Our farm lease covers about 20 hectares (50 acres), approximately 80% is considered recoverable and 10% of the site will be kept as ’significant regrowth habitat’ to protect and encourage local species including birds, insects, land crabs and soil microbiology.
Recovering an old mining lease for growing food for the local community is a worthwhile endeavour. Modelling and documenting the recovery process is increasingly important as our global population grows while much of our productive land suffers increased degradation. Soil recovery and fertility management is based in Trust Nature’s Bio-Vital System of Sustainable Soil Management
We reflect on the Permaculture Principle of ’turning problems into solutions’ and use the mining pits for building our irrigation dams. These are the first dams ever to be built on Christmas Island and they now store more than 4 million litres of water for farm irrigation.
Careful clearing, major earthworks, dam building, water storage, soil management, composting community waste, habitat management and immediate cover cropping were all part of the site management plan.
With nearly 50,000m2 of land recovered and ready for production,we have successfully shown that land reclamation is possible and worthwhile. We have started planting and have ginger, turmeric, and bananas already in the ground and doing well.
Compost is the foundation of any long term cropping, especially in the wet tropics where soil fertility needs careful management. Restoring soil microbial health to achieve nutrient cycling is an essential element of our fertility program.