The Vision: Adrian has a vision for the farm which includes the community, friends, neighbors and any other interested parties in and around Maun. The aim is for the Farm to be all inclusive, to run several different ventures from the land which all compliment each other and provide opportunities for all involved to realize their passions and their dreams. The whole concept is based on sharing and educating by doing and show-casing. We aim to inspire the local community and the rural farmers through our action.
The Tshilli Farm can be found 27km outside of Maun, in Ngamiland, north-western Botswana. It is within a community area on the buffalo fence-line called Tsutsubega on the edge of the Okavango Delta. It is only a 35-minute drive on sand roads from Maun airport.
It is an incredibly beautiful rural and remote area. The surrounding community are subsistence farmers, with many cattle, donkeys and goats as a means to their livelihood. The Tshilli Farm itself is on an island surrounded by a floodplain, and consists of different vegetation areas including an ancient forest, sage fields, and scrub as well as pans of water. There is great diversity in flora and fauna and the birdlife is incredible. There are usually nesting woodpeckers, hornbills, marshall eagles, fish eagles, white-faced ducks and fly-catchers on the farm at any one time. At night, one can hear the calls of spotted hyena, the resident hippos, elephants, lion and sometimes leopard. The farm is fenced and is a perfectly safe area but the wildlife concessions, (known as NG30 and NG32), neighbour the farm so many animals can pass through. The farm is home to genets, duiker, bush-babies, vervet monkeys, a resident hippo to name a few and many species of birds. Elephants pass through the farm regularly, particularly in the dry season.
The farm is in an area of marginal floodplains which for the last 5 years have been permanently with water. For a couple of months a year, when the floods are at their peak, one might need to drive through water to reach the the farm. At this time of year, it can be easier to access the farm by makoro (dugout canoe) or boat.
Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems, which have the diversity, stability, and the strength of natural eco-systems. It is harmonious combination of land and people, supplying their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without sustainable agriculture there is no possibility of a sustainable human culture.
The principles of Permaculture are the principles of nature. If you implement the principles on the land, they lead to ecologically based sustainable human settlements. Using permaculture principles in land-use projects leads to a foundation or pattern for a cultivated ecology that can be implemented under most climatic and geographical situations. This is because permaculture systems function as ecological systems, and if the species and element selection and arrangement is aligned with the local environment, the human settlement will be in harmony with its environment.