RSP Soil Class 2012! From left to right, Chisomo, Benjamin and Biswick.
At The Red Soil Project we’re taking soil building online. Last night, surrounded by a cloud of flying ants Benjamin, Chisomo, Biswick and I attended our first virtual class with Doug Weatherbee, a permaculture designer, trainer, soil food web advisor and a pretty cool Canadian. Despite the poor internet connections we have in Malawi and the one Doug has in Mexico we managed to talk for over two hours about compost, soil erosion and manure.
Working with Doug during this online course we will be exploring new locally available and creative solutions for improving soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilizers. Using different methods of composting, crop rotation and cover crop systems it’s possible to add nutrients and increase the soils organic matter, which leads to improved nutrition in food, increased plant health and greater water retention in the soil.
While we’re going through this class we’ll be working with Doug to develop an online training platform that will bring much needed knowledge to trainers in Africa, with the added benefit of having a much reduced carbon footprint. Using online technology, video and photography this concept presents a huge opportunity for future training.