Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We're having a swale of a time at Sabina!

Silas and Joseph wield their machetes expertly to prepare banana fibre for the garden beds.

Today we have traveled up to Kampala to take advantage of the capital's many nurseries, hunt for compost worms and access computers, scanners and copiers which aren't affected (too regularly) by the power cuts that plague our closest internet provider in Kyotera.

There has been much action at Sabina since the last posting - the small vegetable garden is taking form more and more each day (more seedlings planted, paperboxes and woodchips laid, poles erected etc.). Off the top of our heads, thus far, we have tomatoes, eggplant, ddoodo (amaranthus), nakati, swiss chard, spinach, beetroot, cabbage, collards, coriander, lettuce, maize, carrots, onions, marigolds, watermelon, pumpkins, beans, sugar cane, paw paw and passion fruit growing happily. A crawling critter seems to be enjoying a gourmet swiss chard diet at night so we're starting an evening patrol to encourage him to leave the leaves and some tomatoes have just started to form their first fruits!

We have also started to expand our energies into other parts of the property by marking contours and digging swales and trenches. Yesterday, rumbling skies and rising humidity heralded the first rains of the season and we eagerly ran into the wet to see how the water flowed through the swales. Dan also presented a workshop to our 'holiday' students introducing key permaculture concepts.

There was much laughter as we played the "capture and store energy resources" game and 'Sunlight' (Francis), 'Water' (Apriona) and 'Nutrients/Manure' (Steveni) were held captive by 'Coffee Bush' (Baron), 'Cow' (Christophe), 'Mango Tree' (Charles), 'Pig' (Amanda) and 'Chicken' (Elvis). Everyone also enjoyed watching Bill Mollison's DVD 'Global Gardener' and seeing places similar to Sabina being transformed into abundant food forests through permaculture. Some students asked really insightful questions and we feel the seed of interest is starting to germinate in many.

We recently received a very generous donation of seeds from Eden Seeds in Australia and have planted a range of species in the nursery. There are many questions about the taste of rockmelons, rainbow chard and rocket and we're so looking forward to the fruit and veggies answering for themselves.

We are finishing up the designs for 'Freedom Park' and enjoying the processes involved with putting together the overall design for the home.

It's much quieter at the home with so many of the children away for the holiday period, but this project is certainly making some noise in the local community. As we walk through the local village, Ssanje, we are often asked "how are the tomatoes?" and "how is the permaculture?" along with the standard greetings.

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