The future of farming may very well lie in scientific progress, economic interventions, and binding international agreements, but none of these approaches will succeed without buy-in from those who matter most – the farmers themselves. To be specific, young farmers, who are the future of farming.
In this regard we (TG) had an opportunity to chat with Linda Gabriel (LG) one of the guys making an impact on the farming at household level.
Staff: Who is Linda Gabriel?
LG: I am a permaculturist, envrinmentalist and a spokenword artist
Staff: Tell us about your portfolio?
LG: My portfolio centers on food Insecurity Solutions, Nutrition, Community Gardens and Climate Smart Agriculture.
Staff: Interesting, Take us through your works…
LG: My work allows room to create an eco-friendly environment. My hope is to raise awareness on how to be intentionally conscious on nutritional value and healthy living
Staff: How has been the process fitting in this new role, from poet to permaculture expert?
LG: This comes to me as a calling, driven by wanting to be change I want to see. I am a woman who is passionate about permaculture and the environment. this new role allows me to empowering individuals, households and communities with organic food gardening skills so they can thrive on being self-sufficient.
Staff: Any challenges?
LG: One of the main challenges is realizing the amount of mind set shifting that our own people have to go through. For example shifting the ways food gardening has been done for years in our communities, I will speak of crop rotation, and companion planting, people will just plant covo for 36 years of their lives, same garden.
Staff: And how did you manage to tackle them?
LG: First by being a living example, walking the talk, secondly I facilitate workshops, sharing information on social media and radio
Staff: Your focus area is food security at household level, how is this relevant to the Zimbabwean concept?
LG: My concepts are about self-sustenance, building from what you have up to value addition at household level, inclusion of herbs, improving nutrition to lessen malnutrition, seed saving and harvesting, maximum use of land and designing integrated systems. My work response to cases of malnutrition, hunger and the environment we live in. Permaculture techniques allows households to grow more nutritious foods in abundance, save surplus for off season and make an extra income from selling the surplus
Staff: Often times, youth complain about rural life, how have you managed to change that narrative?
LG: Home is a concept, you have to create it for yourself, knowing who you are helps in this process. Moving to the rural was ideal for me, because rural land was easy to access, and the freedom of having enough room to practice permaculture and environmentalism. Who does not love fresh air and the sound of chirping birds.
Staff: We love to have that feel also. Your major successes so far?
LG: I did the Friendship Bench Zimbabwe project between Feb– March 2020 at Glen View Polyclinic and in Milton park. I facilitated two workshops were I trained community health workers on food gardening as a form of therapy. In Mt Pleasant, we did the Mukanganwi Residence between November 2019 and March 2020.
Staff: We are going to have a part two on you since we have a lot to discuss Linda
LG: ‘laughing’ you need to come with a diary
Staff: We hope to engage more on part two of this conversation, what are your parting words?
LG: Live the life you love, and be change you want to see (stop complaining) be part of the solution