Solomon Islands

Discussion in 'General chat' started by Andy88, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Andy88

    Andy88 New Member

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    I have just visited the Solomon Islands for 2 weeks and spent time in a remote community there, im wanting to go back next year and teach a PDC to village i was at the other local villages.

    Does anyone have any contacts for anyone do permaculture work currently or previously in the Solomon's?

    Thanks
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    bump for Eco
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'll be in Uepi next week. I'm holidaying though not permaculturing. But I am hoping to bribe the gardeners for a bit of plant material to smuggle back in to the country, and a tour of their own gardens.
     
  4. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I wish you were joking about smuggling in plants but this is the second time you've said it. Is it really a good idea to try this? What if you bring back plant diseases as well as some nice plants?
     
  5. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I really hope you are joking too. Not just plant diseases but insects. I don't know what this is like in Oz, but in NZ we have massive spray programmes because new insects have been brought into the country :-(
     
  6. Nick Huggins GC Qld

    Nick Huggins GC Qld Junior Member

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    Hey Andy,

    I was in Uepi 3 years ago diving. Awesome place. Try Russ Grayson at https://pacific-edge.info/ . Also ask him about Tony Jones and SAPA in the Solomons.
     
  7. Susan Girard

    Susan Girard Junior Member

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    Kustom Garden is a permie enterprise that I visited several years ago in Honiara. Very interesting, lots of seedsaving.
    : )
    Sue
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'm Back! And you can all relax - no smuggled plant material - I was hoping to get dry seeds, nothing dangerous. I wouldn't want anything feral setting up home at my place. The opportunity to get seed never arose.
    Great place though. The owners aren't permies, but gee they get it pretty close to right. But then you don't get too much choice when you live on an island, have to get your petrol delivered on a barge, and if you run out of loo paper TOO BAD!
    The island is 100 hectares with less than 10% of that being the resort area. The soil is lousy - 95% sand and 5% leaf litter. And the crabs eat any seedlings before they have a chance. Even the coconuts are fair game. I didn't see a coconut crab while I was there but they are called that because they eat coconuts.... It rains a lot - 3000 mm a year. Much of the food for the resort is shipped in but they do supplement it with a modest garden. It was one of the most interesting I have seen and solves their problems nicely! The lettuces where growing hydroponically. The pumpkins and watermelons were planted in a 40 gallon petrol drum cut in half and filled with compost and the vines where then trailed over specially made horizontal trellises - like table tops! That way they are out of the crabs reach and they trees aren't competing with the vines for nutrients. Herbs and capsicums and a bunch of other stuff was grown in wooden planter boxes on stilts.
    The power comes from a diesel gen set. The old oil gets used to paint timbers to stop termite attack - the locals come and buy it. They also use it for oiling saw blades and if you aren't fussy it goes back into an engine. Nothing gets wasted. Rice has become a staple (bit of a pity as it is all imported). The plastic rice bags (the same sort of stuff as fertilizer bags here) I saw reused as the backing for rag rugs, and even stitched together to make sails for wooden canoes.
    They have rain water collection from many of the guest house roofs, which go to a few big tanks and then it gets pumped up to a header tank by each cottage. Only cold water though, not that it really mattered as it was always hot outside. No air con, but fans in each room (helps stop the mossies biting at night, and a large deck with hammocks and tables and chairs that we lived on most of the day.
    The swimming / snorkelling and diving were really good, as was the food. I tried my hand at fishing (trawling with lures) but it went the way of most fishing trips in my life - it rained buckets, we caught nothing, but we had a good chat and drank a few beers!
    I got to do a trip to Chubikopi village on Morovo Island where most of the staff live. It was a permie paradise! Apart from the malaria that is... Chooks wandered around the village with their little fluffly chicks, and adolescent chooks were everywhere. There were a few roosters digging in a pile of rotting vegetation. No old chooks thought (fancy that!). I don't think they eat the eggs, just the chooks. My western brain took a while to come to terms with the communal approach - there is no backyard garden at each house because everything is shared. Though the best mango tree was beside the chiefs house! In the short walk through the village, up to the church and past the school I spotted a few big pomelo trees, jumbu, paw paw, banana, taro, cassava, sugar cane, custard apple, lots of carambola (fruit everywhere on the ground that even the chooks were ignoring), coconut and betel nut plams, sago palms, ginger, pineapple. I think I saw a guinea bean (I haven't seen one before but it fits the description that I have for it in my head!) and we were given a nut called a cut nut (because you have to cut it to get to the nut). Very oily white tasty thing, sort of brazil nut like in flavour. And that wasn't even where the main garden is! I'm sure there were other edible plants as well but I just didn't recognise them. The plants all looked like they just happened - not deliberate planting, but I guess they may have been planned. I was told they keep pigs as well, and of course there's seafood to add to the diet as well. Cooking seems to be done on the verandah or under the house on open wood fires.
    They have internet and mobile phone access in the village courtesy of a solar panel on the communal building, and a satellite dish on the biggest hill. The village houses are wood with some metal roofs but mostly thatch made from sago palm.
    I'll post some pictures on photoblog when I get a bit of time to put it together to tell a coherent story. It was hard to come back - they have a MUCH more sensible way of life than we Aussies....
     
  9. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Look forward to seeing the pics. The garden sounds wonderful and having seen things in kerala i can half imagine it, though i am sure it is quite different in many respects.
     

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