In our ever-changing environment, adaptive measures are now more of a necessity, not only on a community level but domestic as well.
On the Kenyan coast, a permaculture enthusiast, Ivan, is turning his home into a food factory and training young locals on the technique. “Our solution to land degradation and mismanagement is permaculture” – Ivan, permaculture enthusiast.
Permaculture is the development of agricultural systems that are self sufficient; where every crop and animal supports the other.
The key to the system is water and rainfall harvesting. Over and above water harvesting, the recycling of water used within the home is intrinsic in the system.“Grey water is also something we use. We collect it from the kitchen sinks and shower and it goes back into the system to be used in banana circles.” – Ivan. Grey water is water from the kitchen and shower. To create a banana circle, make a hole in the ground, plant banana tubers in a semicircle. drain the gray water into the hole and the bananas will do very well. The animals also play their part in the sustenance of this ecosystem “We grow food for the livestock and in return they create fertilizer which goes straight back into the system”.
There is a need to return our soils back to their natural, healthy state. One way of doing this is though compost. To create a small compost feed, place sticks and twigs in a square of one metre. Spread some ready manure from your livestock on top of these then put a layer of dried leaves and grass. Once done, cover the layer of green leaves and plant material. Add your kitchen food waste on top of this, and repeat this green and brown layering twice. Cover the entire pile with grass and with a plastic sheet. Once done, a stick is dug into the centre of the pile. The process is kept entirely organic.
This is a holistic system and the community is taking it up from a very young age.