our aim is to resacitate this system and add some more production ingredients that are ecologically compatable!!.we aren't backwards but we are extremely frontward coz we had already discovered the wall that morden chemical and mechanical farming is going to bang on.We had turned and the majority is still going.whats wrong with this old tradition?
Settling patterns may differ, for example , most Bantu, stretching from the Cape to Kenya, do not settle in large compounds. Each family settles within reach of a communal water supply such as a river. So individually family housing units may be quite widely spread but always close to water and the communal grazing which obviously also needs to be close to water. All the other requirements as illustrated in the video are present. The grazing is communal but each individuals cattle are kraaled in the sacred family kraal at the homestead and are not communally owned. The manure collected from the overnighting of cattle is collected at the beginning of each planting season and spread on the arable lands. One bovine provides sufficient manure for one acre.
In many areas the grain is stored under the kraal. Heavy ammonia from the urine filters through the soil into the sealed store. No chemicals are needed to control pests or fungi.
Each arable land is close to the family home and once more is not communally owned. The system does not allow for "beef production" so no individual or family may own more cattle than is required for plowing and transport, family milk and meat and rituals. The arable lands are to supply food, beer and medicine for the family and not for commercial crops such as cotton etc.
Whenever work is required to be done which an individual family cannot cope with, the burden of seasonal work is shared by the members of the community. For example it is usual for careful hand cultivation with a hoe, to be shared with the community. Hand cultivation is necessary because intercropping is the usual practice. The community will circulate from from arable land to arable land until each family's fields have been completed. This requires some careful planning by the women, who brew the traditional umqomboti or doro, (sorghum beer) which is an essential part of the system. This takes seven days to ferment so requires some joint planning by all the families so that there is no overlapping. This 'nhimbe system' of communal help is an important part of communal living. The building of a new cattle kraal or the building of a new house requiring help for the collection of thatching grass, mud and manure for the walls and floor, is shared. Ritual beer is essential to bless the labour and the project.
Rather than buying or bartering, the ubique communal spirit of 'ubuntu' is illustrated by the borrowing of a broody hen from one person and the borrowing of a dozen eggs from another. When the eggs have hatched, the hen is kept with the chicks until she lays a dozen eggs. By this the chicks can look after themselves. The hen is returned to the owner and so are the twelve eggs. The owner of the new eggs has now acquired some genetic diversity for his flock.
In a modern agro-ecological system, using this already perfect system as the foundation, the addition of a biodigester might require some thought as to storing the effluent from the digester in an efficient manner, not to upset the tradition of spreading the manure at planting time.