DATE:23-25 March 2021
VENUE: Doris Chamane in Ozwathini
PARTICIPANTS: MDF: Erna, Nonto, Sipho, Lungelo, Thabani, Nkanyiso, Mazwi, Tema, Michael. AFRA: Nokuthula,
Ayanda and youth: Sibonsio Malinga, Nontobeko Zondi, Sabelo Malinga, Nokuthula Sithole and 6 local learning
group participants participants (English medium, translation to isiZulu). 24Participants in total.
CATERING: Water, juice fruit, meals (3xlunches)
Table 1: Intensive organic homestead food production training outline: 23-25 March 2021
Intensive gardening learning outline
Day 1
Natural farming
- Garden layout and
design; Orientation,
aspect, slope
Soil and water
Demos and practicals:
-Waterflow diagram
and design of cut off
drains etc
- Contours, line levels,
-Cut off drain, contour
ditches, infiltration
-Plant windbreak,
- Handouts
- Flip charts, stand, kokis x 10-20. Data
projector, leads, Screen (Sipho)
-Buy: line levels, poles (10x1,6m), string,
pegs, (Mazwi)
-Spades, picks, forks (Mazwi)
-Rocks and stones(Mazwi)
-Erna: Napier fodder, irises
-Buy: Aloes, lemongrass, Kei apples (Mazwi)
Day 2
Introduction to
natural soil
- Nutrient cycles
-Introduction to soils;
Physical, chemical,
- Manures, compost
-Bed design
-Liquid manure
CC, organic matter
- sausage and bottle
tests, discussion
- Practical demos:
Fertility pits
Trench beds
Shallow trenches
Animal and foliar feed
-On site: Min 6 bags grass and weeds, 6
bagsmanure (Mazwi), ash, bones, sticks,
-Banana tree seedlings (Tema)
-Buy 2 buckets w lids, orange pockets, milk,
sugar, bonemeal, lime
-Buy one large bin (50l)
Erna: Ash
Day 3
-Mixed cropping; crop
mixes for good nutrition
-Natural pest and
disease control
- Nutrition
Mixed cropping
Natural P&D control
-Seed bed preparation
-Planting a mixture of
seed and seedlings
-Pest control brews
3 -5
Buy: Herbs, multipurpose plants; parsley,
coriander, thyme, rosemary, garlic chives,
bulbinella, comfrey, fennel (Tema, Nonto)
Veg seed: selection of small packets,
Seedlings: Marigolds, Chinese cabbage,
mustard spinach, spring onions, (Tema,
The learning consisted of a combination of presentations, discussions, small group activities and practical
demonstrations and activities.
The indoor sessions consisted of talking through the issues to consider in garden layout, including waterflow,
slope, aspect, and wind. This was followed by a practical group exercise to carefully observe all these elements in
the garden and propose some solutions, according to those presented: e.g., stone lines, contour ditches,
diversion ditches, swales and check dams.
Figure 1: Above left: 2 small groups doing the garden walk and drawing their garden layout maps. Above centre: Tema and Madondo
drawing in their proposed solutions to observed issue and Above Right: Mr Wiseman Ndlovu from DARD presenting his groups layout map
to plenary.
The soil and water conservation practises were then presented in more detail and a group decision was made,
including Mrs Chamane about which interventions could be tried out.
It was decided to do one ditch and bund and two small stone lines on contour. Thereafter construction of line-
levels for measuring contours was demonstrated and participants worked in two groups to implement the
Figure 2: Above left: Doing the construction of a line level, Above centre; Doing a stone line and planting deep rooting irises behind the
stone line to spread out,, slow down and sink in the water that channels in between the houses and Above right: Doing contour bunds/
ridges at the edge of another house with severe run-off.
On the second day the presentations focused on soil types, structure and fertility and natural ways of improving
soil fertility. We discussed making compost, using different types of manure, where to find the main nutrients,
Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium from natural sources, bed design (mainly trench beds, but also eco-circles,
keyhole beds and shallow trenches) and liquid manures.
This was followed by a practical session of filling trench beds and constructing the small shade net tunnel over
the beds when completed.
Figure 3: Above left: Filling the 5m by 1m trench beds with organic material: manure, dried material and green or wet material and sol in
layers. Above centre: Placing the tunnel template over the bed to measure where the arches would be placed and Above right: bending
the metal arches (foreground) and sewing the netting together (background) in preparation for putting up the tunnel.
Figure 4: Right: Putting
up the arches by
pushing them into the
holes prepared, note
the two end arches
already have their
netting sewn on and
Far-Right: Finalising the
anchoring lines once
the archeshave been
put up and the netting
pulled over and sewn
onto theframes.
This was followed by a session on mixed cropping, discussing the principles of inter cropping, crop rotation, pest
repellent plants and positive plant associations. Small groups spent some time designing beds with crop
combinations according to these principles and then the seedlings brought were planted in the trench beds-
These were a mixture of herbs, flower and vegetables including for example marigolds, mustard spinach,
coriander, parsley, thyme, lemon grass, spring onions, kale, lettuce and chillies.
Figure 5: Right: AFRA
youth presenting their
crop combinations in
their beds to plenary
and Far right: Tema
discussing with the
group the planting of
a bed to a mixture of
crops crop
compatibility and
spacing are important
The thirdday was given to finalising the tunnel and plantingthe trench beds. Presentations and discussion
sessions were held on Natural pest and disease control and demonstrations were done for two pest control
brews (Chilli, garlic and soap and onion with paraffin). In addition, liquid manure preparation was demonstrated,
and a foliar feed was prepared which contains a wide range of ‘ingredients’ and is the organic version of a liquid
feed for plants.
Participants were all provided with training manuals and handouts in both English and isiZulu.
Below a short summary of training review comments from the participants:
We learnt a lot about tunnels, natural pest and disease control and how to control moles,
Learning about the brews was good, this will lead to less use of chemicals on our side,
MDF has helped the community a lot by brining Conservation Agriculture and now they are also doing this.
We will be growing a lot of health, beautiful crops. You love us and we appreciate that,
Thanks for the food we ate well,
We would lovemore trainings like this,
We learnt about soil types and how to make a garden and had a lovely time visiting this community (AFRA
youth who stayed over in Ozwathini),
We want to thank AFRA who gave us this opportunity. We will definitely implement what wehave learnt here,
We should encourage more youth to do this kind of work as it is worthwhile, and they need to take over form
the older members.