Participants of a past permaculture class focused on vetiver grass. 21122203
A permaculture class focused on worm farming has been held by the newly formed non-governmental organisation called ‘Matie Ethical Care’ at the Permaculture Centre in Nikao on Monday.
Just under 20 people were present. The participants
were taught how to make their own worm farm at home with local resources.
Io Vakapora, chairman of Natura Kuki Airani Cook Islands was present and reminded the attendees on how worm farming
was important in improving the quality of crops.
Eric Gamez, founder of the Matie
Ethical Care, said that the main idea of the session was “to empower people with easy
skills so they can go home, replicate and improve what they have just learned”.
The group has just received its
organic certification for 2022 and are hoping soon to offer a blueprint system
for food security that people can adapt so they can have food to support their
family or an extra income.
As a young NGO their aim is to develop
different projects around sustainable ways of living, with one of those
projects being their permaculture classes for the community.
Permaculture was built
around principles in search of maximum efficiency in order to create a harmonious,
sustainable environment in which people can live and work. Matie Ethical Care
was inspired by the permaculture ethics – earth care, people care and fair share.
Gamez said that the NGO’s name was
inspired by the Maori word for the colour green which is ‘Matie’.
“Without nature and the green trees,
there will be no future for our kids. The classes are a great opportunity to
share knowledge around resilience, food security, organic growing, and more,”
They have held a number of different
classes surrounding permaculture which have all been a success. Classes to
share skills and knowledge around plants, how to do composting and mulching,
and learning about biodiversity have been some of the topics covered in the
“People’s feedback is great. As the charity
grows, we will be able to offer more activities and quality knowledge for our
community,” said Gamez.
During the time of the border closure,
the NGO has been able to grow and extend itself more to the community who have
developed the desire to go back to the land and learn how to live off it.
Matie Ethical Care had the chance to
finish their Permaculture Design Certificate which is a yearlong course and
implemented the teaching of their classes at the Permaculture Centre. They also just received
their organic certification for 2022 and are hoping soon to offer a blueprint
system for food security.
Through their classes they have been able
to explore crop density and diversity, companion planting, using natural
resources and fertilizer and be more efficient.
Gamez said: “We are pleased to see that
the skills we learned work really well without losing soil fertility. It’s
quite the opposite; soil is getting better and better with less input than with
conventional agriculture. Higher yields, higher quality in the food, and
health. It’s a win-win for everyone. That is why we decided to share it.”