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5 Hectare Example Farm starting in Indonesia  RSS feed

 
            
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HI Everyone

I am new to this forum. My wife and I live in South Sulawesi in Indonesia. We are here to help the people of the area to be able to live self sustaining lives. Our main goal is to set up a training center/ Small Research farm. I have currently 5 hectares of land on a hill side. Water is currently a problem as we are in dry season. The land has been badly terraced and all soil has been washed away from about 80% of the land. Seems like a bad thing and it is but this is what most of the land is like here so it is best to use this as an example of how to make things better.

I am want to use this land as a educational tool to show the people of this area that they can do more with their land and have better lives because of the better use of land.

We are currently making plans for our house which will be a semi underground PSP (Post - Shoring - Polyethylene ) structure with a grass roof. The structure will have to have a few modifications as we have very heavy rains here. We will actually own 2000m2 of the land which will contain the house and garden the other land will be rented. As well we may have an option to rent a flat piece of land in the valley behind us.

What I want to ask here is what is the best way to develop this land into a sustainable farm that will provide for me and my family. I have been reading all the permaculture books i can get my hands on but being in Indo makes that fairly hard right now i have permaculture two and may be getting a copy of permacultre 1 from a friend.

I think i would like to develop most of the land into a food forest as collecting wild fruits and veges is normal here. We would re terrace the land with swales and install some dams to help in dry season. If anyone has any ideas post away.

JF
 
Brenda Groth
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don't know much about indonesia but welcome and best of luck with your endeavor. I think the ability to gather water for the dry season is really a great one..remember to use lots and lots and lots of much !! and put as much organic matter into your soil as you possibly can.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Another thread here lists a free source for the permaculture design manual on-line.

You may want to spend some time talking to the locals about their practices and attitudes.  There are probably some very good ideas that haven't got much traction to be found near you, if you ask around for who has tried strange things.  I bet it would also help your teaching effort, both by building your reputation as a collector of good methods, and by helping you to build a curriculum that meets students where they are.  I've heard from several sources that people tend to surprise you as to what they actually want and need.

Last, I bet you can learn a lot by walking all the erosion channels on the land.  I imagine lots of specific places will spring to mind as you read passages about storage and diversion, if you are familiar with what has happened the past several rainy seasons.
 
Brenda Groth
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another thought that I had was to make sure you include in the things you grow the things that you really like to eat that will grow there..a lot of times people grow a lot of food then it goes to waste cause they really don't like it.

and grow things for browse for the animals..etc..and supportive plants for the plants you need to grow..etc..
 
            
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Thanks for all the useful info.

We are trying to put a list of what we like but as well would like to look at companion planting just happens i am from Canada so my tropical plant database is a little lacking. any leads on tropical plant indexes would be great.

POLY

our main problem here is no one grows anything they all import it from another county manily to lazy and stuck in beiefs that nothing but rice wil grow. we want to change that and show them that some hard work can pay off in great veg and fruit to improve there leaf and meat famine and feast diets
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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How far do you suppose you'd have to go to find vegetable farmers in a similar climate, to consult with?  Are there old people around, who gardened before the green revolution?
 
            
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I can go south about 2 hours but then i come across farmers working in corruption. The farmers work with the local Gov and the gov wants to keep everything to themselves no share share. Normal here in the third world where progress is never shared for fear you will lose your market. the main problem is anything that is grown is all monoculture garbage and a lot of monsatan gmo stuff. And most of it is not tropical it is hybrid such and such so chris can eat his western style fruits and veg so he feels like bob on channel 33. yeah for the westernization of unique cotulers.

Ok Sorry for the rant.

Simple answer no one is growing many traditional crops anymore right now i have people out searching for sweet potatoes that have gone almost exticnt, and corn varieties that were very common until starbucks came in and said coffee coffee coffee. Not to say it is bad money just kinda awful to have to sell coffee to buy food you use to grow yourself.
 
paul wheaton
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As for PSP, you might start a thread about your current designs there.  mike oehler stops by once in a while and might offer some advice.

You mention "badly terraced":  what does that mean?  Can you upload a pic?

There is somebody in your part of the world that made a video ... and we have a link to that video on this forum somewhere ...  something about planting lots of trees brings more rain ....

Are you familiar with fukuoka's work?

 
paul wheaton
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I edited your post only to change the subject line to something that might get more attention.

 
            
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Hi Paul

Badly terraced means land that had odd shelves carved into to make flat spots. They are not level just flat going up and down as they follow the mountain side. Not many follow the contour at all. Most are all draining down the hill with a few formed properly. I will try to get some pics.  I just need to go for a walk when the weather is a bit better.

I have heard about the planting trees. Something to do with a fungus released into the air by the trees. I think bill mollison mentioned it once or twice.

As for Fukuoka I have read what i can get my hands on and was trying to find a pdf but they have been taken down. so i ordered his book and it will be here in early august.  As well i have the keyline water solutions book and some other of bill's big texts.
 
paul wheaton
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There are some schools of thought that terraces should not be level.  I know that Sepp's terraces are not level.

 
            
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Well that will make it easier for us I will try to get some photos in the next few days.

 
            
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AHHHHHHHH  Sorry have not posted photos yet my laptop fell over and so i need to get it up again then i can send some photos
 
rose macaskie
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    I planted a sweet potato because my daughter liked them and got a catulpa, an exotic looking tree that i did not really want, i thought it was funny, it grew really well. I have not tried digging to see if there are those pink sweet potatoe on the roots partly because i planted the sweet potatoe in my currant patch and did not want to dig up the bushes.
 
            
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Yeah I have a working computer again

So here are some photos of the land and the badly sloped terracing. I will post two more photos for you to see. the photos are of the are where i want to put in a food forest and maybe a small dam/fish pond.
1.JPG
[Thumbnail for 1.JPG]
2.JPG
[Thumbnail for 2.JPG]
 
            
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Two more photos of the land to give a better idea of what i have to deal with.

3.JPG
[Thumbnail for 3.JPG]
4.JPG
[Thumbnail for 4.JPG]
 
paul wheaton
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It looks lush.

How do you hope to improve the terraces?  By hand?

 
            
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yeah i think most will be done by hand but we might bring in some equipment when we build the hose so some might be machined
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I'm intrigued by vetiver, moreso the more I learn about it.  Apparently a line of it can turn an eroding slope into a terrace all by itself.  It might be a good way to plot out any lines that you intend to fill by hand, too; I've read it's used to mark property lines.
 
            
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Yeah i want to try some it is just hard to get it here. so we will have to see they may be setting up a place near here so that will be good.
 
Stephanie Garvin
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Location: Bali, Indonesia
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I'm also in South Sulawesi, in Makassar. Is the project still live and where are you? Do you accept volunteers? I'm a permaculture teacher in need of some meaningful activity!
 
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