Farming works in cycles. Nutrient cycles and water cycles. Plants blooming, insects booming, and birds coming or going. Carbon cycles and nitrogen cycles. And many more circular flows.
Healthy soil grows nutritious plants, which grow resilience for beings eating them. Mbuyuni Farm grows on pristine soils—soils free from industrial contamination. Every year, we produce up to 200 tonnes of compost. We fallow fields, rotate crops, and plant green manure.
We compose our compost of moringa stems, wood ashes, and cattle manure. Moringa stems are separated to provide a pure leaf product for teas and powders. Moringa’s nutritional properties, particularly the leaf, has gained it a following among health food practitioners and academics. That said, the sticks and stems are still invaluable for our farm and help cultivate nutritious soils.
By creating a self-generating cycle for our farm inputs, our philosophy is aligned with the original organic movement and in some ways permaculture. We collaborate with our neighbours rather than purchasing from far away industries. Kimeni, a neighbouring Masaii cattle herder grazes on sections of the farm. In turn, he lets us use his kraal’s manure for our compost.
From our local oil mill, we purchase sunflower cakes, a sunflower oil byproduct:. We use ashes from trees we planted and utilized in our wood-fired chili hot house. Due to the high oil content of chilis, they need to be dried at higher temperatures than moringa, lemongrass, and hibiscus (dried in a solar drying greenhouse).
All things go full circle on Mbuyuni and the ash returns to the soil to help grow more plants. Over the decades we have been blessed by the arrival of new species of mammals, birds, and plants as the resilience of our ecosystem grows.