas (methane) will supply our energy needs for Cooking and water heater. This will be attached to our sewerage system and supplemented with animal manure and organic matter. Our water supply will be sourced from a well with a windmill and reservoir tank and then pumped to a gravity feed tank on the amenities block to supply the house and elsewhere. Should we not have sufficient funds to do this initially it will be phased in.
Commercial/home Permaculture Farming.
What is permaculture?? the term was coined in the 1970's by Australian Bill Mollison and in his own words means: "...the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people, providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. With out permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order. The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with rather than against nature....." Bill Mollison.
Every ecosystem is different therefore farming/gardening would be suited to it's location. There is no tilling of the soil and once the garden beds/fields are in place it's permanent, leaving the soil structure in place alive with micro-organisms. Then with a wide variety of fruit (and native) trees planted through out. The farm is nourished, sustained and weeded through composting combined with worm castings from the worm farm and chickens to name a few. Insect control is through diversity of integrated planting, providing an environment for insect predators and when necessary home made natural repellent sprays.
The commercial farm will be a larger scale of the home garden on the 3/4 hec. block. Therefore all the trial and error will be sorted out there.
Permaculture as with our self generated energy, needs only effort not repeated capital input for continuity, with the exception of wages. The profits can go into value adding to the produce, and general growth, that can only continue to benefit the community through employment and education, complimented by the school, vocational training center, birthing and mobile clinics, children's home, health and hygiene seminars and more, this will have positive social and environmental effects for the whole Mazabuka District (pop. 240,000). 10 fold in the rural/village settings.