Masai Woman Builds Off-Grid Homestead and Food Forest in the African Bush

Masai woman brings hope to her formerly nomadic people by creating an oasis in the desert

A young Masai woman and her husband have built a lush 5-acre food forest in the middle of the Great Rift Valley, where the surrounding savanna is rapidly transforming into a desert.

A growing population, drought, and government policies pushed her formerly nomadic cattle-herding people to settle and adopt modern chemical agriculture in the 1980s.

Since then, drought has gotten even more severe, forcing a formerly self-sufficient people to sell their cattle and labor in the market place for less nutritious food.

Meanwhile, their grasslands are deteriorating further and further, making them more dependent on the very thing that’s destroying them – chemical agriculture.

If an effort to break the cycle, Selina Nkoile is transforming 5 acres into a permaculture paradise (video) with a self-sufficient homestead and cob cottages for eco-tourists.

A Garden of Eden-in-the-making, Bomanoma already boasts purple passion fruit, mangos, bananas, guavas, papayas, grapes, avocados, olives, coconuts, macadamia nuts and countless other varieties of all-organic fruit and lumber trees, herbs and vegetables in less than 3 years of cultivation.

There are also cows, goats and sheep to incorporate the traditional Masai diet of milk, blood and meat, as well as several beehives.

Bomanoma also serves as an educational center (and charity) for Selina’s neighbors, whom she says “have to see it to believe it” that food can grow in such arid conditions.

With no modern plumbing, compost toilets serve as fertilizer for the gardens, and home-grown sage leaves serve as toilet paper.

Electricity and wifi are provided by solar power. A rainwater collection system provides water for irrigation.

A community kitchen is equipped with gas burners and cob pizza oven.

Selena also founded an organization the helps end violence against Masai women and children including female genital mutilation and child marriage.