This garden project has 42 members and operates on 4 hectares of land in Dewe Village, Matopos. This is in the dry Matebeleland South Province of Zimbabwe. The project is facilitated by the Fambidzanai Permculture Training Centre in Harare, who provided training in permaculture and business skills, and currently offer on-site support in the form of Mr Crispen Dungeni, who is a FPTC staff member based in the area.
The project focusses on household and community consumption and therefore grows a traditional array of vegetables including chomeolia (kale), spinach, onions and tomatoes. They also practice agro-forestry and so we find pawpaws and banana trees here too. The garden is organic, but the farmers I met on site here were not especially clued up or passionate about this aspect. The emphasis here was on improving community nutrition and supporting those in need, such as the elderly, AIDS orphans and the sick. Importantly, this is also a livelihood project, generating income for the mainly female members who cultivate the garden. This makes a huge difference in a place such as Dewe Village, where there is little cash-based employment and families need to find money to pay for school fees and basic goods.
Wisdom Sibanda of Victoria Falls shares with us how to make an eco-composting pit at home. The method encourages worms and natural organisms to break down food and garden waste to create a fertile organic compost.