A jack of all trades by nature. An chef of international cuisine by training. A builder by trade. Now a recovered self-diagnosed stroke patient (I checked drove to KL and checked myself in to HKL)
I had been an avid pro-environmentalist in the past and had been involved with building reef-balls at the turn of the century in an effort to grow coral reefs in an effort to sequester carbon. This came to nought after 3 years since I couldn't get a project of any significance going. All the projects were small community volunteer projects buildings small reefs parts of peninsular and east malaysia.
I stumbled on biochar 3 years back and have since built 2 successful diy retorts, and this led me to composting, then bsfl, and now permaculture.
I have not taken any courses but have listened to hours and hours of bill morrisons and geof lawtons podcasts, watched hours and hours of videos, downloaded and read loads and loads of pdf files on the subject, and papers written.
I decided to start my own farm and have just been given to use, a 1.3 hectre plot just 1 km from where I live, here in Gua Musang, located in the central range of Malaysia, in the State of Kelantan.
To hone my knowledge, I have also attended Jabatan Pertanian courses on the stingless bees, and consulted many experts on various subjects from Mardi, UPM, UKM, FRIM and Agensi Nuclear Malaysia who have also led me to some commercial specialists in microbial products. All this is a result of my search of getting mycorrhizal cultures, which at this present point in time, is still unfulfilled.
Here is a brief outline of my proposed farm design: ( I start the earthworks in a couple of days time)
1. It is predominantly a no-till (a one time till anyhow) system of raised beds for vegetables surrounded by fruit trees on the fringes
2. Hugelkultur system beneath the beds
3. Biochar enriched substrate with fresh compost above the Hugelkultur beds
4. A final topping of mulching of wood shavings and straw
5. All this to be inoculated with IMO's and EM’s that I am in the process of culturing from the wild.
6. The raised beds will be of multi level polyculture - 1.belowground (ubi) 2. ground cover - kangkong, sawi etc, 3. low herbs like basil, sambung nyawa etc. 4 medium height like chili, 5. higher plants like tomato, bendi, aubergine, petola, 6 creepers like . labu grown vertically, 7. vines like kacang, timun, peria etc also grown vertically.
7. Surrounding the farm will be fruits like, kedonding, belimbing, figs, banana, papaya, etc
8. Culture of Black soldier fly larvae for a small fish pond, some free range chickens and ducks
9. Bees for polination (kelulut or lebah madu)
It is alot of work for the underfunded novice that I am, but I have already surveyed the surroundings and will be getting nearly all of my composting material for free. (manpower and transportation is my real cost)
I am pleased to meet and learn from anyone who is willing to share their knowledge with me and will be glad to receive any contributions or tools or equipment that could be useful.
I built a ram pump but it got stolen just yesterday. Sigh.... Will have to build another