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Rufaro Makamure

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since Dec 07, 2016
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Recent posts by Rufaro Makamure

Thank you, we are all okay.

Yes, currently we seem to be getting a number of things right. It seems all the elements to grow food are available and the gap is in understanding how each component can benefit us.
19 hours ago
We have increased the amount of feed we put in chomolia beds. We have been using Russian comfrey, cow dung, goat manure together with compost we got from the kitchen compost.

The suckers we are planting are giving us less problems. We have also managed to grow beans on a small portion of the field and they are also growing well.
1 day ago
We now have the virus in our country and today the prices have started rising and basic commodities are starting to run out as borders around us are closing, all of the effort from the past years is paying off now. We might have other issues to deal with but we have enough food from the plot, for a couple months.
2 months ago
The core principles we managed to extract are, Self-sufficiency, People care, Accountability, Reinvestment and Health consciousness.

AIMING FOR SELF SUFFICIENCY: - There is no doubt that this works in stabilising the economy, alleviating poverty or minimising the impact of hunger. The period just before 1980 proved that an earnest effort put in using available resources and reinvesting profits, to provide for the daily necessities, works. But it has to be coupled with other principles in order to create sustainability, for instance, in the late 70s, growth of the economy was affected by war and sanctions, because the principle of people care had not been given much consideration. The other contributing factor to the reduced rate of economic growth was beyond anyone’s control, a ‘global recession’.
This is made clear by a continuously growing high budget deficit since after independence. It does not matter whether the intention is a good one or a bad one, as long as more is being taken than is coming in, the end is always a deficit.  For example redistributive objectives were a great move, but they could have looked at a bite sizeable and realistic approach until they could afford to finance a bigger aim. Then a more self-centred act was the failure to adjust expenditure because of fear of political unpopularity. All the other things which occurred and further crippled the economy, are more of effects of the desperate environment caused by over spending, against minimum production, and a motive which drove away attention from productive activities. This led to actions that were not, well thought of or fully assessed and some ideas would be partially implemented and again lack of people care increased as the decades progressed and this brought back sanctions. Decline in input availability, collapse in savings and investment, high production costs…etc., are some of the products of this environment.
We need to put some conscious effort in aiming for a healthy lifestyle, in the food we eat, how we keep our environment…etc. We need to strive for more than just feeling our stomachs. The HIV/AIDS pandemic reduced the human capital and left a considerable number of dependence and this negatively impacted productivity. This is one example of how health has a great impact on sustainability.

We constantly witness similar decisions at a micro level, as at the national level. We barely make well informed assessments of critical things, from basic things to small business start-ups and income generating projects, and they almost always flop or never grow into long term businesses (in any field). Examples:  A need to fit into a certain lifestyle at all cost, has seen a boom in the building of big houses and buying of cars, and no attention is paid to what the pocket can truly afford. We are also sometimes expected to care for extended family without consideration of whether it is sustainable or not. These are just but a few examples of how we are all at fault both at macro and micro levels in the ability to account and balance our expenditure vs. our income be it, it is for a good cause or a selfish gain.
As for self-sufficiency and health, currently, having a lot of money and “looking successful” takes precedence.
The greatest thing about the above is all these things are very achievable though at different degrees maybe depending on exposure, coupled with economic and social status.
2 months ago
We are almost done with reading the paper on 'Historical Perspective on Zimbabwe's Economic Performance' and we analyze as we go. It seems like there are a bunch of things that have affected growth of the country, that connect with basic decision making, that can also apply to individual choices we make. Some of these decision making habits have affected us in our attempt to come up with a sustainable plot.

Last Sunday was the first time we actually watched on the news the impacts the virus has had and it is alarming. It reinforced how we are now global citizens, literally. A small action by anyone anywhere can have an influence that we cannot correctly imagine, positively or negatively. As I listened to efforts being put by all the people across the globe, I only wish there is more we could offer as input too, to help others, other than try to keep the disease from spreading. Looking at our national GDP Graphs that fall in the negative zone, in the paper we are reading, it is clear some people from the global community supported us as a nation, and maybe still are, and we are so sorry a lot of families have been affected badly.
2 months ago
We have harvested just less than a quarter of our maize. All along, we would convert our yield into monetary term, this year we will do it differently. We took no money, from ourselves or from friends in the growing of maize throughout the whole season, which is so great. Our approach now is that, we will not buy any mealie meal, until our maize is finished. That way we can determine whether the whole maize growing is worth our time and energy, if we last three months and beyond. Anything less than three months will be a loss to us, because maize growing demands roughly three months of our time and energy.

We also finally planted the chomolia suckers, the wait seemed endless. It was easier keeping busy at growing suckers every weekend, with no certainty of whether they would grow or not. Having suckers in a small space felt like we were not doing anything. Now we can practically compare the benefits of nursing vs directly planting in beds.

I found a paper beautifully written, that l have started discussing with mother to help understand a little about economics (starting with our own country), the long term aim is to reduce subjective perspectives on poverty and its causes and have a more objective understanding of our situation. I have attached the link and l will share our discussions as we discuss. After appreciating where we stand in terms of how our resources are benefiting us (or not) as a country, l can then use other nations which were once in economic crisis but managed to improve, and from these we can try to come up with principles that we can scale down to family level.

2 months ago
It is a really good morning today. I woke up to these beautiful images of my sister and my sister inlaw showing off their harvest. There is always some fresh energy that comes when there is a tiny bit of light that, changes, no matter how small are happening.

Getting hands dirty growing food, had become unpopular unless if it involved a commercial area. Seeing these two proud like this is a huge stride.

Part of our deliberate inclusion of family in what we are developing at home has been to share most things on WhatsApp and this is where the images were posted, which will certainly be contageous depending on how we handle it, thereby cementing a certain way of thinking which is pro an abundant lifestyle..... exciting times ahead....!!!
2 months ago
We are now looking for plants that we can use for decorative purposes that are drought resistant to replace the lawn and randomly picked flowers that we have. A nursery in town has a limited number and they do not have the names of the plants, which shows how unpopular they are.  

We have also been going through the decision making process, to add onto steps in being more effective. It directed me to history, it is a dream to the majority of us to relocate to a first world country and I wanted to know how stability in the developed world came to be. From the few articles so far, there are periods centuries ago (l started with European history) that are a mirror reflection of what l see today. I believe one little privilege of lagging behind is, if we are willing to learn, we can avoid some of the mistakes that were done as people worked on improving their living conditions.
2 months ago
We now have more than 9 new trees successfully growing at the plot and it's exciting. Some are of the same type.
3 months ago
It has been raining consistently since the end of January. We decided to start with the front yard, which now had so much weeds coming through the stones that I put earlier. We did the same thing, talking about exactly what we want to achieve and we want
  • a portion just after the lawn that does not grow anything, with minimum maintenance
  • Lawn and flower area that stays green with minimum watering requirements
  • .  

    So again I am adding more stone which I am getting from yet another pile of rubble that was dumped by the road side. I want to first try to achieve weed suppression using most available and least costly material and also a pile of rubble along the side of the road is a sure attraction for dumping of garbage in the future. I decided to first put cardboard boxes, also using waste material, to stop the weeds for a while. If this time it doesn't work, the next step is to buy quarry stone, which seems to be working just fine on other people's yards.  And this time is the best time to see this, the weeds we pulled out end of last week are already coming out. As or the lawn area, we have decided to put succulents in place of the lawn and the flowers as they are more drought resistant. We have not picked on the actual plants we will use.  

    3 months ago