Recently, a friend asked me what my mission was with respect to the farm. Had never thought about it in that way. Usually, the “mission statement’ comes up at the start of an endeavor. I had the advantage of being asked this seven years after living on the farm. I mentally looked back at what we have advocated with respect to enriching a farm and the key words that came up were trees and perennials.
I quickly blurted out that our current mission is to produce, preserve and distribute seeds, cuttings and saplings of 5 trees.
- Agathi / Sesbania
Of these the first 3 provide excellent nutrition for humans and birds and all 5 trees produce rich food for the soil. Insects love eating castor leaves and humans can consume oil extracted from its seeds. Gliricida provides cheap and easy chop and drop nitrogen for the soil. Moring and Agathi are legumes that fix nitrogen and purify water. Papaya adds leaf matter and sugar at high frequency for micro organisms to feast on. Castor breaks up the soil where nothing else can grow and brings water table up through its long roots that other surrounding plants can borrow.
So far, the farm has produced more than 10,000 seeds of moringa, 5000 seeds of castor , 2000 cuttings of gliricidia, hundreds of papaya saplings and thousands of papaya seeds for gifting. We are low on Agathi seed propagation and distribution but planning to ramp this up.
They need to be planted just once. They will live for long and/or self propagate. With have a lifetime supply of produce, you can make your mission statement too!