Our established 3.7 acre demonstration farm has a total of 17 integrated agricultural systems, which serve as an example for small farmers.
With greater unpredictablity in the weather patterns, a core part of the training in agro-ecology has been to encourage climate change mitigation techniques, including using contours, manure, tree planting, mulching, collection of plastic, and ensuring in every home there is water collection area. This should help protect small farms against fluctuations in the climate. Promoting the importance of soil and the natural environment is also important in safeguarding farms for the future and through St Jude training farmers learn to ‘feed the soil so that it feeds you’, and are giving much more respect to the land.
The Community Based Trainers have created an effective, sustainable approach for the groups, with follow up visits in the communities after the training to help encourage continuation.
Using theories of agro-ecology, we show how you can maximise the use of space for vegetable gardens, using reclaimed materials to make raised and vertical beds, as well as through intercropping, forest gardening, and permaculture.
Many agro-ecological systems rely on natural processes to deal with pests, so we will teach farmers the benefits of the natural world and show them how to encourage beneficial wildlife into their farms.
We keep zero-grazing cows and goats, pigs, and poultry on the farm. Our demonstration shows how you can maximise your space and income from keeping animals, and maintain their health and welfare. Through integrated agriculture, we show how farmers can maximise farm productivity and minimise waste by feeding byproducts back into other activities on the farm, for example using biogas from cow dung.