The location of this place is stunning which sits on the lakeshores of a tropical lake, carved amongst beautiful trees. With environmental changes at the forefront of people’s minds worldwide, Alice and Josie have developed Butterfly in a sustainable manner, employing appropriate technologies and permaculture principles wherever relevant. By providing demonstrations and information upon many techniques, Butterfly ensures that these developments can be available to the local community.

They have already moved off the flush toilet system and the new compost toilets now helps fertilise the garden. The kitchen increasingly utilises produce from the gardens and the new addition of a bicycle powered water pump opens up huge potential for both Butterfly and the surrounding community to make the most out of the lake as a resource for irrigation. Butterfly has also built a clay oven which produces amazing pizzas and they hope to hook up some solar hot water to the kitchen soon. They are also working on their interactive garden which labels the plants around the site for the many uses and values. Always thinking ahead, Alice and Josie also save seeds and multiply anything they grow here so they can share with schools and farming groups. Nutritional workshops with the FAAWN Group and other agricultural groups emphasises the need for a healthy diverse local diet.

Further environmental demonstration projects have been carried out at Chikale Primary School, with a rainwater harvesting tank being completed last year. Josie runs a Permaculture Design course every year held at Butterfly, and a big part of the course is working on the Primary School garden’s which is a great help to maintaining the gardens whilst providing a good source of vegetables for the school.

There are plenty more ideas for improving the environment both in Nkhata Bay and at Butterfly site and we appreciate volunteers who are skilled in specific areas. An eco-urinal or compost toilet at the school, a turf roof to test out the possibilities for alternative roofing material, a small reed bed system to illustrate how to organise your sewage – these are simply plans for the future. To help Butterfly’s dream for a better environment please see our Wish List.

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