This last week Stacia and I met with staff representatives from Malawi’s Natural Resources College (NRC) to begin discussions about integrating Permaculture design in and around the campus. NRC is located about 15 kilometers west of Lilongwe(Malawi’s capital city) and runs programs in agriculture, irrigation, nutrition, horticulture, animal health, and environmental management for sustainable development. We discussed the possibility of setting up a Permaculture demonstration plot at the college, as well as looking for ways to make the college’s practices match the lessons that are being taught. A few examples included the reusing of kitchen scraps and kitchen water from the college’s large dining area; the use of fuel efficient stoves and conservation measures for cooking; better water management throughout the entire campus (in both the agricultural as well as the residential areas); and working with the landscaping staff to move in the direction of ‘functional landscaping’.
The integration of Permaculture falls right in line with the college’s vision, which is: “To be a leading and self-sustaining agriculture, environment and natural resources management centre of excellence withinMalawiand beyond.” This is also not the first time that we have had interactions with the college in terms of integrating Permaculture. In fact, several classes of graduating students have been brought out to Never Ending Food on field visits. We hope that this will be the continuation of a long and fruitful relationship.