Nathanael Szobody

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since Apr 25, 2015
Boudamasa, Chad
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Recent posts by Nathanael Szobody

Great work Jan!

I agree, pearl millet is delicious. Locals here in Chad call it the king of grains. They thresh it in a large wooden mortar and pestle. Very effective.

Keep us posted!
And I'd love to get an update on this project.
1 month ago
Hi Eli, I'm thrilled to hear from you!! I will send you a "moosage" :-)
6 months ago
Sometimes I grow squash for the leaves alone! Chopped up in a stew or soup adds a fairly complex vegetable flavor. Any kind of squash.
7 months ago
Great to meet you Kevin! I have a sneaking suspicion that once you get into cultivating your own food you will find many health benefits...
7 months ago
There are a lot of good books out there that rehash the permaculture principles and ethics. I'll be content to refer to those works. When I work with farmers and gardeners, getting them to embrace a whole philosophy of living is a tough sell. That's no reason not to try--and in fact, the best way to convince them is to show them. They want to know how to make sure this year is productive and next year can be more productive. Subsistence farmers can't afford to experiment. So my aim with this book is to do just that: show them. I imagine a sort of reference book of techniques. Each page is a series of "how-to" photos of a particular technique. Like, a lasagna garden bed, or an agroforestry crop system on a slope, or a desert pit garden, and on and on. Each with its list of photos with step-by-step instructions and a drawing or two to highlight the important elements. In each section I would arrange the techniques from more arid environments to more humid. This way we hit the whole continent. It will be a big book. But we need big reference books--especially when we're in the bush and have no internet.

The permaculture principles and big-picture design will be present in four main ways:
1. The first chapter will be about nature's way of creating fertility. This will focus the aim of the book on patterns and strategies of nature.
2. An appendix that gives an overview of the ethics and principles established by the founders of permaculture.
3. The introduction to each section will give a "framework" in reference to the first chapter of the book, as well as introduce one key principle (from Holmgren) that will help the reader to process the value of the techniques being shown.
4. The organization of the book will be according to the 5 zones--techniques for each zone. Obviously, there will be overlap. But that is the strength of a reference book: you can refer the reader to relevant techniques in other sections of the book as well as include a very thorough index.

Is this sounding encyclopedic? Exactly. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.  

I've written a first draft of the introduction. If you care to read it, send me a moosage.
7 months ago

Bernhard Gruber wrote:First printed Permaculture booklet in Kiswahili

Fantastic book Bernhard! I look forward to seeing the English version
7 months ago

Jeremy R. Campbell wrote:I'd love to help.  Happy to draft, edit, research, support.  Though I bring no qualifications with regard to Africa in particular other than having been there for a short month of my life, and it being the beginning of my permaculture interest.  

Draft? Edit? Research? There's a return of surplus I can get excited about!!
7 months ago
Johan, you may be surprised. I live in Chad about half way between Egypt and Congo. I get eight months of dry season, comparable to a desert climate, and four months of rainy season just as wet as a rain forest. Not only that, but the northern two-thirds of this country is Sahara desert, while the southern border is year-round mountainous rain forest. If I were to write a book just for this country, it would have to include techniques that would apply both in Egypt and in Congo, depending on the season and region.

At the same time, there is a lot that is shared in common between Egypt and Congo--they're both hot! It is also surprising how many tree species are shared in common. Cultural elements are comparable as well, like free-range livestock and adobe building techniques.

If anything framework of reference can meet this uniquely challenging continent, it's permaculture.  
7 months ago
Well, that's less than a groundswell. I'll proceed on my own then. See you in the book review section.
7 months ago