“Make Hay while the Sun Shines”
Today we looked at the second permaculture principle ‘catch and store energy’ starting with a good look at soil, what it does, what is in it and how best to care for and nurture it, we found that good healthy soil is bursting with life, and in itself can be considered a living organism that needs to be treated with love and respect, soil even ‘breathes’ with the cycles of the moon, expanding and contracting! soil is full of mycelium, fungus that nourishes and supports plants and even provides them with a means of communication! we observed how commercial monoculture depletes and ultimately destroys all the good things neccesary for life from the soil and learned how to be soil doctors by creating great compost, wasting nothing and providing the best environments to promote robust healthy growing matter.
We then split into 4 groups to discuss the problems that both the students and society faces at this present time in their respective countries, and then to propose what could be done to best remedy these issues, each group then nominated a spokesperson to deliver the findings to the rest of the class, it was interesting and eye opening to hear about the challenges faced and very encouraging to hear the host of real life workable solutions that everybody came up with.
Charles Mugarua then gave a talk further examining both the issues and solutions to the fundamental problems faced by individuals, families and communities in Uganda, including personal responsibility for what we do, permaculture solutions out of poverty, including mindset, attitude, behaviour and use of present resources to make a sustainable living through permaculture. he made some very pertinent points and quotes “think of your children and the best that you can give to them” “you dont have to have gone to school to be able to do something well” he also talked about social enterprise and the balance between business and community and overall making a commitment to protect nature.
We finished class with looking at water, its capture, storage and use and the cycles it goes through, from rainfall to river and how important it is to retain water in the soil rather than letting it flow away.
Today Richard and Dan also visited the local school to survey the land in preparation for the class project, we will be visiting the land as a group on thusday so we can observe the environment and think about how best to design for it.