Maureen Njeri

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since Apr 28, 2016
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Recent posts by Maureen Njeri

Thank you Daron for posting this and being so open about traffic and earnings. It definitely gives one new ideas on the establishment of a blog. Thank you. And yes, I've read your blog through links from the related permies posts.
1 month ago
Hi Dale,

As a native Kenyan, I second Maureen's comments. Yeah sure it sounds really bad, but it's true, human nature being what it is. Be safe during your visit please.
1 year ago
Hi Maureen

I love your project thread and I thank you for keeping us updated. I wish you more and more success.

Would the fruit you're talking about be a cape gooseberry or a tomatillo? I am not good at plant identification but we have a similar looking fruit here in Kiambu, referred to as nathi.

On your problems with neighbours and employees, have you considered that it could be witchcraft? I used to live in an urban area and with my faith, discounted such stories but having lived in a rural set up recently and seen what I've seen, I would be remiss to not inform you of the sad possibility.😔
1 year ago
True, Paul does advocate for wood chips as a covering. He prefers them to other types he has tried (straw, grass clippings, leaves, manure, rock). My understanding of the basic premise of Back to Eden gardening is a covering for the soil. Covering does not necessarily equal wood chips.

Imported wood chips may not be viable in all situations and does not create the closed system as per your definition. I think that a covering in it's various forms from one's garden may be obtainable and aid in creating a closed system with animals that is abundant over the years. At least that is my hope for when I get my own land.
2 years ago
@ Tyler,

Yes, Paul does import wood chips. The wood chips generally go to the orchard, not the garden. I see the importation of wood chips as taking advantage of a waste stream that would otherwise probably go to a dump or landfill.

With regard to the garden, Paul puts a cover of compost on which he grows his vegetables. The veggies feed him and their waste goes to the chicken. The chicken eat some of this and aid in the composting of the rest. Outputs are eggs and compost. Eggs get eaten, compost goes back to the garden. Yard and kitchen waste also goes to the chicken.

I see this i.e. the chicken and the garden as a closed system. I am a newbie to permaculture and don't have a farming/agriculture background. Am I missing something?
2 years ago
@ Tyler,

A possible example of a closed system is Paul Gautschi of the Back to Eden Organic Gardening Film and chickens. He has at least 30 chicken in a house and run setup. He feeds them solely with his kitchen, yard and garden waste and he gets fertilized eggs and compost that he cycles back to his garden.

Now Paul doesn't hatch the eggs as he doesn't want to deal with that many roosters and prefers getting chicks when he is low on hens and he does buy chick feed at that stage. However, if one decides to hatch their own chicks, I think one can use his model as a closed system.

Paul once had his friend's 53 adult sheep on his 1 1/4 acre pasture from June - October and they didn't get his grass down. The carrying capacity for his area is 5 sheep per acre. The pasture is downgrade from his orchard (has wood chip mulch as a cover) and garden (has compost as a cover) and is fed from them.
2 years ago

I hope too that something good comes out of it. I do hope that they'll have a report of work done so far and the successes. Let's wait and see.


Thank you for the detailed explanation of the Zai pits. I'll go through the downloads.
2 years ago
Oh, forgot to mention that most areas in arid Africa depend on rainfed agriculture. Little irrigation takes place at the subsistence level and thus Zai holes in whatever modified form are revolutionary as they allow for a, dare I say bountiful, harvest with little rains.

You may thus not need to irrigate and you're trees may survive/be less stressed/ok/thrive with a dry spring.
2 years ago
Dear Kostas,

You're welcome.

I do not know much about the great green wall. Most of my information came from agricultural videos on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration in the Sahel and parts of Ethiopia. Probably a part of it. FMNR has had a lot of success. You may Google the following: Yacouba
Sawadogo, FMNR, Zai holes/pits/technology, stone berms for more information.

My understanding of the Zai holes is that they are like tiny swales you
amend and plant in. Since they manage water runoff and allow for water infiltration, they may allow your trees to be more resilient to little rainfall.

See this story in Kenya:

2 years ago
Hi Kostas,

An idea for you, Zai holes.

Zai holes are small holes that are amended with manure or compost, where crops are planted. The hole plus the organic matter allow for slow seepage of water into the land providing an environment for crops to grow in arid areas.

They have been used with great success extensively to regenerate pastures in the Sahel; intensively to regenerate forests and grow food in the Sahel; and intensively to grow vegetables in arid areas in East Africa.

A tree seed and other seeds (grasses, cereals or even veggies) can be sown in the Zai hole. This allows for covering of the ground by the tree and/or grasses and food production or whatever variable you hope to attain.
2 years ago