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Permaculture in TribeWanted, spreading seeds from John Obey village to Freetown Peninsula

Permaculture in TribeWanted, spreading seeds from John Obey village to Freetown Peninsula

Permaculture, for those who this concept is new, is an agro-ecological design theory, its roots can be dug till 1911, when Franklin Hiram King gathered the term permanent agriculture in his book: Farmers of Forty Centuries: Or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan. Then re- sprouted in early 1970s by the Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, who started to develop ideas and scientific research about stable agricultural systems in Tasmania, Australia. They announced their permaculture approach with the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Permaculture did come as a new paradigm to reverse the rapid growth of destructive industrial-agricultural methods. These methods were poisoning the land and water, reducing biodiversity, and removing billions of tons of topsoil from previously fertile landscapes.  Permaculture has grown and spread from its Australian origin into an international movement.  The term permaculture originally meant “permanent agriculture” but was rapidly stretched out to also stand for “permanent culture” as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system.

Here at TribeWanted, John Obey Village, we have chosen permaculture as an integrated tool for the development of this Eco-Community Tourism project. Seven years ago, in this location, there were rice fields that the elders used to work, burn-crop was their agricultural technique, so, as a repeated pattern around the world, their method plus a tropical rainy weather washed out most of the organic materials, ground cover and richness of the soil. We found this terrain with a three year pioneer bush and a hot sandy soil.

Inside the integrated permaculture design plan; with three months of starting our practical component of rebuilding the soil, using the compost from our own left over, auto-sustainable methods and working with nature´s own way, we have experienced the ¨small-small¨  difficult growing but ¨big-big¨ evolving of the  first crops and food forest we planted to experience and test the terrain. The results have not only amazed the locals’ and visitors’ eyes and tongues, they have interested other international organizations and some field officers from the Agro Forestry Services of the Sierra Leone Government to gather and plan a new project together, a project for conservation and reforestation of the National Park of Freetown Peninsula. This multidisiplinar and permacultural plan have chosen John Obey Village for one of the first pilot program.

As permacultural states in its principles: do the smallest change to crate the biggest effect; here is where the sustainable change TribeWanted has started with John Obey Community, which has already started sprouting around the capital peninsula.

By Alejandro Arango Berrocal, (Costa Rican)

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