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A healthy Zone 5 at Finca Taino

All in all Its been a very good week for Taino and permaculture in the DR, and apparently we have a healthy Zone 5 at Finca Taino!

A group of us went up to the farm and we took a few different species of bananas and plantains and created four new Banana Circles. They add diversity to the food forest, help to suck up a lot of water in the wet season in an area that can get boggy and also provide food for us and mulch for the forest and nearby annual gardens.

Taino Farm Cow Paddock and food forest

Cow Paddock to the left and Eastern developing food forest.

Developing Food forest

Thanks to a good friend of mine, Olly Dadswell, I was also able to finally track down some proper orange sweet potatoes that had seemed impossible to locate in the country.  We’re now in mass propagation mode. Sweet potatoes are so good for developing food forests as they are living mulch, they provide the perfect environment for small organisms which add loads of nutrient to the soil. They also have a fungal base which is exactly what forests need.
Bryan and I went out for a couple of bohemia’s that evening, watched basketball with a couple of local guys and had a blast. In the morning I decided to go for a dip in the river to seize my day. To my delight, there was a little turtle already enjoying the river. This really put me in the moment, a subtle reminder of the beauty of nature. One of permaculture’s principles is about zonation. The final zone, furthest form the house is generally left completely unmanaged and natural succession is encouraged. It’s main function is that it to allows natural forna and flora to return. We can then visit nature, not only for total peace of mind, but also to get inspired, nature is always the best teacher. At Taino Farm, we are lucky to have a river running through our zone 5 . Seeing that the river is a healthy enough river to have cranes and turtles really warmed me up and set me up for a great week.
annual permaculture beds

The Annual Beds shot form the roof of the new building

To put the icing on cake, I opened my laptop to Permacuture news.org and the most recent post was stating that there were a few more places for an online PDC with Geoff Lawton, who is probably the most active man in permaculture at present. I’d wondered for some time how I would do the course whilst living here. I have already found, watched and read almost every free resource I could find, so it really felt like it was meant to be.
Little turtle. See bottom right

Little turtle. See bottom left

In 2011 I dropped out of university after a semester because I didn’t see a future in it. I had originally wanted to go through University to eventually research and teach in the fields of Geography and Biology. I didn’t feel I was passionate enough though. Trusting my instincts was the best decision I could have made. Not only have the last two years been the best two years of my life, but I also get to be here now studying something I really believe can benefit the world. I already plan to visit other projects all around the globe and potentially Visit Maya Mountain Research Farm in Belize and take an advanced course next March. Its fair to say Permaculture has made its mark on me and I hope to continue to spread the good word.
Post by Charlie.
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Spring farm update

It has been a interesting couple of months at Taino Farm. April started off with a lot of goodbyes. Much of the core crew moved on to embark on different adventures to various corners of the globe. I’ve found in the kind of life I’m living here in the DR goodbyes are something I have to just except. Sometimes it really seems like things are perfect so It can feel sad when people go, but its important to welcome change too. Possibilities to meet up later in life in other cool places is always nice.

With so may people gone, I was left with a lot of responsibility. I saw it as an opportunity to put what I’d learnt to the test.

bees at taino farms

bees at taino farms

I studied a lot and actively sought more downtime and spent time with nature for inspiration to try and figure out what I felt the next steps should be.

When I discussed  with Victor, Robbie and Stuart what I thought were my ideas, I was happy to find that we were all heading towards the same conclusions. I’m finding out Permaculture is by no means has an exact science but working with nature is definitely a good guideline. I ended up getting a copy of Doug and Tara’s plans which I read through enthusiastically and was humbled to find that with all their experience, they too had much the same vision.

Tropical permaculture orchard

The orchard beginning to take shape

The next steps are to finish what we’ve started, including the multi layers in the food forests. Then Build a couple more annual beds and plant some with “the 3 sisters” . Next is to start thinking about some construction. We’ll be finishing off some of the new accommodations for woofers, building some herb spirals, eventually a pond (aquaculture) and of course planting out and harvesting much, more food.

The Mangoes are repining up and It’s really all falling into place nicely, with the recent rain everything is happening fast. I’m really feeling lucky to be apart of all this. “Permaculture- A revolution disguised as gardening”

 

 

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Planting out a mound by the new irrigation ditch

taino farms cabarete

sweet potato cuttings getting some light in the kitchen

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putting stone work around the new ditch and mound

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