In spring 2006, Ethel discussed with me permaculture and food security in Malawi. I wanted to educate myself on sustainable agricultural activities and how a Malawian practices permaculture. These issues interest me as part of a larger project to explore healthy (agricultural chemical-free) crops and alternative livelihoods for tobacco farmers and farm workers in Malawi.
Ethel agreed to videotaped interviews over two days in different areas in her garden near Chitedze Trading Center, 14 kilometers north of Lilongwe, Malawi's capital city.
In the 2000s, Ethel worked as a 'house woman' (domestic worker) for Stacia and Kristof Nordin. The Nordins are Malawi-based permaculture educators and advocates who operate NeverEndingFood.org
During her position with Stacia and Kristof, Ethel became a permaculturalist.
The video is edited to showcase Ethel's knowledge about farming indigenous plants and creating synergy among food, water, shelter and community.
Marty Otañez, Producer and Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department, University of Colorado, Denver (clas.ucdenver.edu/anthropology), email: marty[dot]otanez[at]ucdenver[dot]edu; blogs: sidewalkradio.net, fairtradetobacco.org; dscoalition.org
Katrina Greschner, Assistant and Anthropology graduate student, University of Colorado, Denver