Organic farming


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Tips with pictures for organic gardening and little organic farms. For the purpose of this presentation, I define garden as a peace of land from a quarter hectare up to about 1 hectare and little farm from 1-3 hectares, rarely larger. The larger your farm the more complex your work and the less quality of life you can achieve as farmer family.

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Organic farming

  1. 1. Organic Farm and Gardening Tips eBook This eBook is a very small excerpt from "Spiritual Treasures - Final Edition" To receive a full original of all "Spiritual Treasures - Final Edition" for FREE, please visit the "Spiritual Treasures page on Facebook" or go directly to the "Spiritual Treasures download"Tips with pictures for organic gardening and little organic farms. For the purpose ofthis presentation, I define garden as a peace of land from a quarter hectare up toabout 1 hectare and little farm from 1-3 hectares, rarely larger. The larger your farmthe more complex your work and the less quality of life you can achieve as farmerfamily.A small organic farm needs creative ideas to be fun and provide healthy organicfood besides being a natural living environment and adventurous playground forhappy children. Hence little farms need to look like organic gardens - just larger.Farming should be conducted like gardening, with love and health rather than withprofits in mind.This growing tips section with pictures from various little organic farms in thePhilippines and the Kingdom of Cambodia can in no way be all inclusive in teachingyou organic gardening skills or organic farming skills. The purpose of these tipshowever is to open and broaden your mind, to show you a variety of differentgardening methods or farming techniques used in both tropical countries as well asto add additional tips from my own experience as a farmer son in a totally differentclimate and environment in the Swiss mountains.
  2. 2. CONTENTBeautiful small farmhouse amidst natureChoosing a farm locationChoosing a farmhouse locationOrganic farming is like gardening - just largerAnimal farming or vegetarian farmingVegetarian farming allows full use of natureIntegrate your garden into natureBe creative and innovative in your gardening skillsSuccess in organic farmingOrganic gardening needs love for natureAdd natural beauty to your farmAllow nature on your organic farm to create balanceUsing animals on farming adds work and expensesA smallest possible farmHow to choose your house location on your propertyLearn to live with nature instead of fighting natureLearn to make the best out of your farmlandKnow what you love to farm and choose a land suitable for your needsKeep your small farmhouse clean amidst beautiful wildernessThe direct proximity of your house is needed for your nurseryDefine your favorite farming typeLearn to use existing farmland features for your benefitThere is no poor soil but only poor understanding of the soil you haveNever try to enforce a type of farming in a wrong placeCreate diversity in your farm just like jungle
  3. 3. Jungle and wilderness is strong because of diversityLearn about origin of fruits and plants you plantAvoid to copy other farmers and try to be differentIf you love and care for nature - nature loves you backLearn the value of nature before attempting to replace natureRevenue sources for farmingThe first goal of every farm is self sustainabilityOffer guest rooms on your farmAdd nature beauty for your guestsPhilippines farm houseKitchen house on Philippine farmHow to convert grass land into gardenDig deep and add bio waste for mulchingMulching as bio fertilizer in your gardenPeanut plants grow in heavy poor soilAdventure vacation for children on a farmChildren may add to family resources while having funProfitability of farming - Learn calculation basics for your farmProfitability in farming is a need for progressA business or farm may be fully flourishing and yet produce a lossCalculate profitability of your farm - introduction of definitionsFixed overhead expenses in farmingFlexible or variable overhead expenses in farmingTotal operational cost of production in farmingProfitability of animal farming - work and timeLearn to calculate your own cattle or animal profitability
  4. 4. Spiritual aspects of animal farmingRetail price markup and profitsProfit margin in farming, business retail or wholesaleWithout profit there is no progressTraditional farming methods vs modern high tech farmsThe purpose of honest profits in farmingBalance between organic farming, high tech farm and stone age methodsPurpose of farming is self sustainability for family needsHow much self sustainability is reasonableDiversity of food produced depends on the choice or your landGrow what loves your soil most at every corner of your propertyUniqueness of your farming as an inspiration for your communitySelf sustainability in farming as a powerful environment protectionComplement your plantation with suitable plants or treesInsects and bugs are Gods helpersThe damage of pesticide, herbicide and fungicide on our entire natureHow to find suitable plants or treesThe water purity is vital for all lifeReasonable self-sustainability vs full self sustainability in farmingFull self-sustainability in life and farming is impossibleCombine beauty with usefulness in your garden and farmLess roads and limited transportation for a self sustaining farm lifeBiodiversity as key to success in organic farmsDiversification of farm revenues to increase profitabilityAdd beauty and diversity to your farmNature beauty is delicious
  5. 5. Lifestyle of the future - all are part time farmersThe multitude of many small things add up to true quality of life
  6. 6. Beautiful small farmhouse amidst natureA little farm should be a size that you still can manage as a family farmwhile having another part time job and quality time for your own familyand loved ones! The ideal farmers work situation is a mixed job - partfarming, part professional work. Ideally you work at home on the farmamidst nature and loving family. The goal is to teach and inspire you towork at home joint venture with your entire family. With your childrenlearning from you while watching you and assisting you while you areworking amidst your garden of flowers, fruits, vegetables and some Godmade wild nature nearby is the goal of this farming tips picture series.The ideal farm size may be in the range of 3 hectares for a small farmwith mixed job farmers. Up to 3 hectares can easily be managed inorganic farming by a single family in a part time job in addition to somepart time work for the outside world.
  7. 7. Choosing a farm locationSeveral criteria to chose a location for your little farm. All make senseand are obvious. Yet if tempted with cheap offers when looking topurchase your farmland, you may easily overlook some importantcriteria and have to pay a life long for mistakes made in your initialchoice. Create a brief checklist for all important factors., Even better,invite an old farmer to join you when looking at prospective farms orfarmland.The most important in a farm is water. A farm needs running water.That means water flowing by gravity rather than by pumps. Hence youchose a location that has a small creak originating on your property orflowing through your land. Clean water of drinking quality of course. Agarden or vegetable field needs pure drinking water quality irrigationelse you have polluted vegetables and fruits.You also need your own well with drinking water for your household.Hence you have to chose a location on the lower side of a hill with anatural flow of underground water wells to find and dig for your needsof fresh year round water supply.The best season to chose a farm location for its available water ofcourse is by the end of a dry season. During rainy season we have watereverywhere. The important however is to have water after a long dryseason.A garden or farm land without pure water has no value. Zero! If youneed to pump water my motorized water pumps, youll have life longadditional mechanical work and financial expenses for your watersupply. There is ample water in nature. You just have to search and findthe right location to have water for household and farmland.To rebuild missing or destroyed nature is impossible within a singlegeneration. Hence chose a location with old strong nature surroundingyour farm house and protect God made nature when constructing yourown home. No money and no profits ever can substitute a clean naturalenvironment. Wild nature keeps you and your family healthy, happy andstrong!
  8. 8. Choosing a farmhouse locationA house needs sunshine all day long, flowing drinking water from yourown source and a beautiful wild nature around your farmhouse toprovide you with strong life-force and natural beauty for increasedquality of life.A house needs flowers, wild trees, wild herbs and plants and bloomingtrees or shrubs to make life pleasant. Hence if you construct your house- look at some of the pictures shown and see how a farm house can beintegrated into nature without any nature destruction.A house always should be smaller than all surrounding trees, integratingand adapting into nature rather than imposed onto nature. betweenyour own house and the neighbor property should be an area ofbeautiful nature - a piece of wild forest or jungle. That gives you andyour neighbors privacy and keeps playing children away from possiblestreets or other outside dangers.Being invisible to nature assures that you stay within your limits andavoid to create visual pollution for your neighbors. Whatever you do onyour farm and in your home should stay within your own boundaries.That assures that all your neighbors have the freedom to create theirown life and living environment without any impact or disturbance fromyou. Keep your noises inside your property as well as all your pollution,smoke, animals and all else. Honor other peoples freedom to be withoutany influence from you or others. Each family should have a small cleanproperty of its own. A small "kingdom" free from outside influences ofany kind.
  9. 9. Organic farming is like gardening - just largerThe goal of this gardening and farming articles is to turn your little farminto a large garden with lots of mixed culture, lots of beautiful flowersamidst all vegetables and fruits. Learn to create wilderness - a chaoticlooking peace of nature with built in self healing. A garden is a source oflife force and beauty. Each farm should look like an extended garden - abeautiful mixture of colorful flowers and edible food amidst andsurrounded / protected wild nature. A key source of inspiration fororganic farming is wild nature, specially jungle. Jungle is a healthy,strong chaotic looking God made organized botanical/biologicalstructure in full harmony. Neither needing fertilizer nor needing anychemicals such as herbicides, pesticide or fungicides! Learn from Godmade nature for the holistic well being of all mankind including yourvery own family and children.Every farm starts with a small nursery in your garden to produceseedlings.
  10. 10. Animal farming or vegetarian farmingThis question is an important question to answer by you. The decisionyou make may have an essential impact for your entire life, the qualityof life for your entire family and the overall burden of workload waitingfor you.Myself I grew up on a small farm with many animals. My parents lovedto eat meat and to produce meat for our society. It was impossible toconvince my parents to become vegetarian farmers.Later on much more on this decision you make when choosing the typeof farming or gardening with or without animals. In brief a simple andyet absolute rule: If you keep animals as prisoners of your farm, youbecome prisoner of your animals as well. Any kind of animal farmingalways leads to a 24/7/365 duty of personal physical presence - all lifelong. No weekend off, no vacation, no night away from home.
  11. 11. Vegetarian farming allows full use of natureGod made a fertile nature for your benefit. Vegetarian farming orgardening allows you to harvest from wild forest, jungle or wild grassfields. You just need to learn to know all edible wild herbs, salads orvegetables to supplement your own gardening products.Learn to know nature and use wild nature as a God made extendedgarden. Herbs, flowers, salads and many other most precious foodsources are growing in wild nature. Learn from indigenous populationand old farmers about the value of wilderness as a food resource.
  12. 12. Integrate your garden into natureMany small garden pieces add up to large production. Garden plantssurrounded by wild nature. Just look at the strength of vegetation ofjungle. Jungle and wild grassland normally has a much strongervegetation than most gardens or farm fields. God made chaotic lookingdivine and perfect harmony within nature makes it possible. Learn fromjungle and integrate your plants into nature.Make use of empty space in nature for your gardening of seedlings orvegetables. Avoid large monoculture fields. A beautiful example is thistiny field may be 1.5x1.5 meters will produce about 50 pieces of saladsor vegetable plants. Fully surrounded by nature. Nature leaves manysmall open areas waiting for you to add beauty or additional plants foryour food needs.
  13. 13. Be creative and innovative in your gardening skillsUse new gardening techniques for more pleasant working conditions.If soil too wet or otherwise unfit for a particular plant. Create a naturalspace to accommodate your vegetables or herbs. Here a suspendedsmall herbal garden - a typical system used frequently in Cambodia. Alsouseful as a plant nursery. Elevated plants means less backache duringyour repeated daily care for youngest seedlings. Elevated nursery alsomay keep snails and other ground bound animals away from eating upyour small seedlings.
  14. 14. Success in organic farmingMixed culture is the key to organic farm success. On the picture here inone field we have rice almost ready to harvest and beautiful high sweetpotato. Mixed culture enforces each other, just as in jungle.The entire farm field is surrounded by wild grass, plants and strongtrees to further strengthen the entire biosphere.
  15. 15. Organic gardening needs love for natureWild flowers and butterflies as proof of healthy nature in your garden.Wild herbs and flowers amidst your garden are like healing herbs foryour garden, keeping your entire garden beautiful and strong withoutany chemicals nor fertilizer.
  16. 16. Add natural beauty to your farmFarming means gardening in Gods nature - just larger. Gods nature ismade to be beautiful and pleasant to enjoy as living space. Yourfarmland should be like a huge garden, a combination of beautifulflowers, blooming shrubs or trees, fruits and vegetables combined withbeautiful waters.Instead of storing water in containers for additional irrigation duringdry season, create ponds amidst your farm land and convert your pondsinto beautiful nature gems.
  17. 17. Allow nature on your organic farm to create balanceWhen you plant your crop in garden or farm land, you create imbalancein nature. Then after planting your crop it is necessary to allow natureto re-establish balance. Allow all plants to grow around your vegetables,trees and crop. If you choose all your plants properly, then all will learnto coexist and enforce each other like in jungle.Testing, experimenting and adapting to natures needs will help you tohave a beautiful and strong biosphere on your organic farm. A copy ofwild nature and jungle adapted for farming in harmony with Godscreation. Every herb or grass has a purpose and meaning in Gods entirecreation. Every herb or plant has healing power for humans, animals andall nature. The more diversified your vegetation in your garden orfarmland, the stronger nature.
  18. 18. Using animals on farming adds work and expensesAnimals need additional food and thus additional land and care in a busyfarmers world. Every convenience has a price. Hence think twice if youreally need help by animals on your farm. Healthy animals needadditional living space in freedom, healthy food and daily care. Howeverto use machines instead is no bio-friendly solution. Technology addsmuch more to environment pollution and expenses to your life than anynatural solution would do.If you find no alternative at all, then consider a coop where multiplefarmers share tools and resources. To be happy with all your family, allpossible animals you want to keep on your farm need to be happy aswell. Only animals in God given freedom can be happy. No lace, nochain, no stable to restrict freedom!
  19. 19. A smallest possible farmThis little farm belongs to an old man in Cambodia. One small househidden under the green wine covering his roof amidst a little garden ofapproximately 0.1 hectare. Enough to supply all lifes needs for a mostsimple life of a single person. The last 2 years I visited this old man everyfew months. Each visit the farm land looks different, new vegetable, newcrop ready to harvest. All farming work done by hand without anymachinery nor helper. Each time I see the old farmer he seems happyand is smiling.
  20. 20. How to choose your house location on your propertyA farm house needs to be your home during drought and floodedseasons alike. Choosing your house location has many aspects toconsider for all eventualities and seasons.As said earlier you need a location that offers you free flowing watereven late dry season. The opposite is to offer clean drinking waterduring flooded times later in rainy season. Test availability of waterduring both extremes of the year. Consider extreme years of exceptionaldrought or exceptional heavy rainy seasons during the past manycenturies.In an area such as most of Cambodia where thousands of squarekilometers are regularly flooded each year. many farmers have chosen alocation with a self-made small elevated hill for the house. Maybe onemeter above the direct surrounding land. That keeps the direct vicinityof your house dry for much of the rainy season and may make livingeasier.However all Khmer style houses are built on stilts - usually some 2-3meters high rarely less - and most people have a small family row boatto fully adapt to the annual flooding of the land. Flooding thus no longeris a disaster but a normal state of nature and people are fully adapted towelcome the heavy rain blessing each year for their benefit rather thanto regard it as a disaster.Lots of flooded areas means lots of potential fish breathing waters toproduce highly valuable aquatic life as a food resource.
  21. 21. Learn to live with nature instead of fighting natureIf your territory is underwater, then learn to live afloat rather thanfighting water.If you learn to adapt to nature, then nature becomes your supporter,source of food and livelihood and your best friend. The question of beingvictim of nature or beneficiary of nature is but a matter of learningabout nature and integrating yourself into nature.Some people love it dry, others wet or afloat. Some love to live alongocean coast while others may prefer hills, mountains, jungle or simplycountry side. There is enough space for all, for each and every taste.Every particular situation has its beautiful side, you just need to see itand learn to live with it rather than fighting nature or attempting toconvert nature to fit into your selfish desires and goals.
  22. 22. Learn to make the best out of your farmlandInstead of changing your farmland to match your needs, learn to useexisting land conditions for the greatest benefits.While such wet of flooded areas may be unfit for most vegetables orfruits, these very conditions are ideal for lotus farming, aquaculture andgrowing aquatic weeds during each rainy season and for rice farmingduring lesser flooded season of the year.Know what you truly love to do and know to do. The choose yourlocation according to your own expertise and preferences. Avoid rapingyour heart and soul to live in an area you dislike nor rape nature to fitinto your plans. There is an ideal place that matches all yourpreferences. be ready to learn and open your mind for new alternatemethods of modern organic farming in full harmony with nature for ourall benefit.
  23. 23. Know what you love to farm and choose a land suitable for your needsBefore choosing land for your garden or farm, you need to know whatyou want to grow. Know what quality of soil your favorite plants ortrees need. What water or irrigation you need. What sunshine and cloudhours your farmland needs to offer ideal climate and weather conditionsfor your planned farming type.Know the quality of soil you have on prospective land you look at. Knowthe soil, how it looks, feels, smells. Know what variety of plants of treescan fit or adapt comfortably in available soil condition.Do you know a large variety of different plants, vegetables, flowers andfruits that grow strongly in exactly these given conditions you have?Organic farming requires knowledge of nature and natural energy.Organic farming requires skills to live with existing conditions withoutthe need of artificial fertilizer or chemicals. To successfully live fromorganic farming you need to be able to plant and grow in harmony withexisting natural conditions and use the existing nature strength toproduce powerful healthy agriculture products, food and otheragriculture resources offered and supported by existing nature.
  24. 24. Keep your small farmhouse clean amidst beautiful wildernessPreserve and protect all nature when building a house. Most of theshrubs and trees here need many years or decades to grow to existingbeautiful size and strength. Your existing strong nature around yourhouse is the most essential source of healthy life-force and healthcarefor you and the entire family.Preserving all nature as is when integrating your small house intoexisting nature may eventually save you thousands of dollars in medicalbills later on in life. Wild, healthy nature is priceless in value to qualityof life and health of your entire family.While preserving existing nature, keep your house clean and neat - thisis your living and working area as well as the playground for all yourfamily. Make your home a place all love to stay and enjoy to stay.To enhance beauty, add more flowers, blossoming trees and shrubsamidst existing natural vegetation.
  25. 25. The direct proximity of your house is needed for your nurserySmall plants and tree seedlings are like children - needing protectionand daily loving care. Small seedlings may need multiple times a dayirrigation, supervision, protection from animals you or your neighborsmay have. Thus you may prefer to have your entire nursery close toyour house. Even children may love to care for your nursery and firstlearn under your direct supervision, then accept responsibility for theirown small nursery.Young plants are like our baby angels - they feel most comfortableamidst strong protecting surrounding. Hence you integrate your nurseryinto a neighborhood of strong old plants and trees. Yet small plantsneed their very own little space just as our own babies and children do!If you know how to care for many babies and children with loving careand without grand mother or baby sitter, then you also have the lovingcare for a successful nursery. In farming the owners always to all thework, without outside help, without farm helper or farm slaves.Farming only is suitable for people willing to work hard and willing tolearn to do all on their own. Farming is one of the most ideal familybusiness types offering near infinite number of choices and varieties ofwork for all family members to be creative and free in their work.
  26. 26. Define your favorite farming typeDepending on your preferences you have particular farmland needs tofulfill when choosing your land and location. Hence you first have toknow what type of farming you love to do. Love!Whatever type of farming you do, you really need to love that type offarm work else your life as a farmer turns into lifetime imprisonment orlifetime punishment rather than into a life of joy and happiness amidst abeautiful nature!The basic choices we had earlier: Animals or vegetarian. While myparents strictly were animal farmers with cows, horses, ponies, sheep,goats, rabbits, pork, poultry, fish and much more. We also had a largenumber of fruit trees, berries, corn, potato and a large variety ofvegetable and salads. Most for our own farm use to feed our animals.Some for sale and the rest for human consumption. For the reasonsmentioned earlier, I learned clearly that animal farming turns a farmerinto a slave and even worst, you make no real profits when looking at allthe additional expenses and work needed.My favorite farming style clearly is organic vegetarian farming combinedwith natural use of all already existing natural resources of forest,jungle and wild grass land.So most of the now following chapters on organic farming will focus onvegetarian farming.There are thousands and more types of vegetables, fruits, berries, etcthat are available. Hence you need to know where your interests are,where your expertise is and even more importantly what you as anentire family love and enjoy to do.Based on these family preferences and love for a particular type offarming, you need to select your farmland, farm location, province orclimate.Once you have your village or location selected, you need to find theprecise piece of land that offers the soil you need for your type offarming! Or if you have a wide interest and wide field of what you loveto do and enjoy to learn and do, you may see the full potential of anavailable or already given piece of land and know how to use this landfor your plant selection and trees.A few example to show you what I mean in the following chapter.
  27. 27. Learn to use existing farmland features for your benefitThere are plants and vegetables that love a particular condition or typeof the following soil, sun and water conditions:- wet or flooded land - like for rice farming- plain sunshine vs partial shadow vs full shadow- heavy soil- mostly dry soil- rich soil- stony, sandy or gravel soil- salty air or the opposite - far from ocean nearby- salty water near ocean - or strictly no salty water as ground water- year round regular irrigation or rain vs dry season interchanging withrainy season- year round moderate tropical or subtropical climate vs hot summer /cold winter seasons. Remember most of my writing is about tropical, yetwe still have zones with "cold" winter below 20 degrees Centigrade innight time vs zones with always 25 degrees Centigrade or more even incoldest nights during winter.- sunny side of a hill or mountain vs shadow side- flat land vs hills- natural forest or jungle on property- altitude above sea level - even near equator you may have freezingtemperature at altitudes above approximately 2000 meters a.s.l.Any existing a.m. natural condition is suitable for farming as long as youknow what type of vegetation loves that particular environment and soilquality or soil condition.
  28. 28. There is no poor soil but only poor understanding of the soil you haveThere are numbers of trees and plants that love what you call poor soil.Soil with limited of no water. Dusty, rocky, stony or sandy - even nearbeach with salty air or salty ground water ...God made something that loves exactly that type of conditions. Look atthe image and the surrounding soil. Dry and "poor" soil but exactly theperfect condition for rich dragon fruit farming farming. Many other fruitslove same or similar conditions. Such as papaya tree with a rich harvestas little as 9 months after planting a seed, or watermelon plants - ajuicy fruit growing in very dry soil, even near ocean.Many most precious herbs such as thyme, marjoram, origano, sage andcountless other most precious herbs for herbal tea, herbal medicine orseasoning of high class cuisine love dry sandy or rocky conditions withlittle soil and little water year round.You see, there is no such thing as poor soil, just poor knowledge aboutall possibilities your soil offers you. Never copy what millions doalready, be different and learn to understand the very special treasureGod gave you with the land you own. There may be herbs you onlyharvest a few kgs every now and then, but at a price 100 times higherthan cabbage, tomato or potato because you may have somethingneeded in milligrams or drops instead of kilograms.Despite the "poor soil" the dragon fruit bear fruits as soon as 8 monthsafter planting a new seedling and then keep bearing fruits all year long.That sounds quite rich to me specially when looking at the local price ofhalf dollar to one dollar a single fruit.
  29. 29. Never try to enforce a type of farming in a wrong placeImposing a fish pond into a dry region gives you lots of additional work.Th every same farmer having the beautiful dragon fruit farm far fromnearest city, near jungle and slightly elevated above all flooded areashas an artificial fish pond. That requires daily feeding and all theproblems that accompany artificial farming in an unnatural environment.There are many common sense criteria that should prevent such a fishpond in an otherwise rather dry region.First of all: That farm is some 50 kms away from nearest smaller city =your potential customers. Fish need to be transported either cooled oralive. Growing fish far from customers artificially inflates prices andmake fish farming uncompetitive.In addition the daily feeding makes the fish artificially expensive until afish reaches market size of 150-200 grams that very fish may eat upmost of its selling price inn food.There are thousands of square kilometers of naturally flooded rice fieldsall across Cambodia. Hence to introduce fish farming into existingflooded rice fields might be a far more elegant choice. Farm fish such asTilapia grow in a single rainy season to marketing size of approximately150 grms. Tilapia feeds on any kind of food including plants, insects etc.Such a natural potential of fish farming within existing flooded areasmay require zero feeding and zero additional work or cost at all.Be mentally flexible - search for solutions to be applied into naturalconditions rather than creating artificial farming methods.The more natural your entire farming, the more cost efficient and theless care you need to become productive and successful as a farmer.Nature offers you a treasure - recognize that gift of love from God andconvert this gift into a blessing for your customers, neighbors.and lovedones alike.
  30. 30. Create diversity in your farm just like jungleInstead of an entire farm mono culture - create a variety of differentvegetation on your land. Different vegetables, flowers, trees mixed withwild grass and small jungle like areas.Learn what vegetables, herbs and flowers match together. Mix flowersand vegetables, blooming shrubs and blossoming trees amidst fruittrees. Create a piece wild and beautiful looking harmony. Nature is likemankind, different plants helping each other, healing each otherreinforcing each other.Rather than growing in straight rows - copy wilderness and jungle andgrow in harmony. A row or mono-culture is man made disharmony.Wilderness is God created harmony - thus stronger than man maderows.
  31. 31. Jungle and wilderness is strong because of diversityLearn how to create your own diversity on your land. How? Take a smallpiece of your land, may be 50x50 meters. Buy all kinds of seeds fromflowers, herbs, vegetables, poultry food seeds, etc. 20-50 differenttypes of seeds. From some plants you may want to choose differentvarieties to see what grows best or strongest.Then prepare your piece of test land for the new seed first. Get allsurface fine crumbly and moist. May be you choose a few days withcloudy weather or light rain to help the seeds grow faster and easier.Now mix all seeds in a big pot. One pot of seeds with dozens of differentkind of herbs, flowers, etc. now spread all seeds evenly on your entireprepared land. Cover the seeds gently depending on seed type. largerseeds a little deeper, small seed grains just barely covered by soil.Moist all area gently. Irrigate multiple times a day. 2-3 days later thefirst seeds start to grow. If you made a good choice of all your favoriteherbs, vegetables and flowers - a few months later you have a wildlooking rich growing variety of vegetables in your garden.Decoratedwith flowers and green grass/herbs.Avoid to mess up your newly created wilderness - just leave it up tonature and natural selection which plant to grow and survive and whichto die.
  32. 32. Learn about origin of fruits and plants you plantStudy the history of your planned vegetables, fruits or flowers. Manyflowers, fruits and vegetables have been imported from far awaycountries, from other climate zones. The more such plants or trees aremoved away from their original climate zone, the more likely they aregetting weaker and prone to insects and other illnesses.A tree in a totally wrong climate gets weaker and weaker and thus lessresistant to aggressive insects or other affects of wrong climate.Insects or beetle eating up trees such as the coconut beetle are nothingelse but God sent cleaners to remove whatever disturbs natural balance.Examples for easier understanding:Grapes are planted on all continents. Even in colder zones such asSwitzerland. We had a small vineyard. Grape leaves are prone to mildewif growing in a wrong climate with too little sunshine and too much fogor clouds. Hence additional chemical spraying is done to compensate forwrong climate. Grapes are less sweet and vine less fruitful and lesstasty. Yet farmers often hang onto a particular fruit or plant just forprofit or even worst out of tradition because we always did so.Similar to sage - a beautiful herb for seasoning, herbal tea and herbalmedicine. The sage shrub grows even in cold climate of central Europeeasily. But if grown in semi-shadow the sage leaves may be covered bymildew as well. For the same reason - too little direct sunshine hours.Another last example would be our globally appreciated tomato. Tomatogrows almost all around the world. But only a very few country havetruly delicious and tasty tomato! Such are the Canary islands, Italy anda few similar places. While we have tomato plants in central Europe, inIndia or Philippines. none of them are even nearly as tasty.The reason: It is either too little sunny (central Europe) or too tropical.Tomato is NO tropical fruit at all. To develop its full delicious tastetomato needs a precise climate/temperature zone.Hence most of the plants and vegetables we currently have may beimported from exotic remote countries. Use Internet and research thehistory and true origin of your favorite plants, trees and flowers. Thestudy the original climate, temperature, rain situation, etc from thatoriginal country and see if your location is very close the the nativehome of your favorite plants.In organic farming or organic gardening we need to learn to focus ontrue needs of plants to free ourselves from the need of chemical"protection". All plants and trees always are strong when grown in theirnative climate. Look at jungle and wild grass on the many naturepictures seen here. The you see that mother nature grows hugequantities of biomass without fertilizer and without any pesticide,fungicide or herbicide.When some gardeners or farmers have problems with particular plantsor trees, then may be they insist of having their plants in wronglocations. The price for wrong choice is a lifetime struggle for healthyharvest or mere survival of the plantation with all additional cost ofwork and chemicals involved.
  33. 33. Avoid to copy other farmers and try to be differentTo be different requires inspiration and the courage to be a pioneer - thefirst to do something your way. People are lazy and prefer to haveothers do the inventions, the research, the testing and as soon as theysee what is successful, they copy. In Internet as web publisher I seemore people copying me than people doing something on their own!The very same in family business or farming. The point however is: If inone region, one province, one country or even a continent more andmore people do the very same type of farming, then we turn such agrowing area more and more into a mono-culture and thus we start tocreate an ever growing imbalance in nature.If however we try to be different from all others, we create a new,unique market with little or no competition and a unique customermarket.Whatever we plant needs to be naturally accepted and welcomed by ourconsumers. One of the primary goal of all farming concepts is to createself sufficiency within each village, each region, each country as muchas naturally possible. Hence after dozens of potato farms or corn farms,we need a huge variety of vegetables, herbs for seasoning, berries,fruits, flowers, etc.In a country of rice eaters - may be its time to review our addition torice. May be it is easier for farmers to produce less rice but in additionsome corn, some potato, some sweet potato and lots of vegetables.Example Philippines. Our Filipino love fish, pork, chicken and chicks,love and almost no fruits and even less salads or vegetables.That however is a matter of tradition and of lack of education! It iscommonly accepted that fruits, vegetables and salads are healthy andexcellent for a well balanced nutrition and strong immune system.Hence a little education starting in elementary school would change theentire agriculture habits of planting rice only. We have lots of highaltitude mountains suitable for corn, all kinds of vegetables, deliciousnon-tropical fruits such as oranges, grapes, passion fruit, mandarins,apples, pears, plum, cherry and many more.All you need is to teach people to eat healthier and teach farmers toproduce what people eat.In the different island zones of the Philippines, we have opportunities toplanet sunflowers, corn, potato and many other substitute for coconutoil or rice.Learn to plant many different varieties of edible food. Study the globalagriculture when ever you travel. Travel with open senses, open eyes.Look at all different styles of agriculture, of irrigation, of plantations.The bring home new ideas and implement them on your own farm or inyour own garden.Centuries ago bringing home new plants or seeds was easy. Now inmany countries such as Philippines the import of seeds, fruits or plantsis prohibited and has to go through complicated quarantineprocedures. Thus a free and fruitful exchange of new plants and newideas is nearly impossible thanks to narrow minded governmentauthorities - specially in places where needed most such as Philippineislands but also many other countries in need for better agriculture.
  34. 34. India for example lacks a year round mango harvest - Philippines haveall year mango season. Some months more, some less. A free exchangebetween farmers directly would benefit entire nations. Hundreds ofmillions of people!Learn to be different from your countrys traditional agriculturemethods. Be creative and innovative. Create solutions to implement newnatural food products into your local region. Be the first to do somethingnew in a village or neighborhood.
  35. 35. If you love and care for nature - nature loves you backEverything in nature makes sense - learn to understand nature to knownatures value. If you realize that nature is Gods gift to you and studyall nature, then you realize the treasure of nature for your farm, for yourentire family and mankind.If you care for nature, keep nature as is and live and farm with naturerather than competing with nature, then nature loves you back andincreases your overall quality of life and harvest.Today I visited the "farm" of a rich one here. He got 3 hectares of land -formerly jungle just a few decades back. Now the left over of emptiness.No value because all jungle destroyed. Poor harvest this year becauseno love for nature - means no love from nature. A huge area ofdestroyed nature with poor farmland. Whatever you do to nature isbouncing back to you. The law of karma also applies to farming and allother aspects of exploitation of nature. There is so much half used realfarmland, that we have no need for more farmland in Cambodia, justreal need for alternate farming methods, new organic farming ideasimplemented and protected by government as well. Instead of quickexploitation of land, learn to be a gardener - a guardian of land.Enhance, care, irrigate during drought when needed, protect fromhuman influence and abuse, keep clean and green. In return nature willshow you the wealth of possible harvest in food or medical herbs orother resources originating in wild nature or jungle.
  36. 36. Learn the value of nature before attempting to replace natureConvert into farmland or maintain a treasure. This are the 2 basic likelyreactions or mind sets when a new farmer gets a piece of land like thissmall area less than a quarter hectare in size.Get a tractor and turn it over to plant some corn, potato or a mangotree ...OrLets sit down and study what kind of treasure God created here andwhat type of herbal medicine and natural resources are growing here forthe benefit of our farm, nature and our planet.Look at the extreme bio-diversity and density of growth. how about justkeeping all as is until you fully understand every single plant, shrub ortree growing on this tiny piece of wild nature. This however make takehundreds of years ... we have eternity time!Look at the extreme mixture and combination of different plants next toeach other without reducing each others life force or growth.The secret within this area is the right combination of differentvegetation enhancing and protecting each other. The very same strongbiodiversity can be integrated into regular farming. All you need to learnis to combine:- fruits - fruit trees- flowers- vegetables- herbs- grass- "weeds"all into one piece of land. "Weeds" is what we call if we lack anyknowledge or understanding about a particular plant. In reality everysingle plant is herbal medicine either for animals or humans or fornature itself!Or a plant is a food resource for any above.If you understand nature, there shall be no more "weeds" - onlyvaluable herbs or food in your garden or beauty for your yes, heart andsoul.If you take away such beautiful treasures of nature and convert it into"productive" farmland or garden, then may be you get nature feeding onyour farmland and garden.
  37. 37. Revenue sources for farmingTo make a living you need to grow beyond crop and potato. If you dowhat millions of farmers do, then you may be poor like million others orwork cheaper than any helper in cities and factories. A farmer is aboutlowest paid expert in the world. That has to change and I am going tohelp you as far as possible by inspiring you with new different ideas.Then its up to you to convert ideas into reality.Of course part of the farming may include crop, corn, potato to feed thisplanet. But you need to produce other values besides basic food. Look atthe treasure God gave you to guard and protect for this world. Offerthese values to the city world - they need your farm and farm productsinfinitely much more than mobile phones and computers or cars andgadgets!In future chapters I cover:- establish direct communication with end consumers- offer healthcare- invite city people as guests- supply directly to consumers- offer farm life as recreation- offer nature experience- teach basic gardeningand other means to create additional substantial revenue sources foryour farm family.
  38. 38. The first goal of every farm is self sustainabilityThe easiest way to earn is to save. Living for a farmer should be free,because a farmer should be free of mortgages and debts. Simple andsmall, but owned by you and never a bank.The next step is to evaluate what your entire families and relatives loveand what among those food products you can produce yourself on yourfarm.Hence you have a number of different fruit trees to satisfy your familyneeds, crop and other basic food for all year. All vegetables, salads andherbs.By the end of all self sustainability you may find a few products missingfrom your own farm production. Hence you need to produce surplus inexchange of money or missing goods.On our own mountain farm, we had about a dozen cows and thatresulted in some 50 liters of milk for sale. The entire cattle story wasthe biggest work load and largest loss in money. My parents failed tounderstand and calculate real numbers.In addition we had a number of apple, pear, plum and cherry trees andwithin the first few years planted 450+ more plum trees and some 150more sour cherry trees. In addition to several other sources foradditional revenue.The mixed fruit production gave more net $ than the entire cattle but ata tiny fraction of machinery, expenses and work load!For complete self sustainability of an entire family and relatives, a farmsize of less than one hectare is plentiful. In good climate zones half ahectare is sufficient for a huge variety of healthy organic food for yourentire family and guests of your family.
  39. 39. Offer guest rooms on your farmEvery farm is a treasure for our health. That is specially valid for smallfarms far away from cities and "civilization". People in cities are gettingmore and more sick and need your farm to recover, to heal, the re-discover nature beauty and happy life in a natural environment amidst aloving family.Therefore every farmer outside villages, in remote areas, even in mostsimple living conditions has a truly valuable nature experience to offer.Two situations for vacation and recovery on a farm. The first in a thirdworld country, such as Cambodia or Philippines. The other in traditionalfarms in central Europe or similar destinations.Here I start with tropical situations. Look at a little house I sometimescall home on a very remote tropical island.Such a small nipa hut of 3.5x3.5 meters plus a small shower/toilet costsless than 500 US$. An amount a hard working farmer needs to afford.There are no furniture needed except a bed, chair and table. The truevalue you have to offer is God made nature and a simple life that helpsyour city-guests to find the true values of life again and reorient theirown life.People from cities need no gold course, no tennis and no SCUBA divingat all. What they really need is quiet and peace and real nature. A fewdays, weeks or months without any distraction. Just quiet, simple wildnature. That is what every organic farm has to offer plentiful. The less"development" your home area has, the more natural environment andhealing nature you have to offer.The value of a vacation on your farm is priceless. Hence if you add alittle simple wooden or nipa hut on your farm land in a quiet corner,then you have a guest house for visitors from your own countrys citiesor from any other place in the world.For the small little house I pay 11 US$ a day. I declined the discount forweekly or monthly rates the owner offered me because I belief that ahome in such a beautiful environment is priceless and needs no discount.Additional revenue source then becomes possible meals you offer toyour guests if there are no other restaurants nearby. Hence most of thetime I eat at home and the house owner wife cooks homemade food forme - including my special wish for vegetarian food.Later I may write more about having guests. For now think about yourpossibilities. Keep in mind as the key asset and major value God madenature. That is more than any high class hotel chain ever can offer tothis world! Only small farms in a wild, remote natural environment havethe benefit of true healing nature as part of farming revenue.
  40. 40. Add nature beauty for your guestsEvery farm location has a unique environment to offer for guests. Makesure you know what particular values your own neighborhood andnature has for guests from other countries or cities.I remember that my favorite uncle came to visit us mainly for theexcellent fishing opportunities we had within walking distance.Other locations may include jungle, forest, beach, river, flowers, wildlife, mountains and many other scenery and natural environmentspecialties. Millions of people out there love to enjoy exactly what youmay overlook as true value of your farm. Your nature is unique, speciallyif you are living in remote areas without chemical farming, withoutindustrial pollution. Even having no electricity, no TV, no radio or noentertainment nearby may be an asset rather than a disadvantage.Nature pure is the greatest healing value you can offer. Beware of allthe beautiful sunsets, animal encounters, insects and butterflies, junglevegetation and fresh air you have. That is enough. There is no need forluxury because you have the most valuable luxury most city people havelost centuries ago - nature!Hence instead of offering recreation or adding excuses for having norecreation. Emphasize on the nature beauty you have, on trueuntouched nature, jungle, forests, wild life, nature paths and all thebeautiful water, creek, river or beach scenery to enjoy.When ever I go out of cities, I see but beauty and happy children in amost beautiful natural environment. A simple life as the secret to happylife in health and a loving neighborhood.A farmer is like a gardener or landscaper, protecting and caring forGods nature. Later I may teach you how to promote or advertise yourvacation home on a farm. meanwhile you may start cleaning up yourempty rooms or add a small tiny hut. The one I love is just 3.5x3.5meters with a large bed. That is plenty of room for weeks or months orlonger amidst beautiful nature. With a loving neighborhood you maybuild such a small guest house all by yourself at near zero cost exceptfor bedding and a few items.A brief warning:These opportunities are strictly for real and experienced farmers livingand working on a farm. These are NO revenue opportunities for citypeople looking for another easy lifestyle to create another guesthouseor country hotel. The main value you offer is a small but real farm as ahome for guests. An organic farm managed since years, decades orgenerations in full harmony with Gods nature. Your knowledge andexpertise about your home in nature is the real value you offer and getpaid for. You may have hundreds or thousands of questions to answer -about how you live, grow up, work with nature, etc.
  41. 41. Philippines farm houseTraditional farm houses in the Philippines mostly are nipa huts made ofbamboo. Roofing material either nipa or a high strong dried grassdepending on availability.This beautiful farm house shows another need for organic farming: Toproduce your own construction material for initial construction andannual maintenance of your own home.Bamboo is the worlds fastest growing grass and usually grows in asingle season to its full size of up to 15-20 meters.This house is a little different from most other Philippine nipa houses.The upper level is entirely for privacy - bedroom, living area andbalcony. The lower level is living area or many, including guests.Normally the kitchen is inside or directly attached to the house. Here thesmall house on the left is the kitchen house. The kitchen outside asseparate building has purely practical reason. If you work in a farmland,mainly rice fields, you always are dirty. Coming home for a quick snackor drink is easier when all kitchen is easily accessible without carryingdirt inside the house. Another reason: If you prepare food and needsome fresh herbs or extra vegetables, you are next to the garden tograb what you need without carrying dirt into your home. The smallkitchen house has a table and benches to accommodate at least 8persons, the mother and all 7 children.This small farmhouse was part of several components of CyberspaceAshrams last years Christmas gift for a widow having grown up with 7children all alone for the past 20 years. The family father, a farmer, died20 years ago. To pay his hospital bill, the family had to sell all previousproperty of 7 hectares.This tragedy of sick medical system sustained by greedy inhumanemedical doctors shows what happens when people are scared to die andpay whatever charged in an attempt to "survive" in hell. The farmer diedanyway, leaving his entire family, all 7 children and widow withouthome, without land, without food. Just recently a new property of 3hectares beautiful farmland was obtained with all the tools and afarmhouse missing.A nipa house made of bamboo lasts for about 8-10 years with minimalannual maintenance except for roofing. Bamboo should be grown onown property thus making maintenance free for all future.
  42. 42. Kitchen house on Philippine farmTo have your kitchen separate from your living house has but benefits ina farm house. A farm is different from city. In a farm it is about dailylong working hours in the fields, garden and forest. In tropicalenvironment of South East Asia with long months of rainy season andlots of field work being done in flooded rice fields. It is apparent thatyou always work barefoot in deep mud. Going for a snack home or a hotsoup or tea is easier if you just walk from the field into a separatekitchen house with a large table to seat all family. That keeps your livingarea inside the actual farm house clean all day long and thus reducescleaning work.There are other benefits of having a completely separate kitchen house:- all ash is out of your home- all kitchen waste is out of your home- you can walk between garden and kitchen without having to worryabout dirt being carried into your home- all steam, smoke and fire from your cooking is out of your home.- a separate kitchen house is easier to ventilate and thus makes cookinghealthier than if done indoors with all smoke caught indoors.- in case of fire, the kitchen house is separate from living area andwould make a possible fire easier to control.- if having visitors from neighborhood you never have to worry aboutany street of field dirt being carried indoors. Just welcome your guestsand enjoy their company with some homemade food.- during sunny season you can have tables and benches outdoor openair and enjoy eating under the sky - my preferred version!If you have many children - you know as a mother to value the fact ofnever having to worry about all the stuff and dirt kids bring into kitchenwhen hungry. Kids, specially farmer children are hungry all day andmother may be preparing or keeping food ready all day long to keep allbaby angels smiling and happy. No more worry about having to clean upliving room all day long.
  43. 43. How to convert grass land into gardenTo convert grass land into fertile garden or a nursery needs loving care.Just cutting the grass never is enough. Rice fields have different soilrequirements from herbs, vegetables or a nursery.You have the typical tools, a pushcart and then the work starts. A fewsimple steps follow - see next picture.
  44. 44. Dig deep and add bio waste for mulchingAdding new soil is a wrong procedure - converting existing soil is moreefficient. First we dig row by row deep, may be half meter deep and pileup that soil next empty slot.Now we take quantities of natural bio waste we find on our farm andnearby forest or jungle. Old banana plants cut into junks and pieces, oldrotting grass, vegetable waste, kitchen waste, old leaves collected fromforest ground. Rotting old wood from jungle. A mixture of different biomaterial is added layer by layer into the deep space you created. Onelayer of bio waste, one layer of soil, until all soil is placed back on itsoriginal place.
  45. 45. Mulching as bio fertilizer in your gardenOne garden row is finished and now looks much higher than before. Iadded and mixed approximately an equal amount of bio waste withexisting soil. Now the finished garden row temporarily is higher. Intropical climate bio degradable natural mulching material takes butweeks or a few months maximum to be fully degraded. By that time weturn the soil one more times over and may even add more bio waste asneeded until the soil meets our requirements for each particular part ofyour garden and nursery. Different parts of the garden may havedifferent requirements depending on the type of plants, herbs,vegetables, flowers or trees we plant to grow in our garden or nursery.This part here is planned to become nursery all over. Without wellmaintained nursery no future plants and thus no future harvest.
  46. 46. Peanut plants grow in heavy poor soilPeanut plants grow in a variety of soil, even heavy soil or poor soil. Evenin different temperature zones.The girls on the farm loved it the easy way and planted peanut in soilwithout additional preparation and the peanuts just love that type ofsoil.That shows once more the importance of knowing what type of soil eachand every plant you wish to cultivate needs for best results.Other areas of your nursery may need sandy soil with a half half mixtureof sand and soil. The best is to make a full inventory of your entireproperty and see what different soil conditions and water/irrigationsituations you naturally have in all parts of your land. There is no needto have all garden or the entire nursery at one place. Just keep thoseplants and seedlings that need intense daily multiple care next to yourhome. All else may be at other more remote places on your farmland.For far away nurseries, you may wish to make natural fences for nurseryprotection. Natural fences means growing shrubs like bougainvillea orsimilar surrounding the garden. That keeps animals out and thus thesmall plants safe until ready for full exposure to nature.
  47. 47. Adventure vacation for children on a farmOffer adventure for children on your farm as a source of additionalrevenue. No matter how small or how simple your farm may be. On anisland, remote province, mountain or jungle - for children living in citiesanything natural always is adventure.The simple fact that on every farm you have a huge variety of differentwildlife within your neighborhood, may be animals on your farm or aneighbors farm, all the plants and flowers and forests or jungle ... that isall new to city children. They love your farm and all its exciting newpieces of nature life to discover and to enjoy.If you have guest rooms on your farm, you may offer such rooms foradults, for entire families with children or just for kids.One of the first new services we added to our mountain farm wasvacation on a farm for city kids. And the children came again and againyear after year mostly the same. Until they were grown up and had theirown family and some beyond.Children are hungry - food is zero problem on a farm, you have virtuallytons of healthy natural food, fruits and all kinds of organic food fromyour own fields. Hence on your farm "feeding" city children is no costfactor at all. For city parents however food for their kids is a cost factor!Hence city parents appreciate your healthy food and are willing to pay ahonest prices for adventure vacation on your farm. Besides all theadventure a farm has to offer, the side effect for vacation on a farm isimproved health and a more responsible lifestyle adapted by children. Innature kids have to learn to pay attention to all, to integrate into natureand to cooperate with other kids to peacefully survive and enjoy all dailyadventures without being eaten up by tigers, snakes, crocodiles, fish orother wildlife you have on or around your farm.Another very essential benefit of establishing a relationship with cityfamilies is the new possibility of directly supplying organic food, fruitsand vegetables or other farm products directly to the parent families ofyour vacation kids. To purchase food directly from a known organic farmis much cheaper than to purchase comparable quality from city stores,in addition, the families know you and trust you because their very ownchildren experienced and observed your way of producing clean organicfood.The result may be repeated visit by the city families purchasing cases offruits and other farm products, again and again for years or a lifetime.Result for you - a steady demand of good farm products from your ownlittle farm, may be even from a few of your neighbors farms tocomplement your own products and an increased revenue on your farmin exchange of your hard work.
  48. 48. Children may add to family resources while having funA few hours of having fun may produce all the food kids eat and more.The children on the previous picture having fun and harvesting valuablefood for their families. Catching fish, finding edible fruits in jungle andall the other ways of exploring nature may be fun, adventurous - but inaddition to all the fun, children actually contribute substantially to thefamily resources and may bring home more food than they can eat.Just a very few hours of fishing the a simple net in the rice fields or ricefield irrigation channels may produce several kilograms of freshest fish.Happy children having fun and bringing home hungry stomachs andplenty of food.For city children such activities are even more adventurous. Most citychildren nowadays know adventure only on computers and in computergames. Real adventure in God made wilderness and nature, on a littlefarm far from cities is beyond any computer game. In addition to all thefun, children learn to interact with each other, to team up and work as ateam to succeed. Each and every child at some point needs help from afriend. Thus city children learn responsible peaceful social behavior andthe value of real work and useful activities as a direct source of dailyneeds for life. Suddenly the awareness of city children changes and theknown source of food moves from supermarket to the actual source -you the farmer. As a result of repeated vacation on a farm, city childrenlater on in their adult life may appreciate the true value of your farmerswork and be ready to pay honest prices for all services and goods theyconsume later on in life.Even the smallest farm can accommodate a few vacation children to adda valuable service offered to the outside world as a new and substantialsource of additional revenue to pay for all the outside products you haveto get from the world beyond your farm community.For services and products needed from the world, you need to offerservices or products to the outside world. Your possibilities are hugeand far beyond potato and rice! I will add more tips on additionalrevenue sources in later chapters to come.By the end of my parents marriage - soon after I left home to conquerand explore/enjoy and learn from and about this world, my parents hadup to 36 city children at once on vacation ...The only thing missing was true love between husband and wife in theirmarriage!To offer vacation or guest rooms on your farm you need above all to bea happy family, happy husband and wife. Because broken families iswhat city children have in abundance and no need for more duringvacation on your farm!Offer simple life but happy life in a loving and caring farmers familyamidst beautiful nature and youll have success with mixed farming -agriculture and nature and farming education/adventure for guestsfrom cities or remote countries.
  49. 49. Profitability of farming - Learn calculation basics for your farmEvery life, every activity incurs costs - after all costs paid, we need tohave enough to afford a happy life.Farming is a business like any others - costs need to be included in yourcalculation for a happy life. With lots of work ending each year with aminus, there is no happiness for your family. Hence farmers need tolearn all basic calculation aspects to know how to calculate theirfarming expenses vs farming revenues.In the following several chapters, I shall give you step by step all basicknowledge in details and if needed with practical examples for your ownfamily business to be and remain successful.
  50. 50. Profitability in farming is a need for progressThe size of your harvest never guarantees your profit - your calculationneed to that job.Take the time to actually do all the coming examples given for your veryown farm. Most of these profitability calculations for farms also applyfor any other freelance or selfemployment. You need to know where themoney is spent and from what activities or products you earn money topay your bills and living.Without such precise knowledge of your very own numbers, you mayhave lots of work, even be overloaded with work and yet end each dayor year you may end with a minus. Simple due to lack of your own owncalculation knowledge about your farm profitability.To join me in the following lessons, you may need a college block orpaper and pencil to write and calculate your very own situation. Nosuperficial theories - just practical applications for all kinds of farming!Later in real life you may do all such calculations in your mind. The mostimportant of all the following examples is that you truly understand theprinciples of how to calculate expenses vs revenues. Once you trulyunderstand all calculation principles, you will be able to adapt or modifyall learned lessons to your very precise personal farming situation orfamily business situation.
  51. 51. A business or farm may be fully flourishing and yet produce a lossWithout proper calculation there can be no success in businessProfits are needed to pay for all bills, all costs of your entire life andbusiness as well as to invest into a better future by steadily improvingquality of products and services provided. Hence honest profits areneeded to invest into your future as well as to finance social services,humanitarian help, help for needy ones, help for emergencies anddisasters.Years ago I met a friend with a very well going business. A restaurant.He was well frequented, had more guests than most other comparablecompetitors in the same city. His quality was excellent and far betterthan almost all other competitors.Yet my friend complained about financial loss every day, every months.It took me all in all about a full year to change his mind. The reason ofhis loss was his lack of price calculation. He wanted to be cheap, oftencheaper than competitors while maintaining better quality. Almostanything he sold was simply too cheap. Food, drinks, coffea, all too lowin prices.I gave him some precise numbers or percentage ideas and finally heraised almost all prices by that small margin and suddenly there was nomore loss but still the same number of guests.This was one clear example where a potentially successful business mayfail or even go bankruptcy just for too low prices. To be too cheap is noservice to others. If you drop out of business, then all others who lovedyour services no longer may enjoy or benefit from your services orproducts.If you have a sufficient number of guests or customers matching thesize of your family farm or family business, then you are a source ofhelp, of usefulness and may be even a source of happiness or joy forothers. Hence you need to learn to maintain your healthy business whileenjoying your own life as well!
  52. 52. Calculate profitability of your farm - introduction of definitionsOnly precise knowledge of your numbers allows you to make precisedecisions for your farming activities and investments.In the following examples and chapters I use terms commonly used inbusiness calculation and managementYou as a farmer are manager of your own business and thus need toknow the following terms. To help you I add a few definitions used foryour clear understanding. Be sure I do all as simple and clear asnecessary!The following chapters thus start with definitions and examples for- fixed overhead expenses- variable overhead expenses- total operational cost of your farm- profit margin in business retail or wholesale- retail price mark upTo learn how to calculate profitability of your farm, you need to befamiliar with above and assign your proper numbers/amounts to eachon your papers during later calculation examples.
  53. 53. Fixed overhead expenses in farmingAny fix expenses that you have whether you work or sleep, makevacation or work overtime belong into the category fixed overheadexpenses.Here a few examples in farming:Some countries may impose a tax or fee per property - per house - perhectare of land owned, per person in your family = fixed overheadexpensesYou may have bank loans or mortgage on your farm and your bankwants a fixed amount of payback plus interest per year from you = fixedoverhead expensesYou may have fixed expenses for connection to public electricity, publicwater supply, public sewage and garbage disposal = fixed overheadexpensesYou may have fixed expenses for your TV, Internet, radio, mobile orland-line phone connection in addition to actual consumption rates =fixed overhead expensesYou may have fixed expenses for social security, medical insurance,farm insurance, accident insurance = fixed overhead expensesYou may have lease or rent of buildings, roads, machines independent ofany amount of usage = fixed overhead expensesYou may have children going to school and have annual recurringexpenses for school fee, school books, school uniforms, transportationto school, etc = fixed overhead expensesEven your regular living expenses may or should be added to thiscategory. That means you are for example father and mother plus 3children - needing a fixed minimum amount for food, clothing, healthcare, recreation that make your basic cost of living for all persons livingin your home = fixed overhead expensesYou may have loans on agriculture machinery, car or motor cyclefinanced by bank loans or by manufacturer with monthly or annualpayments = fixed overhead expensesThink about any other regular occurring expenses with fixed monthly oryearly amounts. Those are all fixed overhead expenses that are chargedto you even if you have an accident and are unable to work or when youare hanging around or on vacation.Please take now a piece of paper or your college block and start to listall your fixed expenses for your entire farm and family for the past year.Easiest may be you first accumulate your total fixed expenses per yearand then divide by 12 to get your monthly overhead expenses for your
  54. 54. farm. You really need to know that amount! If later on you rememberforgotten expenses, then please correct your numbers to always have asaccurate as possible numbers.There are more expenses that depend on grade of activities or amountof work you do. See next chapter.
  55. 55. Flexible or variable overhead expenses in farmingExpenses that depend on the amount of activity or work done arevariable or flexible expenses.Examples:You have electric engines such as water pumps, lifts, cranes,refrigerators, air condition, radio, TV, computer, fan, laundry machines,driers, electric welding machines, etc.Obviously the more often you use these machines the more electricpower you consume and the higher your cost of electric energy. Theseare variable overhead expenses on your farm or in your family business.Another variable overhead expense are motor vehicles, tractors andagriculture machinery. The more hours you use them or the morekilometers you drive, the more fuel you consume and the greater themaintenance cost and repair bill will be. = Variable overhead expense.If you have a farm with guest rooms for visitors. There you have flexibleexpenses - the more guests the more electricity they may need, themore you drive around to do all shopping, pickup or drop off at boatstations or airports, etc.The more cattle or animals you have on a farm, the more likely you havean increasing amount of veterinarian costs as well as many otheradditional expenses that somehow depend on the number of animalsyou keep.The more animals you keep on a farm, the more food you have toprovide or produce each day - hence a variable expense that entirelydepends on the type of farming and number of animals in your farm.The more troubles you create or maintain with your neighborhood, themore lawyers or defense costs you may have for reconciliation and legalactivities = Variable overhead expense. Best always is to stay withinyour limits even in your pollution and be in a loving relationship with all.Cost for accidents. If you are careless, then it is a matter of time untilyou may be victim of your own carelessness. Carelessness is expensiveand may cost more than the entire value of your farm plus your manyhectares farmland! Strictly avoid such expenses by learning to becareful, listen to your heart or inner voice (spiritual guidance availableto all). Such variable expenses are impossible to predict. Look at thepast ten or more years and see what accidents you and your family had.Is the occurrence of accidents increasing or decreasing?I had myself a few very severe accidents until age 19. After leavinghome and enjoying my own life in freedom, all accidents with anysevere injury or expenses stopped completely.Now you understand the principles of variable expenses. Many of them
  56. 56. are directly related to the amount of work you do. Hence you mayunderstand the importance to actually KNOW all such expenses andcalculate your prices for services and products rather than have pricesimposed by bargaining customers.Some of the expenses on your farm may have BOTH - a fixed expensepart PLUS a variable expense part.Examples:Public electricity. You may have to pay 10 dollars or more per monthsjust to get connected PLUS a fee per kilowatt power usage. Similar forlandline phone. You may have a fixed flat rate just for being connectedPLUS a minute fee for all calls.Another example of expense combination are motor vehicles. A car forexample ( or any similar vehicle) has a normal lifetime of about 8-12years with average usage. An agriculture machine may live longer - maybe 12-20 years of properly services, cared and maintained withmoderate usage.Hence a car may experience a total loss of value after its lifetime of 8-12years. Lets say 10 yrs to make calculation simple. A new car for 20000US$ thus may lose each year 2000 US$ in value = fixed overhead. PLUSthe same care may incur flexible expenses per mileage used. Lets sayyou drive 20000 km per year and the cost per km may be 0.25 US$ =5000 US$ mileage cost per year PLUS 2000 US$ depreciation per year.The loss of value of a machine due to aging until machine useless iscalled depreciation.Mileage cost often are available from automobile clubs in variouscountries and depend on individual countries and the amount ofkilometers driven per year. Such statistical mileage cost usually includeall maintenance, repair, insurance, etc and are often very accurate as abasic for your exact cost calculation in a farm.Agriculture machines often are more expensive but also more ruggedand thus may have a longer life expectation if used carefully andmaintained by the farmer properly. The calculation for annual total costhowever are the same. The more hours you use your tractor orharvesting machines the higher your variable cost for that machine inaddition to fixed overhead expenses for depreciation.Agriculture machines are expensive and often completely obsolete if youtake all factors into account. I know one family on an island in thePhilippines, many adult children - sons and daughters - all a little lazy.Hence they hire a small tractor to prepare the 2 hectares rice field froma brother in law who owns such a small machine. He charges HALF -50% - of the entire rice harvest in exchange for a few days machine useeach year.To be lazy is expensive. We have many weeks time to prepare a field fornext harvest. to save half the harvest certainly is worth an extra fewdays of hard work.
  57. 57. Now you guess already right: Please dig through all your bills of the past12 months to find and write down all your variable expenses of youraverage activity you had last 12 months of work on your farm. If paperinvoices missing, recall the amounts - add all up to one amount offlexible expenses on your worksheet.Now you have the total operational cost for your farm.1. your fixed overhead expenses - independent of your workload2. your variable overhead expenses - depending on work activityThat total is your operational cost - your total annual cost of running afarm. That total cost running your farm needs to include your full cost ofliving expenses for your entire family living on and living from your farm.You have an annual amount. Now divide this annual farm operationalcost by 12 to get a monthly amount and also divide the same annualamount by 365 to get a daily operational cost for your farm.later on you may need and use any of above - daily or monthlyoperational costs for your entire farm with all family members workingon your farm.
  58. 58. Total operational cost of production in farmingEvery single part of your farm production has its own individualoperating costs. You should know which part of each farming activitycosts how much and earns you how much. Thus you need to know whichpart is profitable in your farming and which part of your farm work maycost you more expenses than it brings revenue.Let me explain and give you a few examples for better understanding.A few months ago a young farmer woman told me about her successfulcopra harvest. Copra production in the Philippines is widespread in theVisayas among hundred thousands of farmers. Farmers do it becausethey are encouraged by the government to do copra and because theyalways have done copra since long time. Hence like so many times sonsdo something just because father and grand father and all before havedone so.I asked that woman a few questions and she answered:How much did you get. 6000 PHP - (thats about 130 USD)How many harvest do you have per year: 3I knew the situation and location of that farm quite well:1 hectare forest with mostly coconut palms is used for that copraproduction.The farm is about 1 km from the river - a small walking path, no road.3.5 hrs by boat on a river to the next small village to the copra collectingstation.I asked her about:How much did you pay for the porters to carry the copra bags to theriver?How much did you pay for the boat transportation to the village?How much did you pay for the unloading of the copra to the pier?How much did you pay for the transportation from pier to the coprabuying station?I added up all her amounts - and ended up with 50% total costs just forthe complete transportation. Leaving some 3000 PHP per harvest actualgross profit. Time 3 for all 3 annual harvests. Makes some 200 US$ peryear for one hectare of copra land. Gross profit, because there are moreexpenses every now and then!Then I added more questions - like:How many times does someone in your village fall down from a coconutpalm during maintenance or clean up or harvest ... etc. Coconut palmstypically are clean once or twice a year plus the harvest is done byphysically climbing up the palms.
  59. 59. May be you now see what I mean by "Every single part of your farmproduction has its own individual operational cost". Every particularfarm activity may have additional unique expenses and risks. Her fatherdied some 20+ years ago after illness in a hospital. The hospital bill wasso high that the mother of 7 children had do sell her 7 hectares farmlandand farmhouse to pay the medical bill. Leaving the entire family withouthome and without farmland to provide food and livelihood for the entirefamily.These or similar expenses may be part of total farm production costs fora particular farm productivity or farm service and thus in real calculatedfarming ALL such costs, including accidents need to be paid by advancesavings made from NET profits. NET profits is the amount of money leftafter all cost of livelihood and all bills paid for the entire farmer family.Every now and then someone falls down a 10 meter palm. Breakingbones, staying hospital for a few weeks, being injured or even crippledfor life in some cases, even dieing in other cases. Palm trees are highand a crash from 10 meters may be unpredictable and painful!Before starting a particular farm production, learn about all aspects, allrisks, all prices and expenses and the global or local market situation.Then research alternatives to that traditional farming production. Andonly after consideration of all facts, all data, all numbers - make adecision based on facts and data rather than on what always has beendone by our ancestors.In next chapter I give you one more example about cattle farming oranimal farming based on our own mountain farm in Switzerland.
  60. 60. Profitability of animal farming - work and timeAnimals kept in house or farm will take your freedom and consume yourhappiness and money. In future chapters I shall elaborate much moreon that. Here first some facts and experiences from our own cattle farm.In another chapter I gave already the guideline about cattle and animalfarming vs vegetarian farming. Here some more information and factsbased on our own small mountain farm in Switzerland.This following is valid for all types of animal farming. Goats, sheep,horses, chicken, piggery, the basic principles and problems apply to allanimals.First some brief facts and numbers from our own traditional farm to giveyou a rough idea:9,6 hectares land ( half hectare forest, remaining was grass land amidstforests and mountains.3,5 hectares fenced area for our cattleall remaining grass land was used and needed to supply foodover the years we usually had about 8-9 milk cows and about 3 youngones less than a yearwe had more animals - I write later about. Lets just look at the cattle /milk production part first in this chapter.The 3,5 hectares fenced grass land never was enough to feed all cowseven during fertile summer time. From spring to fall, each morningaround 4 or 4:30 my father was getting up to cut one load of fresh grassto feed the cattle coming down from the fenced hill for milking.For the frozen winter season, of course we had to cut and dry grass tohave sufficient hay for all animals all winter long.This small part of the farm work - to feed a small cattle, requires usuallya tractor, machines to cut and transport tons of grass and hay or otherfood.The result of this small cattle farm part was:Thousands of dollars additional yearly expenses for machinery,financing (my parents had only once in a life to take a bank loan tofinance the small mountain tractor). All else always was paid cash fromsavings.Obviously large energy bills for fuel -including environment pollution byfuel and noisy days or weeks by machines and by all manure produced.Repair and maintenance of all machinery involved in cattle farming. Costmoney, time and requires additional skills. All this work usually is selfmade.
  61. 61. Thousands of hours additional work just cattle related. Thousands?Thousands or hours work per year!Let me detail the working hours in a simple example:Every day 4:30 AM - 8 AM summertime - cutting grass, feeding cows,milking cows, bringing milk to dairy station in village (required anothersmall old car for transportation).Cleaning / brushing cows daily.Cleaning stable daily multiple times.Supervision of cows 24/7/365 - farmer always has to be physicallypresent on farm whatever animals you have. You are away half day, youmay find one or several animals injured or killing each other. Thathappened several times in 10 years on our farm - just for being a fewhours away or even minutes too late even while present on farm!Several weeks late winter and late fall to transport all manure into grassland and then distribute it across all land - manually or you buy anothermachine to do that. We did it manually. Thats about 2x3 weeks all dayloading and unloading stinking manure - dozens of tons of it!At least once a year pumping all cow sewage by special pump ontoseveral hectares of nearby grassland. Thats about 1-2 weeks additionalfull day work each year - plus engine driven pump and all equipmentand energy bills.Of course you need a much larger building to home the cattle for milkingand daily care. You need an even larger storage space for all the hay.May be two third or more of our main building was for cattle alone.You need garage and large storage space to park and repair/maintainyour machinery. That usually is done in a separate building - a hugegarage just for machinery.We had large food silos 4 meter high to store additional fresh fermentedfood needed for our winter season.That all above is but a small part of overhead work and costs for oursmall traditional cattle farm. Needless to talk about regular veterinarianvisits and bills, sleepless nights when animals get babies, etc.The "positive" side of the work was the revenue from our milk. Cows arepregnant once a year, hence milk production is limited to severalmonths per year. I know quite exactly that from our all cows wedelivered/sold to the dairy collection station twice a day 25-27 liters offresh milk. In todays currency that would have been some 30 US dollarsper DAY from all cows, From all work. On a cattle farm you may worksome 5000 hrs per year. 3000 USD divided by some 3000 hrs just for thecattle related annual work gives you an hourly wage of ... 1 $ in a hightech expensive country like Switzerland! Even if you improve andoptimize here and there - you will earn MUCH less per hours of hardwork than any city population ever would get out of the bed to be usefulfor the world and feed the world! Now prices have changed, gone up, formilk as well as for all machinery and energy. The relationship or work torevenue remains the same.Plus a few hundred dollars a few times per year for small calves or ayear old sold to butchery each year to feed the city people with veal and
  62. 62. beef. The gross revenue directly originating from cattle on our mountainfarm was in the range of 3000 US$ per year. Minus all work and allexpenses for machinery and energy.Our cows were quite happy cows with our large fenced land. The pricefor letting cows be happy and run around day and night is a muchsmaller milk production. 8-9 liters twice a day per cow was about themaximum. If you keep your cows prisoners all life - they spend lessenergy for happy life and thus produce more liters of less tasty milk as"reward".Other countries may have different type of cattle. Look at the picturewith the water buffaloes. That is no feeding place they enjoy now, thatis just a few hectares of water place they need to be water buffaloes.Water buffaloes love to spend most of their days in the water - lots ofwater - clean water.But after all the water buffaloes - the water never will be clean again -water buffaloes drop all their manure into water, in rivers, in lakes, inponds, etc where ever your kids swim ...Much more to come on profitability of animals vs vegetarian farming.The you make up your own mind and do what ever makes you mosthappy together with all your family.
  63. 63. Learn to calculate your own cattle or animal profitabilityHomework for farmers - calculate your own accurate numbers withguidelines given in this chapter. Learn to manage your farm. To manageyour farm you need to know numbers of revenue and numbers ofexpenses of each part of your farming. Never trust banks norgovernment guidance - learn to trust your own calculations andnumbers. Learn to to your farming right and based on facts and datathat are true and correct in your own family or farm interest rather thanin the interest of banks and factories supplying you with chemicals andmachinery!Every traditional farm typically has multiple sectors that sum up theannual total revenue for a farm. Such as forest, crop, cattle, poultry, fishponds, dog breeding, piggery, guestrooms, part time jobs during off-season or winter time. We too needed such additional jobs for revenue.Like working in federal or state owned forest for logging paper-wood,construction wood and firewood in small teams of a few farmersteaming up during many winter months. And other full time jobs duringcertain times of the year.In previous chapters you learned to calculate your fixed overheadexpenses and variable overhead expenses in farming to calculate yourtotal operational cost of production for each particular farm productionor farming section of your farm.Now it may be time for you to calculate on paper your very own totalcost for your animal farming. More precisely when ever possible, split itup by type of animals, such as- horses- cattle (cows, calves) for dairy products / milk production- poultry farmingany other particular type of animal farming you doMake sure on the expenses side you add the cost for:Insurance if your country offers animal farm insurance to protectagainst diseases such as FMD etc.Costs for your veterinarian visits - may be you take the vet bills of thepast many years and divide the amount by the number of years to get abetter annual cost average. There might be years with little vetexpenses and other years with huge vet expenses.Include all costs for animal vaccinations, stable disinfection, etc.Any machinery you use entirely to transport animals, transport food,harvest animal food, manure handling, sewage handling,Any membership, insurance, education, seminars directly related toanimal farming.Add expenses for buildings, stable and all related maintenance, taxesand insurance related to all building parts you need just for animals -including all garage or storage buildings for harvest, hay and machinery.Add any cost, interest rates, payments, etc for any financing ormortgage you have just for the animal farming part of your farm.
  64. 64. Add cost for temporary helpers and harvest helpers related to animalfarming, including rented machines or payable services you may beusing for harvest or for the herbicide/pesticide/fungicide spraying.Add all electricity, fuel and other repair and maintenance related to allanimal farming and its related machinery.Think about any other expenses you may have that are directly relatedto your specific animal keeping and farming activity. Add them to thecost of operation for animal farming.One tip to add the correct amount for your machinery: Often you inherityour machines or you purchased them many years ago. Then look backat the old bills, add the purchase price, add the maintenance and repairbills for all the years you have that machine. The divide that total by thenumber of years the machine is in use to give you the annual cost forthat machine. That tractor from your father may be 12 years old andhave cost your father 50000 US$ or even more, including someexchangeable tools and accessories. The bill for all repair, tractor tires,etc may have been some 10000 USD. You may have forgotten thepurchase price your father might had to pay and often finance throughbank loans. But may be next year that machine breaks completely downand need to be replaced and you will wake up and see that your savingsto replace in cash that old machine may be too little because you nevercalculated the total cost to adjust your pricing for products and servicessold! To add last years fuel bill may be enough for tractor energyconsumption cost, but the full depreciation and repair/maintenanceneed to be calculated either on precise farm industry values availablefrom true statistics or from your own past many years real expensessince purchasing date.In my above example for your old tractor - the purchase price plusrepair/maintenance would be 50000 + 10000 = 60000 USD divided by12 years equals 5000 USD tractor cost in addition to your fuel/oil billsfor the same tractor.Similar applies for all other machines you or your parents purchasedmany years ago. Any time in the future, may be tomorrow or in 3 years -you suddenly may need to replace the same machine by a new one andyou need to have the full amount in cash in your savings account to stayour of debts and out of dependencies from banks. All the BILLIONS ofdollars bank earn and bank managers earn and banks waste for multi-million dollar sponsorships of sailing events, tennis events, etc are allpaid by farmers and consumers borrowing money. The cheapest moneyis your very own savings!Now create the total sum of your entire expenses related to animalfarming on your current farm.If you do above for each particular type of animal farming - such ascattle for milk production, then you should now add up all your entirerevenues from that particular part of your farming work!After all your revenues added up to one annual amount, take your totalrevenues per year and deduct your total operational cost to get yourtotal NET revenue per year from each and every part of your farmingactivities.
  65. 65. Now write down the number of hours you have to work just for thatparticular type of animal farm work. Like I gave you a brief examplefrom our own old mountain farm in Switzerland.Then take your NET annual profit and divide by the annual number ofhours you have just for that particular farming sector.If you have several sectors in your farm, you may add up ALL your totalexpenses and deduct them from your entire gross cost of farm operationper year to get your entire total NET revenue from all your farmingactivities and work. When calculating your total expenses on a farm, tobe safe with all your expenses, add 10% of all your collected expenseinvoices to compensate for the hundreds of smaller amounts you nevercollect invoices. Such as tips given, gifts made, dinners offered, etc to allyour neighbors or community and other services you use during thecourse of annual seasons.1. How much is your total GROSS farm revenue?2. How much is your total farm expense?Deduct amount 2) from amount 1) above to get your:How much is your total NET farm revenue?Divide your NET farm revenue by the total hours of work and on dutypresence you have per 365 days on your farm.Even easier:A year has 365 days x 24 hrs = a year thus has a total of 8760 hrs!To easier calculate your total working hours, add up all the regular FREEhours you have guaranteed on your farm.How many hours a day can you sleep without ever having to wake upand care for a problem on your farm?How many times a week or year you have a full day = 24 hrs completelyfree?How many times a year ever do you have a full weekend free fromFriday late afternoon till Monday morning ?How many times a year did you ever make a real full vacation - like 2weeks Caribbean Sea or SCUBA diving in the Maldives or jungle trekkingin Cambodia or whatever others working in cities do?How often a year to you have all day off - from morning until evening orfrom late afternoon until early morning. Just for partying, having fun orgoing out with friends or dates?ADD all above number of total OFF-duty hours each year. Now deductthat OFF-duty time from the total annual hours of 8760 hrs and youhave your approximate total duty or work hours on your farm.