“When we look at what is truly sustainable, the only real model that has worked over long periods of time is the natural world.”
Author of the seminal book “Biomimicry”, 1997
Using nature’s lessons to meet modern challenges
What it is: In 2017, EWI began training farmers in the permaculture method. The method was established in 1974 in Tasmania by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. It came about after Millison noticed the alarmingly fast deterioration of land and sea through the industrialization of farming and fishing. Mollison and Holgren observed how nature when left alone produced amazingly abundant food for all species. They used nature’s ecosystems to promote a farming method that closely follows nature’s way.
Moreover, this concept has been further emphasized by proponents of biomimicry, a discipline that confront design and engineering problems needing solutions with the question: how did nature solve a similar problem? For millennia, nature has devised solutions that are sustainable, and meet needs of an amazing array of species, such capturing the sun’s power, desalinating water, surfaces that don’t allow bacteria to grow, and growing abundant food.
Permaculture mimics nature and restores or recreates ecosystems. That process enriches the soil, keeps soil’s moisture which reduces water usage, and combines compatible plants that nourish each other. It also takes into account the local microclimate, soil’s quality and other elements that affect farming. Today, permaculture is practiced throughout the world.
We train Haitian farmers in the practice of permaculture adapted to their present needs. In the mountains where we currently work, many farmers have come to the same conclusion and practice aspects of permaculture without ever having heard of it. Just by observing what works best, they have, for example, stopped tilling, and began pairing plants. Mr. Charles Lolgène, a Marre-Roseau farmer, has taken it farther than others: his farm thrives. With EWI’s help, farmers understand better why certain farming practices work and how to pair plants together to obtain best results.
Update: Our permaculture training continues through 2020. By then, we expect the method will be adopted by most Marre-Roseau farmers. Mr. Lolgène will join our team and help promote permaculture by demonstrating how he farms and his results.