The title photo illustrates two of the reasons you are supporting Call to Nature Permaculture. One is because our main crop is Moringa, one of Nature's superfoods, and you want us to be able to bring it to the marketplace so that we can continue our pro bono community work as a permaculture teacher and a provider of organic produce - the second reason you support us. So the title photo is Kofi, one of our students, learning how to cultivate young Moringa plants. I'll talk about support after I finish showing you the rest of the photos, attached.
If you've been following Call to Nature Permaculture on Facebook, you know that we got an intern! Timo is a fourth-year student in geography at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. He is interested in sustainable food management and "gentle agriculture" to support compatible and conscious farming in mutual relationship with the environment. The basic focus of his studies is on the atmospheric circulation and the impact of climate variability on the human living environment and on agriculture. Timo started working at the beginning of March and will be with us for three months. He has been both a strong helper on the land and a patient teacher with Kofi and the other volunteers.
In the first attached picture, Timo is mixing BioChar and poultry litter to create an amendment that helps soil retain moisture and carbon and supports healthy soil microbes. Next you see Mary spreading this mixture on the crop bed to create a rich topsoil. Then Timo can transplant the baby Arugula from the starter plots where it has become too crowded into the bed where it can spread, grow, and mature (third picture, attached). The last two attached pictures show Timo using a combination of explanation and hands-on practice to student-teach the volunteers about cultivating Moringa.
In summary, the crops are doing very well, and we expect to have more of a yield than we're equipped to manage, which leads me to the issue of support.
The good news is that one of our Patrons provided the purchase price of a used laptop from a local merchant, so now I can take care of my desk-work at home in the evening instead of using precious farm time to go to the internet cafe. And you are now one of eight Patrons supporting Call to Nature Permaculture for a total of $90 to $100, depending on where on this site you look.
And therein lies the not-so-good news. Our income from Patreon is being eaten by service charges and currency exchange fees! These are per-transaction fees, not percentages like interest on a loan, so they amount to about 20%. In other words, the fees and charges would be the same no matter the total monthly amount. So last month, I had just enough to upgrade the new used laptop for wireless - certainly not enough to build the drying room for the Moringa crop, never mind to purchase milling equipment!
Those monthly fees and charges are also the same no matter how many Patrons are contributing. That's important because we know there are people who would like to make a one-time gift but are not willing/able to sign up for a monthly amount. So in order to beat the per-transaction charge at your bank or at Western Union, we're asking you to sign up with Patreon anyway, pledge the amount you'd like to give on a one-time basis, and then cancel in the middle of the following month.
The same applies if you are already a Patron and are willing to share your income tax refund, for example. There is no penalty to Call to Nature Permaculture or to you for adjusting the amount of your pledge.
If each of you would persuade just one more person to become a Call to Nature Permaculture Patron before the end of March, then our April paycheck will be enough to get the materials to build the drying room. And then next month, we'll have pictures of piles of Moringa leaves drying to show to the granting authorities that have the investment capital to scale up our operation.
As you can see, it's a very busy time for Call to Nature Permaculture, but we will make every effort to honor our pledge to our Patrons and write a montly update. It's Earth Day next month on 22 April. How shall we celebrate? How will you celebrate? Let's celebrate together here on Patreon!