This year at the Greenpop Zambia Festival of Action 2016, we have an incredibly robust and talented team holding permaculture designs and principles at their core.

Society has reached a critical juncture for global food security. Production demands are breeding devastating environmental implications on our planet. Permaculture design presents an alternative approach for addressing this complexity, using simple lifestyle and growing methodologies in a (w)holistic thinking approach. The Social Enterprise business model that incorporates the Triple Bottom Line of People, Profit, and Planet works in a similar way. Permaculture design is informed by three ethics of ‘Earth Care’, ‘People Care’ and ‘Fair Share’. Here at the Festival of Action, we think about these ethics when designing food gardens. Our incredibly resilient team is also a great reflection of the interplay between them!

Permaculture principles include companion planting for diversity and a ‘no waste’ mind-set. They inform our ever-evolving Eco-Education days at Livingstone schools and our food-garden designs at Sons of Thunder, too. Over the course of the festival, Greenpop and our participants conduct tree planting, upcycling and seed germination activations at 7 local schools with their learners.  Additionally, we visit 6 villages within the 10 000 hectare Sons of Thunder farming cooperative. There we create Community Food Gardens that draw on the principles of Food Forest design in order to integrate valuable ecological diversity with a ‘food’ focus. These gardens are designed and planted to increase the self-sustainability of these communities. Doing that they still consider the boundaries of their natural resources and opportunities.

Each week at camp, three permaculturalists and the occasional guest speaker host a 3-hour workshop. They teach ystems-thinking philosophy, soil-regeneration techniques, seed-saving, and permaculture design methodology. Our designs aim to connect local and international individuals to the greater ‘web of life’. Also is aims to inspire awareness of the importance of ecological design. Throughout our planting process, we have already creatively responded and adapted our methodologies. Now they integrate alternative designs and local wisdom better and benefit and acknowledge the environment we are working in. Permaculture advocates for small and slow solutions and throughout our growing relationships in Zambia. We also hope to continuously learn and feedback knowledge to better prepare all involved for regenerative farming practices.

By Farrah Schwab

Photograph by Lee-Ann Olwage

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