I am from Canada. I grew up in an area that was seemingly untouched by the surrounding towns and cities. The forests still had trees that were in all likeliness, hundreds of years old. It was considered a waste land by most because of the abundance of swampy areas. I am currently a Hang glider instructor and have decided to move to Yucatan Mexico. I still need to make money so I will travel back to Canada for the flying season to work.
I have been an organic gardener all my life. First introduced to the subject by my father, I carried on to reduce labor and improve productivity. I would build my own gardens using the no dig sheet mulch technique, with great success. I once tried growing Tomatoes in large pots with store bought potting mix and powdered fertilizer, the first year this worked out well, the second year the plants would not grow in the pots. I amended the potting soil with my compost and let it sit for a few months. When I later planted peppers in these pots they grew better than I could have ever imagined. I reinforced that feeding the microbes was the only way to grow. I've continued to read accounts on the internet of permaculturists, and the techniques seem like common sense to me.
Since I moved to mexico, I have witnessed the wide spread slash and burn method of farming. There is barley any soil here in the Yucatan, the ground is mainly porous limestone mixed with a little soil. There is extensive use of irrigation to grow fruit trees and vegetable crops during the dry season. With seemingly no attempt to use mulch or compost to improve water holding and fertility.
I've decided to do an experiment. I'm calling it "Yucatan Permaculture Experiment". I've been permitted to use a couple 1 hectare plots of land. I Hope to try installing swales and extensive mulching to produce a food forest and possibly vegetable gardens that will reduce or eliminate irrigation and improve soil and fertility. The challenge is the soil, there isn't much of it, its mixed in the cracks of the rocks that make up most of the ground. So can this work here? I think it can, at least to some extent, that is my Hypothesis. I hope this will demonstrate a few sound practices and hopefully replicate in this area.