Archive for February, 2012

House Woman: Notes on Permaculture and Food Security in Malawi

Monday, February 27th, 2012

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Draft video, 27 February 2012

In spring 2006, Ethel discussed permaculture and food security in Malawi with me. I wanted to educate myself on sustainable agricultural activities and how a Malawian practices permaculture. These issues interest me as part of a larger project to explore healthy (agricultural chemical-free) crops and alternative livelihoods for tobacco farmers and farm workers in Malawi. Ethel agreed to videotaped interviews over two days in different areas in her garden near Chitedze Trading Center, 14 kilometers north of Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city. In the 2000s, Ethel worked as a ‘house woman’ (domestic worker) for Stacia and Kristof Nordin. The Nordins are Malawi-based permaculture educators and advocates who operate http://www.NeverEndingFood.org

During her position with Stacia and Kristof, Ethel became a permaculturalist. The video is edited to showcase Ethel’s knowledge about farming indigenous plants and creating synergy among food, water, shelter and community.

Marty OtaƱez, Producer and Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department, University of Colorado, Denver
email: marty[dot]otanez[at]ucdenver[dot]edu
blogs: http://www.fairtradetobacco.org; http://www.dscoalition.org

Katrina Greschner, Assistant and Anthropology graduate student, University of Colorado, Denver

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Monday, February 13th, 2012

GASP is a Guernsey charity which aims to reduce the prevalence of smoking among the young people of Guernsey.

Being aware of tobacco cultivation and learning about its origins is an important part of this education.

The Ana A Topa project helps farmers in Malawi grow maize instead of tobacco in a more environmental friendly way. This will not only benefit the environment but give tobacco farmers more food and profit. In turn, this can return their hope and help them out of poverty.

This video (7 mins.) shows what life is like for tobacco farmers and farm workers in Malawi.