I was intrigued by those permaculture videos on YouTube that show our people going into a village and making progress almost immediately. Probably too good to be true in some ways, but inspiring nonetheless.
Brenda Groth wrote:
in many years we have lived on $3000 or less, and never had a yearly income of more than $25000, so I guess maybe my idea of a little money ..is a lot less than most people's. You are probably right there.
Had we not had an inheritance when my MIL died, we wouldn't have a tractor and probably wouldn't have a running car or truck..so I think of a little money as enough to buy some seeds, a little fuel and some extra food supplies.
Care to share links to some of those videos?
Burra Maluca wrote:
I think the important thing is not to be too rigid when it comes to sticking to your plan. For instance, if you get there and there just isn't anything to mulch with, try planting some stuff anyway just to see if it's possible, but keep researching your area to see what mulch materials are available. Build your raised beds as planned, but if they end up like mine and are completely unusable for five months of the year as it's not possible to keep them moist during long dry spells, then be prepared to change tactics. You'll find a compost toilet kind of a neccessity - what else could you possible do except just poop on the ground? Save gray water? Again, if there's no plumbing it's kind of a no-brainer, you have to do something with it. We end up showering by a different fruit tree every time, kind of two jobs in one! Get to know your chicken predators - we ended up with most poultry inside chicken tractors with tiny square mesh on all sides and underneath because we seriously underestimated the range of local predators, the genet climb walls, the foxes and mongooses tear down insecure mesh and dig underneath, snakes squeeze through tiny gaps, stray dogs take stuff from under your nose... Be wary about chopping stuff down just to make mulch - shade is sometimes at least as important. When you've found which fruit trees grow well, plant loads of them just to get shade and leaf - we ended up with loads of apricot, almond and cherry trees because they seem to love our place and do better than the 'nurse trees' we've tried to grow. Study what the locals grow and frequent any local markets - anything that they sell cheaply is obviously suited to your area so buy some and figure out how to grow it yourself.
I actually DID "parachute drop" onto 23 acres of pure white sand in the tropical drylands of Northeast Brazil-semi-arid, about 500mm rain per year.
Most of what was suggested here is valid, I would think. Here is my experience:
You talk as if you are going to a deserted island. There are people living all the places you dream of going to, probably for hundreds of years. So my first suggestion ( which I should have done!) is to do things like they do - only better! It´s much more eficient to improve on already-established practices than to start from scratch. The learning curve is smaller, and you don´t shock or offend your neighbors - they will actually be most happy, probably, to help you with information and techniques. They actually know much more than you do, for their situation.
I would definitely get to know the native plants and their function, many are accumulating certain nutrients, especially in the poor tropical soils. So composting them is definitely a good idea. In the humid tropcs you don´´t need to compost anything - just lay it on as thick as you can! Here in the drylands we have no decomposition going on for about six months of the year, so we do make compost to take better advantage of the four month planting season. In the tropics there are many trees which can be lopped for this, enormous quantities of material!
Cutter ants gobble up moringa trees, by the way, and they do have a high oxalic acid content, The animals don´t like them much. We use them from time to time, but not that often - too much oxalic acid can cause kidney stones, and most of our plants are high in this !...
You will take around 5 years to get your show together, probably, but the process is really fun!