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What to take in a shipping container for Panama permaculture business?

Posts: 73
Location: Flathead Valley Montana
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What would you take to anther region that might be less endowed with American innovation (or Amazon Prime) that you would take in half of a 40ft shipping container? I have asked this to a lot of permie friends, Please chime in if you have any ideas. from Scott Gallant, geoff Lawton answered this list: (http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/council-7-3-15)
, Jack Spirko, Zack Weiss, Erika from CR, and others, I have a podcast on this too.
from Scott gallant and my list:
Oh yea, couldn't remember if I sent you these, but they might be helpful.

On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 5:42 PM, Scott Gallant <gallant129@gmail.com> wrote:
It would be fun to see you and Zach down south.

. He said to bring a compost brewer. and a laser level. seeds.
Let's see, everyone I know (us included) makes anerobic bioferment teas because little electrical devices love to fail in the tropics. Laser level's are sweet if you are working on that scale. An a-frame can probably do the job. Ha the pattern is avoid electronics in the jungle. Seeds are great!

Just saw this on permies: https://permies.com/t/48951/south-america-central-america-mexico/Permaculture-Boquete-Panama#392615

On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 9:49 AM, Kelly Ware <permakel@gmail.com> wrote:
Thank you so much Scott. We will be seeing you soon. I have been told our dogs can’t come too. thats a big one. i’ll be seeing you this year some time I hope. Stay in touch. Zack weiss may turn up too after his trip to Ecuador. Good to see folks at different places! Love to you, all the best. Seems like a crazy big journey at first. Jack Spirko got this same question answered at the Survival Podcast by Geoff Lawton. He said to bring a compost brewer. and a laser level. seeds. Let me know any following thoughts. I’m excited, nervous, big month coming up… Stay well. Kelly

On Jul 21, 2015, at 5:45 PM, Scott Gallant <gallant129@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey Kelly,

Here is the Lost Crops of the Incas pdf, it is quite a large file I realized. Ok, Ill give you some thoughts on your list. I've obviously not lived in Panama, see these are just some general thoughts. Most of what you want/need can be found in Panama City, but it may take a while to figure out just where. When I say "here", I mean Costa Rica. In general it is easier to find household items there than anywhere else in CA, due to the canal.

Lost Crops of the Incas copy.pdf

On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 6:17 PM, Kelly Ware <permakel@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi dear!
I am packing a 41 ft shipping container full of basics for our house, (comfy beds!) lots of books to donate to the new library, food storage, and all the basic farm implements for a permaculture set up.
Here’s what I feel called to bring…
-tree transplanter
​I've never seen anyone working with bareroot trees down here. The topography around Boquete does vary a lot, but is primarily hill/mountain, like most of the tropics​. I could be way off, but my initial thoughts are that it will be hard to find land that is flat enough for this type of machinery unless you are out in the cattle country or big ag land (think rice and sugar cane). That doesn't mean you couldn't find it, but most places operate on a much smaller scale than this and paid labor is so affordable that you just hire folks to do this large scale planting efforts.
keyline plow
​Kind of the same as the above. This would be the first keyline plow in CA I reckon. Somewhere this would be super useful, but it might not be around the region you are currently exploring. Again I don't know the region well, and I assume you've done your homework.
shade cloth,
​very easy to get done here​
bug netting
​may not need in Boquete, but hard to find good quality stuff here​
pumps and basic equip for an aquaponics system,
​should be able to get everything here, unless you have a specific setup in mind.​
​hard to find good seeds, source from ECHO​
hand tools” shovels, serrated sickles (i’d like 1000 to sell and trade at that count they are .70 cents each. )
​you can get all basic tools​ ​here​
mesh bags from Canada for the hyper adobe or foundations for straw clay
​you can​ ​now get super adobe bags in CR​
what might I need for…?:
tools for post and beam joinery?.
​bring good tools, avoid battery operated power tools, stick with high quality brands, the tropics does a number on tools, electronics, etc​
for meat processing?
​bring good food processing equipment, hard to find here​
Mushroom cultivation (what do I need for that)
​there is a small industry poping up around mushrooms, you should be able to find spawn/plugs here, but Im not really sure​
Electricity (generator, panels, etc…
​you can find it all, but here it is sometimes hard, good quality charge controller, inverters, panels are worth bringing down.​
instantaneous hot water heater for outdoor showers​d
​depends on climate, we use passive solar to heat water​
Windows (anything else from Restore- recycled building supply co. like ceiling fans… sinks?etc?)
​you can get it all here​
bikes, adventure gear, inflatable raft.. (I have all of these…)
​bring if you think you'll use it, expensive here​
hoop house and greenhouse plastic (I have these).
​you can get all that here​
irrigation system, rainwater catchement?
​any specific parts you like, such as micro sprayers, bring those, but the basics such as emitters, poly tubing, are easy to get. ​
electric netting and solar chargers. (I have one of each kind)
I know of no one who uses this down here, things grow really quickly and short out the netting. Worth experimenting
marine battery
more garden tools specifically?
​you can get it all here, not necessarily the best quality brands though​
​Africanized down here, bring suits, smokers, and any specific equipment, proper tools to build boxes.​
This is my list if you have any ideas in any of these areas, maybe you could edit in another color. I’m soooooo excited to be in your neck of the woods, I will come your way when if we need to renew our visa until our residency clears. You have a good Idea of what is cheap or accessible in the states for a versaland style installation that they don’t have down there.
​In general you can find it all here, but not always good quality/brands and sometimes a pain in the but to source. Its very different than Versaland, although in the drier regions/cattle land there could be some crossover. Most places are working much smaller pieces of land, steeper topo, etc.

Good tools and food processing equipment are nice to bring. Anything to truly jump start your house and quality of life​ are worth it.

I'm happy to Skype at some point to if that is helpful.

Thank you so much for your help, I’ll trade you in massage when I see you!!!

​Help promote the Ranch and that is trade enough, jaja!​

Scott Gallant

Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center
co-Director and Farm Manager
US: 513 227 2279
CR: 011 (506) 2200 0920

Scott Gallant

Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center
co-Director and Farm Manager
US: 513 227 2279
CR: 011 (506) 2200 0920

Scott Gallant

Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center
co-Director and Farm Manager
US: 513 227 2279
CR: 011 (506) 2200 0920
<RMDBC Panama Contact and Resource Sheet.pdf>
<RMDBC Costa Rica Contact and Resource Sheet.xls>

From Erika at Finca Quijote CR?, Hola Kelly,

To start off, I would say keep it simple. My parents shipped so much stuff down here that we really don’t need or use, so it sits in storage. For permaculture you will need the same tools as regular farming as the difference is in the design and implementation rather than the tools.

Fence tools: You will need basic tools for fences. A well weighted post digger with solid handles is a must. Get yourself a good couple of wheel barrows with solid rubber tires. We brought all of these awesome really well weighted long handled shovels as that is what we used in Florida. Our employees hate them, won’t use them. They prefer the short handled back-breakers as they are what are traditionally used here. Good hoses are not always easy to find here, so we brought some over. Everything else you can buy when you arrive.

Power tools: This is changing as when my parents arrived nearly 12 years ago, power tools were crazy expensive and quality brands were simply not available. Now our local hardware store sells Bosch, Makita, Black&Decker and DeWalt. So originally when we brought down our power tools, my dad got some really great deals at garage sales and the local flea market in South Florida. You don’t have to go buy everything brand new, it’s not like the warranties will be applied down here anyway. You will want to buy brands that you can find parts for in Panama.

Gas powered tools: I guess this is an extension of the power tools. We have a graveyard of weed-wackers and chain saws. The first problem is that your employees will beat the hell out of your equipment. The second problem is we brought down stuff that we simply can’t find parts for here and going back to the states just for a carburetor is not practical. In our case, we planned to make the great parts run someday, but before that could happen, our employees had stripped the broken machines for parts now leaving them completely useless. So, buy stuff that parts can be bought locally and also fix things immediately or you never will for various reasons.

What tools you need depends on what you will be doing, we also brought down a ton of wood working tools to make furniture and construction equipment for building on our property. We have a good welder and mic for metal work. The gas cement mixer is great for mixing soil as well as cement. The used john deere back hoe we bought in Miami was a bit pricey, but it’s paid for itself already as we have tons of earthmoving that needs done. Plus moving those compost piles is faster with the machine. A laser level is a must for permaculture. We will be buying a new one as my dad left the batteries in ours and they leaked. Never leave the batteries in anything you do not use on a daily or weekly basis.

I would really suggest that you visit the area you are moving to and spend some time visiting the hardware stores to see what they have and what the prices are so you can make an educated decision on what to bring and what to buy upon arrival. If there are others in that area with a similar project to yours, please communicate with them, they will be a wealth of information on things you need. Those same people will be able to put you in touch with an honest mechanic, lawyer, accountant and etc. as well as where to get stuff without being ripped off.

Panama and Costa Rica are very different regarding available brands and prices. Panama is much cheaper on just about everything. We buy our electronics in the states because there is a 100% important tax here that makes everything mind blowing expensive. However, lots of locals and foreigners cross the border to Panama to do major shopping because even after travel costs, it’s still much more reasonable.

Hope this info helps.

Pura Vida, Erika
Monday 6:57am
Thank you so much Erika, I just reviewed this just now, crazy with one month left (and gardening/painting/packing/ mommying/housekeeping, massaging.Traveling 1hr to two practices, etc. whew. looking forward to the permie life. ) I see myself with a company of food forest installers. Would you suggest a swale implement there or do you think I could find one there? I really feel called to a mechanical transplanter, to do large scale projects - help chiquita go polycultural. and Compost tea brewers??? Dr elaine Ingham has "the best" for around 300 or 550 for a 50 callow one for farm scale, that really reduces predation from molds, bacteria and insects for plants. Do you need me to get you one? How far from the border are you? Scott Gallant at Rancho Mastatal suggested Boquete for us. From the photos of my husbands it looks like heaven. Hoards of gringos are going to be landing there with in the coming months and years. I see the whole Cordillera being buffered by regenerative agriculture from the pristine wild to the city, through polycultural farms we can get away from broad scale pesticides. My goal is to build our resilience for pure food. (to cleanse from the damage American Govt backed food takeover has done to us). How about seeds? are there any fruit or nut that you have a hard time getting?? annual seeds? I will call baker's creek and see if they have ext a for the year, or seeds of change. etc. There are amazing botanist around you Im' sure, I will be hopefully bringing serrated sickles to trade fro plant species at nurseries, seeds, root stock. Scott said bare root nurseries are not common down there. My goal is to be a nursery for all edible species that can grow in these biomes. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Default.aspx
Plants For A Future : 7000 Edible, Medicinal & Useful Plants
7000 rare and unusual plants with edible, medicinal or other uses. We place emphasis on creating an ecologically sustainable environment with perennial plants.
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I'd throw a roll of Tyvek in there, and marine grade polyester thread. You can do a lot with it and it's really inexpensive. Like make a greenhouse, make a sail, make a tent. (For tents, put the pieces through the laundry and they will become soft and quiet...)
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