Word from Uganda’s Permablitz #1
Uganda Permablitz #1 was held on February 28th at the home of Mathias and Ted and their four children, in the village of Ssanje. Ssanje is less than one kilometre from Sabina School and Boarding Home, where Clive and Kim, previous hosts of two permablitzes on their property in Heathmont, Melbourne (currently being managed by Cam Wilson of Forest Edge permaculture), are spending a year on a permaculture project. For more info visit the Permaculture Sabina Blog or click read more below.
The day was made possible initially by Luke, a local School Teacher who had attended Dick Copeman’s (Brisbane City Farm) workshop at Sabina in late 2008. Luke connected with Kim one day walking in the village, and the idea of a Permablitz to help maintain momentum after Dick’s departure was born. We hope to have another 5 or 6 during the course of the year.
Before the blitz, our host Mathias working through the plan for the day with Kim. Mathias is already a skilled gardener/farmer, with chickens, cows, goats, bananas, maize in place, but precious little in the way of vegetables. His interest and quick understanding were evident from the questions he asked and the close attention he paid to everything that was happening.
One of Mathias’ children, on the Ugandan ‘one-size-fits-all’ bicycle that he is quite able to ride as shown here. A group of kids stayed with us for the whole day, fascinated by the muzungus (white people) and the work being done, and especially by the camera.
More people arrived, including our Sabina volunteer Carl, and some neighbours, including Mathias’ sister Josephine, a qualified lawyer, who lives next door. Some of the neighbours had limited English, so Luke acted as an interpreter whenever Kim spoke. We had the involvement of some current and past Sabina School students, who also assisted with communication.
Work started with some clearing of the site, and collecting of materials like that wheelbarrow full of cow dung that Mathias had been drying out over the last few weeks or so since we first planned this day.And that banana tree had to go. The site chosen was a gently sloping part of the front garden, covered before we started with leaf litter and twigs and the odd banana leaf. We cleared it initially to get a better view of the dips and humps we were facing, and also to help us get rid of some major roots and other obstacles.
PS. It rained during the night of the Permablitz (as we suspected it might) .. so we applied mulch material the next day.
Kim and Clive