Greg Martin wrote:Hey Ian, sounds fantastic. Do you have a site map you can share along with some pictures?
sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We are in the area hit by the earthquake and Tsunami. We're all fine and safe, as is the project. But the villages near us were hit hard.
The area set aside for growing food is around 60m x 50m, although we'll also grow plenty of things around the rest of the site.
Its a wooded area in kind of a bowl shape.
It looks like this:
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.
Here's my amateurish first ideas for layout of the plot, using zones and following contours:
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.