Hatari Forest Garden

The Hatari Forest Garden Project is concerned with the layout of Food Forest Garden after the principles of permaculture design on the property of Hatari Lodge in Momella at the gate of Arusha National Park, Tanzania. Permaculture is a branch of ecological design and ecological engineering which develops sustainable human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modelled on natural ecosystems. The focus of permaculture, therefore, is not on each separate element, but rather on the relationships created among elements by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Permaculture design therefore seeks to minimize waste, human labour, and energy input by building systems with maximum benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy. Permaculture designs evolve over time by taking into account these relationships and elements and can become extremely complex systems that produce a high density of food and materials with minimal input. The main aim of the project is the integrative application of the 4 C's – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. Forest Garden is known as the world's most ancient and most resistant agricultural ecosystems. In a forest garden all vital products are cultivated – food for humans and animals, medicinal plants and wood for different purposes. Forest Gardens are long term productive entities. They don't pollute the environment in any way and they don't exploit the soil (Conservation). The origins of the Food Forest Garden are to be found in the South-American rainforests. In Tanzania the tribes of the Wameru at the foot of Mt. Meru and the Chagga at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro have grown their agricultural products in forest gardens for more than 400 years. Unfortunately, this cultural tradition was suppressed for a long time under the regime of Julius Nyerere with its focus on agricultural monocultures. Together with the local inhabitants of Momella, the Hatari Forest Garden Project wants to revive these traditions exemplarily (Culture and Community). An education and training centre will be part of the Hatari Forest Garden Project to train local farmers, gardeners and bee keepers to build capacities on site and to enhance the economic self-dependence of the local people (Commerce). Furthermore the layout of the forest garden on the property of Hatari Lodge is part of the lodge’s philosophy to implement the principles of Responsible Tourism. While conserving nature and wildlife, the forest garden will be an oasis of silence and relaxation for the guests of the lodge, who will support the success of the project with tree plantings, educational walks and last but not least as consumers of all grown products.