Hello there, I am currently employed but will be resigning soon. My family owns an agricultural lot, part of it is a coconut farm and a quarter of it is a fishpond that is currently being leased out. For the past 20 years the farm has not been managed well since the owners, my grandparents and father have already passed away. No one knows how to manage a farm since us kids grew up in the city, thats why part of the land we leased out and part is managed by a farm hand. By next year I plan to take over the area. I have no experience whatsoever with farming, BUT i am willing to learn.
a. I am looking to enroll in a short course in agriculture. What courses do you recommend?
b. The farm has no water supply at all other than a spring that dries up every summer. So the land is very dry. It is probably 5km from the sea on one side and 5km from the mountain ranges on the other side. And we have tried to dig up a well but the water is salty. what do you suggest? We don't own the land near the mountain ranges so i'm not sure if I could tap spring water from there.
c. I live in the Philippines by the way, so where I am is very tropical. What should I plant other than the coconuts that we already have? Planning to plant more of that though.
d. I have a very very limited budget, what tools, equipment should I invest in first? I have no plans of hiring a farm hand other than the current one. should I?
We are pretty much isolated. Our next door neighbor is probably a good kilometer away. And the next town is probably 15km far. The next city is around 300km away. I am hoping to create a very independent farmland. I'm looking forward to your suggestions. I have no one to help me out. God bless you and many thanks in advance.
Hi! I live in northern minnesota but have some suggestions about water. You need to catch water so it can be used for your gardens. Simple wooden frames with tarps over them with rain gutters attached should work. Rain barrels work pretty well for putting the water in. If your ground water is salty so is your soil, which makes growing things difficult. So you maybe want to to container growing with soil from somewhere else. How much rain do you get in your area.
Some questions I have are which island are you on in the Philippines? What is the elevation of your farm?
Not sure about the salty well other than there is a finger of the sea under you land. What is the soil composition? Basically looking for sandy, clay, loam, volcanic - that sort of thing.
The water retention idea is a very good one. Building a good cistern to hold the rainfall would be an excellent start so you have water for your gardening/farming needs.
I'd have your current site person provide you with a list of tools that are currently on hand and a "wish list" of tools they have needed in the past but didn't have. Don't forget the kind of clothing you will need to deal with your weather and working situations there.
There are many different resources to grab while you can relating to books on many of the topics here, not to mention the sheer amount of knowledge available in this space. Hopefully you can capture some of it for when you are so far off grid.