Saturday, July 19, 2014

Comfort Farm - A Jamaican farm for the Future

MY land has a rich agricultural history from being a sugar plantation for decades to planting everything from pineapples to cocoa, potatoes, bananas almost everything you can think of was planted on that land over many decades and all of that history has gone into the making of the soil especially the burning and decomposition of sugar cane which is rich in various minerals and many other nitrogen fixing plants. So a section of land was left to the mercy of nature to see how it would naturally evolve overtime. A very big part of Permaculture is to understand the natural environment so one could identify the positives and the negatives, the beneficial and the non-beneficial that make up the ecological system and to observe how it affects the development of the land over time. Nature knows best and is the perfect teacher if we take the time to observe, learn and respect it.

Dense Food Forest, almost impossible to walk through
Looking from the outside at the forested area that was left to the mercy of nature, one just sees a thick jungle canopy, a bush land but it is not until you enter the middle of that forested area, finding a nice comfy spot, sit quietly and observe, that you realize just how wonderful and powerful the natural world can be. The first thing that impressed upon me was just how alive this area was, filled with various birds and insects going about their daily business, doing what they do best. It takes a while for your eyes to adjust to your surroundings as the brain begins to identify the various plants and animal life, the patterns that exist and their inter-connectivity and inter-dependency, all of which comes together to define this unique area. I really love nature, there is nothing like the natural world.

Two Independent natural Off the Grid Source of Water
During the dry season, it trickles, during normal times it flows and during the rainy season as they say "the river come down" but it is never, ever dry.
Another thing that impressed me was that the forested area that was left to the mercy of nature was full of "food", a variety of food that no one planted. That area had enough different types of food to supply a farmers market or market food stalls. One could easily full ones belly without having to do huge amount of work, apart from reaching out and picking from the branches or pulling food from the soil and it was all free, because no human work went into the process, the area was not maintained. It seems seeds that were below the soil for decades, some brought to the location from all around by birds and insects germinated, sprang to life and bear fruit.

Organic Farming and Self-Sufficiency

Everything that was anything was growing in that forested area from pineapple, Otaheite apple, cocoa, yam, pumpkin, oranges, breadfruit, mangoes, guinep, ackee, plums, star apple, bananas, jack fruits just to name a “few” and again no human work went into that process, I had nothing to do with it. Another thing that got me was the natural Vertical development of the land, from the food producing canopy layer such as mangoes and ackees, to the small bushes with berries and fruits like apple and oranges, right down to the ground layer with pineapples, everything seems to find the right position and location, they all seem to occupy the same physical space and still thrive.

I sat there and marveled at life, listening to the wind as it blew through the trees and listening to birds then came to the conclusion that life is good! Not because of money or wealth but because it was peaceful. I have grown to dislike this murdering chaotic world and here I was alive and away from that murdering chaotic world... I had found my happy place.


  1. Is this your land? That river is beautiful. Permaculture and Earthbag homes are the future for Jamaica. Cant wait to secure a piece of land up in the mountains of Portland. You are living the dream sir.

  2. Thank you, yes... a work in progress

  3. thank you for this..a pleasure to read.