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!!
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.
Plan. This is a system you live.
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.
> 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?
> 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?
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?
(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.
> 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.
Success tends to be a journey of observation, trial, and error!