Posted by Frank Woolf over 10 years ago
It is now September 2012. The house is still not finished as the contractor turned out to be a liar, a cheat and incompetent. It also cost far more that the contract amount and needs a lot of work to put it right.
The permaculture side is doing great. Once we started planting I found the ground was dead and full of fungi that attacked everything I tried to grow. Most permaculture info available does not include much for tropical climates so I have to figure out a lot of stuff after understanding the basic principles. For example there is no hay, no compost, no wood chips or even any amount of leaves for mulch but I eventually figured out the solution.
For seeds I sterilize soil and mix in coco peat, rice hulls and a little chicken manure. Then put this over a half inch layer of vermicast.
For the main veggie lots I put 4 inches of coco peat and rice hulls mixed with chicken manure on the surface then dig it in 12 inches deep. This aerates the clay soil and kills off the nasty fungi. Hopefully I will never need to dig again after this first time. Next I put 6 to ten layers of newspaper on top and cover with another 3 inches of coco peat and rice hulls. Then I plant the seedlings through holes in the newspaper. Due to torrential tropical rain almost every day for the last year I dug channels around each bed so the beds are all effectively raised 12 inches. When the drought arrives I can block the ends of the channels converting drainage ditches into swales. I am building large rainwater tanks and the fishponds and pool will double as irrigation reservoirs.
I get almost no weeds as seeds landing on the coco peat and rice hulls get rapidly cooked when the sun coes out.
I have planted hundreds of young fruit trees of every kind I can find. So far everything is doing well.
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