I met Solomon Amuzu. Founder and Director of Call To Nature Permaculture, through our mutual work on Extinction Radio. The first thing that struck me, as I am sure it did everyone who listened to his very informative Permaculture Updates, was his competence, knowledge and his great enthusiasm for regenerative agriculture as an answer both to human food security and to environmental challenges in his hometown of Accra, Ghana. Recently, Solomon allowed me to interview him about his various projects and his hopes for the future.
The first question I asked Solomon was how he had heard of permaculture and what attracted him to it. “I learnt permaculture with Gregg Knibbs, an Australian teacher to Ghana.” He was inspired to take that course by an American Peace Corp volunteer named Kate Schachter, whom he describes as “a friend, a mother and a mentor .” Like so many of us, Solomon developed “new eyes” to see the world through permaculture,
“I got interested looking back and seeing how modern agriculture is causing harm to the land and the people through the use of poisonous chemicals.”
He became convinced that earth care, people care and fair share (the foundational ethical principles of permaculture) were a better answer. Solomon immediately took action to help out in his community. He identified three primary goals: grey water systems could improve water management for greater yields, school gardens would engage kids and ensure they had access to healthier, organic produce and more trees should be planted to fight climate change.
“I was able to raise about 10,000 trees and planted them in many schools in Ghana, even with no financial support.”
Then Solomon lost all motivation. He told me, he became bored and that’s when his friend Kate stepped in again and facilitated his enrolment at Kumasi Institute Of Tropical Agriculture. He graduated in 2010 and went home to Accra. “i decided again to continue with the project i never wanted to do again and there came by the name Call to nature ( which really means i have been called to work with nature).”
I really like this part of Solomon’s story, and i relate to it. How many times have i started out with enthusiasm, then grown bored or frustrated and dropped a project, only to find, years later, life has somehow brought me back to it again, with renewed passion. I also love the way he felt “called” by Nature to care for Her. It’s a beautiful image and an apt name for the project he then formally founded with Samuel Badu Adotey
Rachael Yussif Ramatu. All of them are still under 30. Which is pretty impressive, especially when you consider what they have already accomplished.
Solomon and his friends have not only created gardens for schools, they also share their skills through permaculture education,especially by helping local farmers to incorporate more productive and ecologically sound design and techniques into their farming methods. They are actively restoring the marginal lands around their community, particularly those degraded through road building projects. They are planting trees, teaching and modelling methods beneficial to humans and nature through alley farming and tree planting.
Recently, Solomon shared with me his advice and information about how he is managing animals in the landscape. For example, he is currently training chickens to prefer a particularly destructive insect thats been infesting local crops. It’s impossible to talk to Solomon about his regenerative work without being impressed and deeply moved by his intelligence, knowledge and deep passion for people and the planet.
If you want to help Solomon, Rachael and Samuel with their Ghanian permaculture initiatives, you can donate through their fundraising campaign. http://www.gofundme.com/n894jw
To contact Solomon directly: Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: calltonature7035 Call: +233 (0) 204447035 +233 (0) 571325776 or just drop in on Facebook: Solomon Amuzu