Re: Must all good things come to an end?
- (Apologies for those who recieved this update already...)First, thank you to everyone who wrote with ideas and support. We did lose the plot, there just wasn't time to develop our work into a formal project, the ministry moved up our date to move out to 15 August, so we just had to concentrate on moving. But, all is working out splendidly. We are renting our worker's house just outside of Chitedze in the back near the market and bottle stores, but far enough away that it is great. Funny thing is, we financed the whole purchase of the land and building of the house over the past 2 years!The connections that we are making through the whole process has been AMAZING and the topper is that the new occupant of our house (a single young woman, just graduated form University) spent 3 days with us, had a tour of the gardens and really seemed to get it. I gave her pictures to keep of the before and after, a description of what we did and a list of the foods growing in the yard. It was great to get to spend time with her & she even said that she appreciates everything that we are leaving to her. There is a good chance that she won't clear and burn it all (although I won't get my hopes up too high!).We are excited about the potential of this new place, it has almost nothing growing on it and we've started planning what will go where - taking lots of pictures of the process of course.Our work is finding its way into lots of peoples' lives, and I know it will root itself into a program someday. Right now it is our life, and we share it! Attached is a map to our new place - come on out and see us (feel free to bring a local plant or some local seeds that you think we might not have!)Stacia, Kristof & Khalidwe Nordin----- Original Message -----From: Kristof & Stacia NordinSent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 8:23 AMSubject: Must all good things come to an end?
Dear friends and colleagues:
Many of you have benefited from the work that Kristof and Stacia Nordin have been doing in Chitedze over the past 6 years. Youve come to see the gardens, learn about methods for improving your soil, and view ideas for recycling grey water. Youve learned about Malawis multitude of local food options, what these foods look like, and how to use them. Youve come to collect seeds and learn how to establish similar agricultural systems where you live. Youve sent hundreds of people to our house including: groups of home based care volunteers, extension workers, farmers, students, gardeners, and project staff members all who are working towards the improvement of community health and agriculture in Malawi. Youve told many people about our work and we have been asked to speak at your meetings, to show the display of local foods, to participate in World Food Day and other health fairs, to write articles, and to conduct week-long workshops. We have been able to teach about these issues locally, throughout Malawi, and even on an international basisall due to the research that has been conducted at our demonstration plot here at the Chitedze Agricultural Research Station.
This may all be ending.
The research that we have done with local foods and environmental rehabilitation methods has been a private project, so Chitedze Agricultural Research Station has told us that we will have to move unless we have the backing of an institution that links us to the Research Station. The Ministry of Agriculture has told us that they are unable to formulate an agreement with individuals, so they are suggesting that we find another institution to back us. They have given us until 22 August to come up with a solution.
That is where each of you come in. We are hoping that those of you who benefited from the work we have been doing can help us to find an organization that would be willing to integrate our on-going research into food security and the application of local foods within one of their projects. We need someone that already has, or can quickly draw up, an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture to formalize our research and to bring it into the mainstream agricultural research. Someone working with horticulture or plant genetic resources would be a great match for our own research and work. Funding is not an issue, we have currently been volunteering our time to do this type of work and would continue to do so because we believe so strongly in the benefits that these ideas can bring to individuals and communities. We have also offered to personally pay the rent that Chitedze is asking for this plot, so that we may continue to develop it for demonstration and research purposes.
We envision our work becoming a model for all housing and offices in Malawi a building and plot which provides more food and medicines than the household can consume, recycling of all nutrients, use of appropriate energy technologies (such as solar), and creative water catchment methods. This would be achieved through continued research, application of the lessons learned, teaching and demonstration.
The demonstration plot that has been developed in Chitedze over the last six years is truly unique, perhaps only one of about three or four in the entire country in terms of being able to show hands-on examples of this type of agriculture. This plot has been used extensively for teaching about the potential that Malawi holds to end the annual cycles of hungry seasons, weak immune systems, malnutrition, and environmental degradation. It would truly be a shame to see all of these efforts come to a halt due to a lack of support for this type of work.
If you have any ideas that could assist us to link with a formal research institution within the Ministry of Agriculture, or if you are willing to write a letter of support for the work that we are doing, please contact us as soon as possible at:
PO Box 208, Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa
w tel: (+265) (0) 1-757-157 or 1-757-667
w fax: (+265) (0) 1-751-008
h tel: (+265) (0) 1-707-213
c tel: (+265) (0) 9-960-613 (Stacia)
c tel: (+265) (0) 9-926-153 (Kristof)
(do not dial 0 internationally)
Thank you for your years of support,
Kristof J. Nordin, BSW
Stacia M. Nordin, RD