Midlands Foodies in May
(by Nikki Brighton)
Xola Keswa – an Organic Journey in Food
Xola Keswa cannot pass a pile of rotting logs or heap of dry leaves without thinking how useful they would be in a food garden. “We are surrounded by so many valuable resources. There should be food growing everywhere. Unfortunately, many people still throw these resources away.”
Xola didn’t always see things this way, starting his journey by studying Primary Agriculture. “I had spent a lot of time with my Gran in her garden on a farm in Ixopo. She always used to tell me I could be like my grandfather – who had made a successful life for his family, growing food. I loved being outdoors in nature and I was curious about how people really grew food.”
Xola soon rebelled against the mainstream commercial practices and started asking questions that his lecturers couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer. “Why do we have to use all these machines? So many chemicals? Is there no other way?” Google became his favourite teacher in his search for a better, more natural way. The word organic kept popping up on screen.
Driven by his curiosity, Xola started to explore on his own. He volunteered with many organisations, learning, networking and developing all the time. With Food and Trees for Africa his completed a Permaculture Design Course and volunteered on their projects. In 2012 he spent a few months at Dovehouse Organic Farm with Paul Duncan and Mary Mlambo, which cemented his determination to grow food. “I started to realise that the best permaculturist is the guy who has the most info and imagination. Those are the most precious resources. With that you can achieve anything.”
Xola’s journey has certainly been organic. He makes the most of every chance to learn new things and meet new people, grasping opportunities to explore forests and mountains, grasslands,township gardens, farms and urban landscapes. In the process building knowledge that will help him meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world, and assist others to become more resilient in the face of climate change and diminishing resources. “A permaculture garden can provide for your needs as well as benefit those around you – it is the path to abundance, health and freedom. Just put on your permaculture glasses and have another look around you – you will be amazed!” he declares with a grin.
Contact Xola at Organic Matters for a quote to design and implement a bountiful and resilient garden of your own. 074 490 1136 email@example.com