In March I had the opportunity to assist Warren Brush and his support teacher Daniel Parra Hensel on a PDC in Rusinga Island. The course was held at Badilisha Ecovillage, run by a bright young Luo man named Evans Odula. Evans has a vision and that vision is transformation. He loves Rusinga Island and knows that it is a beautiful island, though now plagued by such harsh deforestation it is turning into a desert. Not a single tree can be seen on the hills and the dry seasons are extending to the point where cows are dying and all life is wilting.

Badilisha means ‘change’ or ‘transformation’  in Kiswahili and I really did have the feeling that we transformed Badilisha during the course.  We made a banana circle for the dishwater, built a rocket stove for the kitchen, started a forest garden and planted a hundred trees and dug out the beginnings of a mandala garden. Aside from the transformation taking place at Badilisha itself, I also saw Rusinga participants leaving the course in a state of excited transformation, ready to transform their environment into lush and fertile gardens with living soils.

Planting trees for the forest garden

Teaching Zone 1 Kitchen Gardens module











Banana circle for Badilisha


The PDC with Warren Brush was part of the beginning of his work here in Kenya to train trainers in Permaculture. Badilisha will be one of the sites that will be developed as a permaculture demonstration site. I am working with Evans Odula on the design and implementation of a permaculture design for Badilisha and we are hoping to extend this to also include the land up the hills owned by his family to eventually create a stretch of reforested land, with swales and dams for water harvesting down the hill and soils covered in vegetation.


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