Saturday, 4 April 2015

Setting up a sustainable system

After the huge storm at the beginning of february it looked like the rainy season was going to be very wet, Whiskey enjoying a dig in the river bed that I had only ever seen totally dry...but since then the last two months have produced no real rain. Everyones crops have done very badly only those practicing holistic management had good crops, moving bomas full of cattle from one area in a field to another to fertilise and naturally breakup the soil. I am hoping that our village will become interested in practicing holistic management so that we can also improve the fertility of our soils. The plan for this year will be to at least use the chicken tractor for this purpose and a small boma with a few goats. 

The wild basil that grows here has a pungent smell and flavour, here i tried making a pesto from it. We also use it in the compost toilet to keep out flies. 
It's a pleasure to watch the chickens wandering around the garden 

The one adult has been laying wonderful eggs

That we enjoy on pancakes for our family tradition of sunday brunch 

She has been making herself quite at home

To the point where the only place she wants to lay is on the sofa! 
I planted a second banana circle for the run-off water from the shower, a channel leads the water out to a mulch pit in the centre

And also feeds a mango tree under the shade cloth
Lying in a hammock under the trees enjoying a new lifestlye 
pest control permaculture stlye, can you see the chameleon amongst the beans? 

Some of the wildlife we are sharing our home with, we have seen a whole lot of snakes this month too the list is growing.
The aim last month was to finish the guest room, here the floor area is dug out

and filled with a mica based gravel from close by that compacts well

and a thin slab laid on top 
I set up my sewing machine to work from the solar panel and battery and stiched some canvas and mesh to make the walls of the guest room

The finished room, light and airy 

making use of the many bottle tops we keep 
I decided I really needed to see how hard it is to carry water  from the village borehole to my home, well its very hard!! My utter lack of balance means I have to keep my arms up holding the container at all times which is very tiring!! My hat goes off to all the ladies who are doing this every day. The importance of water is constanly brought home. We bought a second tank for rainwater collection but since then there has been no rain. I go to the borehole and pump water everyday, it's hard work but a great work out, and not a drop of water is wasted. I hope to build a rainwater collection tank this dry season to be better prepared next year. We are also looking for funds for another village borehole to allow better access to water for everyone and to have a village vegetable garden. 

more adventures for whiskey meeting the wildlife

Nyanga sunning herself, this past couple of weeks a very special guest came to stay and helped me build an earth oven on the patio, the next post will explain the process from start to finish. I'm currently making the final touches and hopefully pizza night will be next weekend!