What to Ask Before Planning a Regenerative Agriculture System

When people approach me and asked me to design and build a Maui New Earth (regenerative agriculture) system for them, I usually start off with a few simple questions. Our philosophy is that anything we create has to be a garden that nurtures the soul, as well both the sight and the “site”, as much as it does the body, and the environment around you!!

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WHAT TO ASK BEFORE PLANNING A REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE SYSTEM:

> What do you envision, what is it that you’re looking for?
> How much time and commitment do you have? or are willing to put in?
We build self-sufficient systems, not to be confused with maintenance-free systems. There is a fair amount of maintenance that comes along with any type of farming (despite what “permaculture enthusiasts” claim).
To have a successful large system you have to become one of the players in this symbiotic relationship, you have to live it!
I usually recommend people start off with experimenting with small systems in their neighborhood to answer some of these questions.
A small system can take as little as a few hours per week.

A small system can take as little as a few hours per week.

> Are you trying to just feed your family? or are you trying to feed your neighborhood?
> What is it you’re trying to accomplish? This will determine what size of a system you want. 
What’s really important to remember is how much maintenance do you want to be accountable for. A large system can take quite a bit of your time and energy, but the rewards can be incredible.
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> What is your latitude? Because the climate is a very important factor.
This is a very important question because you have to ask yourself “what kind of an ecosystem can I set up here?”, and that balances with what is already found in your neighborhood.
> Is there frost?
> What kind of pests present?
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> Are there people using pesticides or herbicides, that will effect your system?
Is the state spraying RoundUp on the side of the road near you, getting into your water system?
> What are your resources for energy output?
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Is there enough sun for a successful solar system?
Is there steady wind?
Do you have running streams or lakes nearby?
> What is your water source? Is it chlorinated or full of chloramine???
> What type of worms are available in your neighborhood?
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(One of the worms we use: Amynthas gracilis)
> What types of fish?
In the warm water, here in Hawaii, one type of fish we use is tilapia. They’re a great fish because the eat plant matter and readily breed in warm water, without any manipulation. Quite hardy and grow extremely fast.
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> What types of other creatures that create symbiotic relationships are present within your system?
There are different kinds of creatures that accomplish the same thing in slightly differant scenarios.
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Success tends to be a journey of observation, trial, and error!

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