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Nurturing Hope

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Have you heard the word “Permaculture” but aren’t quite sure what it means? Or perhaps you’re aware of this work but aren’t sure how it can be applied to everyday life? Permaculture works with community and living systems. It is an enduring movement that motivates, brings people together, inspires, and offers a ‘to do’ approach to sustainability and the healing of people, communities, and ecosystems. What could be more important and beautiful than this?

With this in mind, there has been growing interest in this subject, even for those in their corporate jobs. We are seeing a shift and the timing couldn't better than now. The use of the twelve permaculture principles as a way to think about organizing our own lives. What is most appealing about these concepts is that they take seriously the fact that we are embedded in an ecosystem. In order to make changes in our lives, we need to think carefully, be compassionate and make changes with intention.

As we continue to tackle with these shifts, this year we created a valuable partnership with Mlango Farm to facilitate a series of workshops on Gardening and Permaculture. With the exceptional work that Mlango Farm is doing, what better place than this to conduct these workshops. We couldn't be more excited about this partnership.

We have already successfully run two introductory courses which comprise of two sessions and are spread out over two-three weeks, giving participants the space to practice right away after the first session. The courses are open to beginners, gardeners and anyone wanting to dive deeper into this topic. The sessions are simple yet practical and provide a framework ranging from soil building, good garden design, water flow, mixed crop / companion planting methods, advancing productivity, integrated pest management, propagation methods and the overall maintenance of kitchen gardens. These techniques can be used in any space available from backyards, front yards, balconies, container gardens, farms, etc. The idea is to also have people improve their existing practices, borrowing principles and techniques from the permaculture toolkit and critically think about functional gardening.

Oftentimes people get discouraged, but after taking this course, we have observed that participants are trialling these concepts that have now been attributed to improvement and breakthroughs, whilst having success with their own kitchen gardens. Those that have sent their staff/gardeners have been amazed with the confidence achieved after each session and that there is the willingness to change their ways and think more critically not only about improving the gardens, but utilising space better. There is simply no division amongst participants because we later realise that there is shared common ground with each individual having shared goals and a similar vision for their gardens/farms. That is what excites us as facilitators!

We are very happy about this partnership with Mlango Farm and for them to also showcase their own work and development over the last 15-20 years now, planting their first seed which now boasts an incredible variety of crops and has brought the land to life, inspiring communities around them to do the same. It has quite literally opened its mlango (doors) for urbanites to escape the city and really people of all walks of life to visit their farms, interact with their spaces, understand how our food is grown, think about how waste is turned to energy and simply engaging in different activities. They serve a spectacular spread of farm fresh food on their farm tours and you leave feeling completely inspired by what can be achieved and a new sense of hope is born. It is why we were invited to this space to create workshops of this sort and bridge the gap so that folks and communities could take a course such as this, tour the farms and begin the work for themselves in any capacity. We have trained up at least 40 people since May. Participants have joined us from Western, Eastern Kenya and even all the way from Marsabit! It is incredible to see this work being embraced and seeing what they are all doing with the skills attained.

Quotes from participants who have attended our courses

"I'm Meshack Gayere. This was my first time attending a gardening course such as this. I've never been to any functioning garden before, though I have established some kitchen gardens unconsciously but I did not think about arrangement, spacing, ease of watering the crops and most importantly topography of the land until I joined this course. I was connected to this course by Mark Johannes from the Netherlands and fortunately MAF Kenya flew me into Nairobi to attend this important course. I have now learned a lot and have taken back with me important and crucial lessons for the drylands. Laisamis has a lot of malnutrition cases and now I get to help them through this course and establish more model kitchen gardens so that they can access food groups which prevent anaemia and malnutrition. I am very grateful for the team at Harvesting for Good and Mlango Farm." ~M.Gayere (April and Aug Cohort)

"The first time I came across Harvesting for Good-EA was on Instagram, while I was looking for some inspiration on how to revamp my lawn. I made a bold move to reach out to Sheena for an interview and she was just amazing. Her passion is infectious. When she shared with me about this course I had to attend because I'm also working on a community project related to growing vegetables organically, and being so green on permaculture, I needed the skills. And I honestly learned a lot from her and the Mlango team. Once I got back, I found myself unconsciously implementing what I learned and now it felt easy, like slipping on a glove. I am forever grateful to Sheena and her team, and Mlango farm for inspiring us with their story that it is possible to be organic, sustainable, profitable and gain global recognition while benefiting the community around us." ~ M. Wanja (April Cohort)

“If there is a Harvesting for Good East Africa workshop, I will definitely sign up. Why? .....Because I believe in their philosophy:

- Learning to cultivate a healthy relationship with my body and the land that I live on.

- Producing my own herbs, fruits and vegetables while nourishing the land, learning to make gut-friendly sustainable recipes that are healthy for my family and me and giving back to the land what I don’t need so it can nourish itself. It’s a complete cycle and a way of living sustainably. The team works tirelessly to set up these events and we can not just see, feel and taste it, but bring the lessons back home to do for ourselves! ~ P. Munshi (April Cohort)

Our next two day course begins this August 17th & 31st and we have spaces available. Please join us and help spread the word. You can sign up yourselves, your staff/ colleagues and even gift a friend / loved one a spot on this course.

See all details for the course here -

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