The Nursery Project at Zvokuitirwa Village is a direct result of a Nursery Skills workshop that we ran in 2018. Two members of the Chaseyama Permaculture Club (CPC) at Zvokuitirwa Village (15km from PORET’s Centre), attended the workshop and then identified a perfect place to set up a Village Nursery. It is located centrally, by the communal water pump, which keeps water storage costs low. The Kraal Head of Zvokuitirwa agreed that the 20m x 32m site could be used for growing fruit trees, indigenous trees and other seedlings needed by the community.
Currently there are 26 members (4 men, 22 women) of the club. The members say that due to the nursery garden, there is a higher level of group cohesion and cooperation in the village. The group has gained knowledge on how to work effectively with stakeholders especially the village head and on how to propagate plants.
Over 4,350 trees have been planted in bags over the last year. These include pod mahogany, snot apple, flamboyant, red mahogany, baobab, musau, avocado, mango, pawpaw, granadilla, guava, lemon and mulberry. 60 trees have been shared among 12 members (5 trees per person) for planting at their homes as a measure towards climate change mitigation and food security.
The members also constructed a swale which harvests runoff from the top part of the fenced area. Some pawpaw trees were planted along the swale bringing a design to the area as well as reclaiming a gully and reducing soil erosion.
The club is starting to use the space for village functions such as ISALS (a microfinance scheme) and are working on mobilising other members to work towards sustainable community initiatives. Club members are bringing compost and locally found seeds. Those who have more knowledge on nursery skills are contributing it for the success of the nursery garden. The group has a plan for the Nursery garden which they are using in the implementation of activities. The members are working in two groups of 13 members each. They hold a meeting on the last Thursday of the month. The keys of the garden gate are kept by leaders of the group who monitor the project on a daily basis.
The group has begun to plant fruit trees at the edges of the Nursery site. They would also like to dig a hole for the toilet, continue to do pot filling, planting trees, reclaiming the other gulley close by, constructing a shade for weather changes and moulding bricks for construction of the toilet and shade construction. The group’s ambition is to propagate 10,000 trees in the nursery in 2020.