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We Bought a Farm!

Sadly Scarlett Johansson is not living next door (like in the movie We bought a zoo!) but it is a five minute walk down to the Sangamankandy surf break. I'll take the surf break.

About a 25 minute drive North of Arugam Bay is the town of Komari. An rural farming town mostly known for the ancient folk tale of how the area got it's name. That will be the subject of another post, but for now all that matters is the land is on the beach and there is plenty of uncrowded surf to be had.

The only problem is that due to it's beach side location, the soil is quite salty and the winds can be an issue. Not to mention the crocodiles that live in the adjacent lagoon and the elephants that roam the area. All of these can be a slight burden when you are growing crops and chickens. Just slight.

After talking to people about this project I was turned on to permaculture as a method of farming in challenging conditions.

The more I read about permaculture the more fascinated I become. It is essentially food forestry in the simplest terms. You grow a diverse set of crops instead of a mono culture of crops. Typical issues that can be problems in mono culture farming such as soil fertility, weeds, insects, etc. are treated as benefits that can be adapted in permaculture. Crop diversity brings multi faceted benefits. While one crop can eat potassium and deposit nitrogen, a compatriot crop will do the reverse and thereby fill a gap. While growing one type of corn can make you vulnerable to pests, growing 18 different types of corn together will make each species stronger. When one pest is attracted to your greens, grow the flowers that drive the pests away. When weeds take over your soil, use them as green manure to feed nitrogen back into the soil and plant on top of it.

There are many takeaways here but the most exciting thing is discovering the International Permaculture Conference 2017 is taking place in India a few weeks from now! My tickets are booked and I can safely say that I have no idea what I'm doing so I've absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Stay tuned...

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