House Woman: Notes on Permaculture and Food Security in Malawi

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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

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

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

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