We’re still in the early stages of building our farm to become a nonprofit Permaculture demonstration and education site. Because we bought a farm that was in absolute disfunction, income from the land is very minimal until we have established sufficient animal and crop / tree systems. To add insult to injury nature threw us a curve ball in the second year when we suffered a major drought because of the strongest El Niño ever recorded. The lack of water has delayed production by about a year. It was a major learning experience however and it has helped us improve our design for the farm significantly.
While we struggle to get our production back up to schedule during the rest of the year 2016 and 2017, we can use any help anybody is willing to give us.
Our planning is set in stages. The main thing is that we do not work for profit. In that we follow the third Permaculture ethic ‘return of surplus’. Once our basic personal needs are met, any and all income (from work, donations, courses, eco-tourism, etc) has to be reinvested in our project.
Stage one: building up integrated crop and animal systems. Investments will be made in purchasing animals for breeding (for now limited to chickens, pigs and goats), in stables, fencing and other needs for the animals. Investments in seeds, tools, sheds, etc for developing the crop system. Estimated total costs 8,500 USD.
Stage two: completing the infrastructure. About half of the mainframe design has been completed. We plan on doubling the water catchment in dams with one additional big dam and the enlargement of our valley dam. This work has to be done by an excavator. All swales and other work will be done by hand by us. Estimated total costs for the excavator 8,500 – 9,000 USD.
Stage three: buildings and accommodation. This stage is important to really get to the goal of our work: Permaculture demonstration and education. The plan is to use as much natural building techniques as possible. This stage includes building a cabin for guests, building a new house closer to our zones 1 and 2, renovating the current house to accommodate visitors, students and interns. Estimated total costs around 60,000 USD.
Stage four: promotion of Permaculture, scholarships, expansion of our project, eventually duplication of our project. No estimated costs, income will determine the options.
We have always planned to earn all finances by working for it. El Niño delayed our options to succeed in that. Maybe we were too optimistic anyway to expect we could do it all by ourselves. The scope of the project is quite a challenge. Maybe it is more important in today’s world to join forces with people who support our goals and want to see us succeed. To build a community around the project. From our side we started this blog to be an inspiration and a beacon of hope for a better world. With your help we can progress faster and better and reach more people to join us in what has to be done to change mankind’s influence on our planet for the better. Our world is in dire need for demonstration and education of sustainable living.
Any donation we receive will go to the current stage (stage 1 now) and the amounts will be mentioned on the blog so people can keep track. We are happy with every 10 USD we receive because above all we value people connecting with our project. If you want to make a substantial donation aimed at a specific stage (for example digging a new dam, building the cabin, etc) then please contact us.
The easiest way to send a donation is through PayPal. You can make use of our PayPal.me page at https://www.paypal.me/permaculturesj (payable to Katrinus Nijstad, NL) or use the email email@example.com to transfer your donation from your PayPal account.
If you do not have a PayPal account and you do not want to create one, then please contact us to look for alternatives.