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Permaculture Garden at CGE’s Southern Africa Study Center

By Linda Raven, Program Coordinator and Instructor, Southern Africa

Back,in September, I posted about my permaculture gardening project taking place at the CGE study abroad house in Namibia. Well, now we are long overdue for an update! The project has been going very well! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of it before I left for the holidays, but the best words to describe it at that time included: thriving, vibrant and abundant. I abandoned the project for 3 weeks over the holidays, during which time Namibia experienced some very hot and dry weather. Fortunately, Passat and Junobe stopped by once in a while and watered the garden. For this reason, the trees, the lemon grass, sweet potato, basil, lavender, rosemary and others survived! Unfortunately, even with the watering, most of the tomatoes and cucumbers didn’t make it. However, the worms survived, which I was thrilled to see! What’s more, purslane, a very nutritious and edible “weed” showed up. It’s now all over the garden.

Since the holidays, I have planted some more tomatoes and taken over more sections of the CGE land with a lemon tree, apricot tree, bay tree, celery, lettuce, more pomegranates, rosemary, tomatoes, basil, lavender and mint. I’ve also planted some chillies and put in more worm towers.
But the most exciting news of all is the laundry water recycling system. A few weeks back, Passat and I installed a system whereby natural laundry detergent users can put the drain pipe of the laundry machine into a pipe which lets the water run out to the garden. We drilled a bunch of holes in a pipe and snaked it through a trench in the garden to distribute the water throughout. Users of synthetic laundry detergent can leave the drain pipe of the laundry machine in the sink, where the water runs out to the municipal sewerage as usual. Reusing water will become more and more important to people all over the world, so its fantastic to start getting familiar with such systems.