The tree that’s not a tree

The banana plant is the biggest perennial herbaceous plant growing on earth, so it’s not a type of palm tree. The plant consists of two parts, the root clump and the green shoots. One root clump can produce several dozens of shoots over its lifetime, which flower, fruit and then die back, followed by the next shoot fruiting, etc. The biggest banana plant on our land can easily reach 5 meters in height.

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The biggest banana plant on earth can grow to up to 12 meters, Continue reading The tree that’s not a tree

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Zone 5: Nature Reserve

Within Permaculture circles there is some discussion if having a zone 5 is useful or possible. We think it is and we feel quite strongly that our land needs to provide space to other life as it does to us. So we designated the entire mountain slope at the west and northwest side of the farm as zone 5. That’s 5 hectares (12 acres) which is about half of the land of the farm. It’s better like this, because it’s mostly steep slopes, so it should be forested anyway.

Wildlife obviously doesn’t always limit itself to the zones we identify. That leads to a nice encounter every now and then. Like this turtle below:

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Continue reading Zone 5: Nature Reserve

Little Tragedy

Yesterday morning we found a young tapir next to our garden. She couldn’t move her front legs nor her head. With her back legs she tried to push herself out of sight, but she was so weak already that she hardly moved. She did have her eyes open and it was clear that she was in fear.

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Although it did not look like she had any chance, we decided to carefully put her in a wheelbarrow and bring her to the house. Continue reading Little Tragedy

Not For Profit

The activities we develop on our farm are fully aimed at education in and demonstration of Permaculture. We do this work without the desire to make a profit. This does not mean we refrain from earning an income or receiving donations, it means that any type of income we gain, after deduction of the costs, will be invested in our project. We will also build capital, but instead of financial capital we focus on building natural capital.

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Our project has different parts. Continue reading Not For Profit

Butterflies

As a bit of a counter balance to the post with scary spiders today we take a look at some beautiful butterflies. There are countless varieties flapping their wings flying over our land, but they’re mostly difficult to photograph. Too fast, and they don’t sit in place long enough, and if they do, it’s quite often with their wings folded together. But we got 5 nice pictures for you and no doubt some more at a later time.

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Continue reading Butterflies

El Niño

Last year, around the middle of April 2015, it stopped raining during what otherwise would have been our rainy season. We did get a few small showers between the middle of September and the middle of November, November normally being the wettest month of the year. By December our dams that by now should have been full were dry.

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The pictures above and below show our small key point dam. Continue reading El Niño

Pigs

About a year ago we added our first group of pigs to the farm. A second group was added 3 months later, followed by a third group in November. We got them from 3 different neighbors that run their own breeding operations. After having compared the behavior and growth rate of the 3 groups we chose one of these breeders to get the pigs for our own program. Below a picture of the fourth group of 5 piglets just after they arrived.

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Continue reading Pigs