Podcast: Become one with nature through permaculture

In this podcast episode experts discuss a buzzword in agriculture - permaculture, a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature.

This week’s podcast features (from left): Gerry Weber, Ludwe Majiza, Lunathi Hlakanyane, Yvette Abrahams, Terence Lemula and Carolien Samson. Photos: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

There are many ways to define permaculture, but the common factor among all of them is that practitioners farm in such a way that they connect with nature and with their community.

Developed in the 1970s, permaculture is considered a way of life. It centres around 12 practical design principles how you can grow and farm more sustainably, but also how you can live a better, more planet-friendly life.  

For Gerry Weber, CEO of GreenBio and one of our guests this week, permaculture is all about water. He defines it as the maximising of water penetration and water retention on your soil.

“[It is] having multi crops from animals, integration, vegetables, trees, specifically production trees [and] fruit trees, all on the same contour line where your water goes on a zigzag down your farm. [That way] you can actually maximise the water that you get on your farm.”

Ludwe Majiza, a permaculturalist from the Eastern Cape, is another one of our guests this week. He explains that his favourite permaculture design principle is “Observe and interact”.

“When you are on your piece of land, when you are amongst people, it’s important to take note and interact with nature and be one with nature. So I’ll give you a practical example.

“When you are [implementing] permaculture design, before you can work on your property, you can do small things but you actually need 12 months to fully understand that cycle of nature. [This is] because there are four different seasons.”

Permaculturalist Ludwe Majiza

The first four seasons are meant for observation because from them, you can learn how your land interacts with the rain, the sun, and the elements during each season.

“You’d understand where your wet spots are, your dry spots, and then you’d go out and document all these things. And after the 12 months, you’d be able to work your land. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work your land immediately, but the first 12 months are very important to observe and interact with nature.”

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Other podcast highlights: 

This week’s Farmer’s Inside Track also has other highlights from the agricultural sector:

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