Friday, August 21, 2009

Feeling Hopeful.

The garden/farm has really been coming along, making great strides at every turn, or so I'm pleased to report. The "Forest Garden" concept clearly can be demonstrated as a viable one at this point. Over the next 6 months or so the 8000 or so square foot concept garden will be expanded over perhaps an acre and a half. Food self-sufficiency for myself is pretty well in the bag at this point, and grocery store runs are far and few between. For longer term true sustainability to include fuel inputs and cashflow adequate to my needs I'll need to press in about another 40 or 50000 square feet. All things being equal I should be there by this point next year. 50k of forest garden should sustainably produce .25 per square foot of salable produce annually. There's no additional cost in that, or at least minimal cost, as I'm producing materials on site for planting. There will likely be the addition of lime and trace minerals, but all in all things look pretty good. Biochar has been very important. One step at a time. Ultimately it looks as if as the improvement in the soil quality improves, yields per square foot may well double. I'd say there a very stong possibility that a dedicated couple or individual could make a modest but sensibly comfortably and secure, and very satisifying living farming in this manner. Proof should be in the bag by next August.

I find this very hopeful indeed. My primary goal from the onset of this blog was to both advocate and demonstrate an alternative but viable in which one can work for a sustainable(I mean sustainable in the real sense) future not only for myself but for Hawaii and even the world. This is an effective model. There may well be others, and I'd enjoy seeing them, but few out there are much past the dreamer/concept stage. We need to do better than that. I'm strongly of the opinion, uncertainties included, "Forest Gardening" at least in Hawaii is perhaps one of the most promising--and hopeful, humanely hopeful--projects one could take on.

It's also been very helpful to meet so many others in the last 5 months with the forum and all of us in this very active group have learned a great deal from each other and all of our individual projects have been greatly advanced. It's tough to go it alone for sure, and it's nice to not worry about that anymore, at least locally.

Anyway, thoughts after coming back from the shop with a very heavy basket of goodies.