KZN agro-ecology course – 19 to 23 February 2016 at Enaleni farm

Left to right: GijimaName the dog, Makhosi Zondi, Sanele Mhlongo, Mrs Bangeni Mchunu, Mrs Duduzile Phungula, Mziwethu Khumalo, Mrs Nomusa Ngubane, Richard Haigh, Sandile Masondo

Left to right: GijimaName the dog, Makhosi Zondi, Sanele Mhlongo, Mrs Bangeni Mchunu, Mrs Duduzile Phungula, Mziwethu Khumalo, Mrs Nomusa Ngubane, Richard Haigh, Sandile Masondo

The highly practical and participatory AE course was facilitated by Richard Haigh and focused on various interventions aimed at healing the relationship between land, animals, plants and ourselves, using what we have, where we are and where we are within ourselves. Participants were encouraged to link their energies in order to grow their resources and asset base.

A strong focus was on seeds and understanding and caring for a range of farm animals. Participants were made aware of the value of traditional crops and seeds; selecting, sorting, storing and sharing seeds; GMO threats; and traditional plant based household medicines, and income generation through saving and selling seeds and effective farming.

Using Prompts to Generate Discussion on Seeds

Using Prompts to Generate Discussion on Seeds

The course included skills practicals in understanding soil and building soil structures by strengthening soil fertility, energy and synergy, as well as soil erosion, rehabilitation and management.

Planting endemic Portulacaria afra from mother plants as a green corridor along a fence, fodder for sheep and a fire barrier. It's also well documented to be a carbon sponge.

Planting endemic Portulacaria afra from mother plants as a green corridor along a fence, fodder for sheep and a fire barrier. It’s also well documented to be a carbon sponge.

The feedback from all the participants was extremely positive with everyone agreeing that Enaleni Farm was developed with heart and that Richard’s focus had been on the importance of relationships to everything – to the soil, to plants, to animals, to food, to one’s body, to each other…..
Everyone was inspired and eager to share what they had learned when they got back to their communities. They did not see themselves as being limited to teaching four other people, as required by the AE course, but saw themselves as teaching many more.
The in-house 5-day AE course at Enaleni was very successful and the participants benefitted enormously from spending time living and working on a farm that is founded on AE principles and attempts to present an alternative land-use and animal husbandry system to industrialised agriculture. There was time to learn about the inter-relationships that are essential for the maintenance of any healthy productive system and the importance of farming with resilient heritage breeds and varieties of animals and plants.
EarthLore is definitely planning to hold more AE training courses at Enaleni farm in the future.

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