|Sirao, Cebu City, Philippines|
(projects i'm involved in)
I have been a Catholic priest for 26 years. But I always consider myself a farmer at heart. Everywhere I got assigned, I was always planting trees and doing gardening.
Five years ago a two-hectare property was donated to a cooperative I founded. Unfortunately the previous owners had used so much chemical fertilizers that the soil was sticky like glue during the rainy season and hard as cement during the dry season. Nothing could grow on the property, not even grass.
But we did not give up. Five years of doing what I later realized were permaculture adaptations, now the farm is very much alive and productive.
About three years ago I joined the first Permaculture Learning Group initiated by Joel Lee in Cebu City. It was a great blessing for me. It gave me a clearer idea of what we were trying to do in the farm, and of what more we can do and what we can do better.
In applying permaculture principles in a farm, one cannot be a purist, and one has to be patient. There is always the right time for everything. Just let mother nature be the guide. And she is always the boss.
We had lots of hits and misses but mother nature had been a very good and patient teacher. More and more we are becoming better students.
From time to time friends come to the farm to learn with us. There is so much more we need to know----so much more we need to do.