It’s slightly ironic that I have finally escaped town/apartment life to live on a farm and have ample room to grow my own food but that farm happens to be in the driest part of Africa south of the Sahara. I’ve struggled with gardening for a few years now, occasionally reaping harvests of tomatoes or zucchinis but my plants are often sabotaged by bugs or droughts or other such things. I’ve not given up though.
This year I’m knuckling down. Not only could our farm be more self-sustaining (like cutting loose the imported food and fuel), it could prove that even in a place as seemingly inhospitable as Namibia, people can provide for themselves. Governments, the UN, NGOs and universities are in the news a lot these days making official statements from their plethora of conventions about how things such as food security, poverty eradication, combating desertification, and soil and water conservation should be at the top of our list of things to do. But when I go to the websites of these organizations looking for info about what I can do in my own area, I find only mission statements and visions and proposals. Where are the stories of feeding people, restoring land, and what’s actually being done? It seems we have to make those stories ourselves.
So with Jay’s engineering-genius help, we’re going to make the farm our story, the story of what can be done in semi-desert country. And I’m going to share what we find, learn, and royally muck up here. I hope it will be a resource to others in dryland situations. And to those other people, if you find me, please feel free to share your own ideas, tips, materials, successes and failures. I know there’s an awful lot of people, in this country alone, who could benefit from it.