Its been over 10 years since we began Soil School on Taveuni Island and only this week we've completed yet another round of introductory teachings on soil, compost, health, regenerative and transformative farming.
Across Fiji and the Pacific Islands OMF has now delivered Soil School to over 1800 farmers and led 65 soil schools.
The way that this program changes a young farmers perception of how they begin their ecological practice is difficult to put into words. Our participants arrive in class on their first day ready to learn, and we begin with an invitation to change their minds. To remember what is already known.
That the soil is the foundational piece of understanding land and the reciprocity that occurs between farm and family. That healthy soil holds nutrients that directly transmute into vibrant food... you just have to remember how to encourage the exchange. We remember that healthy soil equals healthy communities.
A core part of our program is sharing practical, relevant soil improvement techniques. Over the years the experience with Taveuni Island farmers has seen us change our ethos. We used to arrive thinking we' taught' Soil School. We now know we support the remembering. There is not one time we've walked away without having learnt as much as the participants, if not more.
The vibrancy of the laughter, the simplicity of the lifestyle, the deep faith and devotion to the land and all it offers is nothing short of humbling.
So here we are. 24 young farmers and six staff at Tutu Rural Training village on Taveuni Island are now graduates of introductory Soil School. This exciting program is now embedded into their curriculum and we see and support the path breakers, in country teachers who will take the Soil School program, work and share in language the art of all things soil.
Soil School itself regenerates and transforms.
The next steps with our humble foundation is to share the curriculum, workbooks and practices with as many small groups as possible.
Identifying the pathbreakers (future teachers) on the way and sharing with them all the tools needed to take the program further.
With the support from Tutu Rural Training Village and all those on Taveuni Island, these steps are a reality.
We're excited by the response to Soil School. We're ready for the next evolution of our foundation.