Hi everyone. We're building an off-grid resort for budget travellers next to a beach in Northern Indonesia (central Sulawesi, more precisely). Our plot is 8000m2, we'll be powered by the sun, finding our own water solutions, composting our poo, and growing as much of our own food as we can. It's a lovely spot. Around 80m x80m is set aside for our agricultural pursuits. This land is gently sloping, dominated by a huge wild mango tree on one side and a big tamarind tree on the other. Light is dappled throughout, and soil seems deep if slightly clay-y (adjective for clay soil anyone?). Irrigation shouldn't be a problem as we have grey water recycling and we're pretty clued up on that side of things. Climate is very hot, rain is sporadic, and we're on the coast so that may have an impact. The nativetrees are thriving though. We have coconuts and limes and guava and all sorts. Ok, so that's our site. I want to maximise the amount of edible stuff the land produces, Ive watched lots of videos and read a few books, but I thought I'd turn to you guys for advice. Thoughts on design, layout, core principles, potential crops, animals.... We're really at the stage where we're taking advice from anyone kind enough to dispense it. We will have volunteers arriving soon, some of whom know a thing or two about permaculture, but we'd very much appreciate your thoughts on how to approach such a piece of land. Many thanks.
the video shows the terrain and the tree cover
The photos are our half-finished farming hub, which will have many functions, and is located at the edge of the garden
The other photo is our early attempts to build soil with mulch beds on contour, and our grand old mango tree in the background. It's a huge tree, the canopy of which shades around a third of the plot.
Some of the small trees will be pruned back / coppiced to allow more light in. We have lots of moringa and tamarind - both nitrogen fixers i beleive, as well as 3 big mango trees. Soil is clay-heavy. There's always leaf-litter covering the soil, but the soil is rock hard unless it has rained, and has lots of bits of coral (the bedrock is a fossilised reef) and runoff of new soil and nutrients down the slope is going to be something we have to address through swales / terracing.
Current plan is to create mulch/compost beds on contour, and initially just grow ground cover legumes for chop-and-drop until we have a good layer of great soil.
So thats a little more info about our site. Are we approaching this from the right direction, and does anyone have any advice? Particularly advice surrounding soil building/preparation, crops to include, and overall layout/design
We want to fulfil the food needs, as much as possible, of our guests in the future. We will need to plant annuals/veggies somewhere, although i'm thinking that zone 1, then, should be around the kitchen, which will be around 60 meters away from this farming area. This farming area then should be home to our main energy crops (cassava, spuds etc) as well as a multi-layer low maintenance food forest of fruits and edible perennials.
posted 3 months ago
Greg Martin wrote:Do you have a list of additional plants you'd like to add and are there some foods that you want to maximize production of, or would like suggestions?
Again, apologies for the delay in responding. Please see my reply above.
Earthworks = Swales+Berms on contour to help with water problem
BioChar = an upgrade to the 'horrible' slash and burn, it helps with mineral fertility, 'fungal pest' and water problems
Soil Life = Worm Tea, Wild Mushroom Slurries, Compost, etc
Minerals = Manure, Compost, Rockdust, etc
Groundcover = I like to see a 90% legume mix esp with the shorter clovers at plant establishment, 10% is herbs for pest control and daikon radish for soil aeration.
Land Size = 2 acres
Plant Size at Maturity = 25ft (8m)
138 trees planted 25ft apart from each other. You will have to subtract from that to bet space for housing, ponds, etc.
You can plant vegetables/etc between the trees esp while they are young/short.
And if you are comfortable with tree limbs falling on the house during storms you can build your housing under the trees too.
Animals warre honey bee hive,
fish in 3ft deep ponds 25ft by 25 or multiples
goats after 3yrs for milk
Mushroom Phoenix Oyster Mushroom
Herbs+Vegetable Cabbage/Bok Choy family
other root crops
I think if you posted a site map, contour lines, zone map etc etc, the bare bones so to speak in a way that's easy to download and print, you may get lucky and find someone who is interested enough to do a full design.
Or maybe you could run a competition for the best design, voted by people here and pay the winner 500 bucks or something, and up to say 5 runners up 50 bucks. cheap wy to get a bunch of focussed ideas, if there is the interest, of course.
In fact maybe this could be. new forum idea. cash for design competition
Anyway for those who don't know,, Willie Smitt is interesting to watch for tropical permaculture.
Netherlands Zone 7b 930mm (36 inches) rain, 1500 sunshine hours
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat