On the return journey of a recent field trip to irrigation sites in the Malawian lakeshore district Salima, we practically stumbled upon a local windmill. Tucked behind an acacia grove, so invisible to the many cyclists and motorists passing by, a recent high school graduate had been busy making his dream machine: a windmill generator/water pump.
These gems are found throughout the world if only we could find them all!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Even as a club, making a heap of compost and manure like this is tiring, especially during nthawi ya njala (that is, time of hunger: the colloquial name for the months of January-March). Caloric intake is down, but so are traditional work loads; cultivation is finished, harvesting is pending, and there's little to do on the farms, traditionally. But modern farming, sustainable farming, is a year round endeavor.
Of course, if you do it wrong, this compost could have a low nutrient content or take ages to decompose into a usable substance. No one said it didn't take some skill. But it is worth the effort, and the farmers tend to pick up their feet a bit higher once they can quantify the fruits of their labour.
So far we have seen some very good work from farmers and we look forward to seeing how far they take the skills when we are not around to watch each step.