Jonini-Frances Home Gardens
Shown below are several reports that vividly tell the story of these exceptional villages. These are added as embedded documents to make it easier to print them, if you are so inclined.
BELOW IS TIM WIGLEY'S COMMENTS FOLLOWING AN ATTEMPT TO VISIT JONINI
Thursday 8th November - Jonini
Winnie and I attempted to visit Jonini village as people in Sigingqini Village were not available due to a funeral.
I was looking forward to this visit as Winnie had often spoken about it and how it had been built among the acacia trees. Generally this is seen as a disadvantage, the feeling being that the area should have been cleared, but it could also be seen as an opportunity to establish forest gardens.
In traditional cultures, especially in the tropics, forest gardening was once widespread and provided people with food as well as numerous other resources such as fibres, firewood, timbers for building and fences as well as materials for craft work. Forest gardens not only give a secure food supply but also stimulate a range of rural livelihoods. They are also ecologically sound as they emulate the efficiency of natural forests which build soils and very effectively utilise rainfall and sunlight.
So instead of seeing the acacia trees as a problem they can be seen as very useful nitrogen fixing pioneer trees. They make the establishment of other productive trees so much easier and fruit and nut trees planted within the protection of a forest thrive with very little input and care and will even survive without any care at all. This is a striking contrast with what will happen to trees in a conventional orchard, which if neglected die off quite quickly.
After Winnie and I had to turn around because the road was impassable after the rain we observed what was happening where acacia trees have been established for some time. We could see how other indigenous trees are growing in the protection of the acacia trees. The succession process whereby degraded grassland is changing to forest was clearly observable.
This is a process we could work with in Jonini (and in fact anywhere) to develop a healthy productive environment.
BELOW IS WINNIE'S REPORT TO JONINI-FRANCES WITH ARTWELL CHIVHINGE -- A GREAT READ!