Weekend break: farm visit
It’s a brand new week at the PDC and we are ready, energized and full of excitement to start the new week…. But before we do, we would like to reflect a little on the previous week and our “time off” during the week-end…
Last week we had the introductory phase covering Holmgren’s first six permaculture principles where we learned to observe and interact, catch and store energy, how to obtain a yield, about the different ways to apply self-regulation and accept feedback, how to use and value renewable resources and lastly, produce no waste. We rounded this week up with a very exciting week-end during which we had a ground visit with our Honourable Mathias Kasamba, the Republic Member of Parliament of Uganda and legislator in the Parliament of East-Africa. His farm is about 300 acres with a variety of crops, mainly practicing conventional farming with a little bit of permaculture.
The crops he is growing on a large scale are coffee, passion fruits (which is his main income generating crop), banana, maize, eucalyptus and pine. From there, he is generating wood for selling and his personal use for his house and farm construction. In addition, he also raises animals which includes cattle, pigs, poultry and will soon be introducing rabbits with an aim of producing meat in order to feed the growing Ugandan population as rabbits produce so fast and multiply quickly. We ended our tour by suggesting to the minister that he may want to practice permaculture and still get yields but minimize the use of chemicals, produce no waste and find more environment friendly ways to feed his animals. He seemed quite open for the suggestion, having visited our course last week. He is also going to launch an institute for further agricultural research with an aim of transforming lives. Hopefully this will lead useful cooperation and who knows, some change on a larger scale.
Otherwise our group is getting tighter together, people are loosening up, sharing and we were enjoying playing games like volleyball, we danced with the kids in the school. Some people went to church for their Sunday prayers and others just took advantage of the week-end to catch up with some highly longed for sleep. We were a smaller group as some of us left for the week-end, either going home or visiting the area a bit, which made it quite nice and peaceful to remain here together and relax during the week-end. We also had a very nice lunch at the minister’s place where we also took lovely and tasty juice made from his farm’s sugar cane. We also had chicken at Sabina’s, which made it a good change from the beans and meat we usually eat.