Mission
 
 
 
 
Agroforestry Mission

Welcome to our agroforest mission page.

Picture - Us hanging out at a small park close to the mountain.

We are at the beginning of what will be an extensive agroforestry project. Please read the following information.
 
Background
We were residents of Tanegashima for about three years and were beginning our journey to self-sufficiency via farming. Eventually we returned to America in order to sell our home from which we used the proceeds to purchase another home in the mountains of California. After three months we began missing the island. Three months later we sold the mountain house and returned to Tanegashima and purchased a home. We immediately went back to farming using our knowledge gained during our first three years on the island. Then three years later, with six years of farming experience under our belts, we decided to take the next step, which turned out to be agroforestry.
 
Motivations
During six years of farming on Tanegashima, I was amazed to see the amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides used by the local farming community. The runoff from these chemicals was destroying the coastal waters around this long and narrow island. The locals often tell stories of how the fishing industry has diminished over the years and now many prized food fish can no longer be caught. In addition, many pests and various types of fungus have become much stronger making the use of control chemicals futile at best. The island is famous for anno imo sweet potatoes, with the industry now being threatened by a fungus which damages entire crops. Although still edible, many sweet potatoes are no longer salable due to what picky consumers might refer to as unsightly blotches. We thought there must be a better way. All of our farms are 100% organic. No chemicals and 100% organic fertilizer made from naturally composted materials. We produce food that, although is smaller and not as pretty as the local farmers, is much more nutritious and definitely tastes better.

We love being in Japan, and in particular, Tanegashima island. That said, we are very sad to see the direction the island, and in fact, all of Japan is heading. More and more the farming community is polluting the oceans and this wonderful country. We wanted to do something to change this awful trend. Then we found the mountain property and saw an opportunity to make a difference. We are hoping through our agroforestry project, we can convince the local farmers of a better way of farming. A way that is sustainable yet still profitable. Our project has begun. Please continue reading to learn our specific mission.
 
Mission
The following are the main goals we are trying to achieve through our agroforestry project:
  • Create a sustainable land management system
  • Engage in farming methods which use only organic materials and result in minimal changes to the existing natural flora
  • Show that mountainous, forested land can be utilized to produce high yields and be profitable
  • Increase the biodiversity of our forest
  • Improve soil structure and health
  • Reduce erosion
  • Increase carbon sequestration through the selective planting of trees and shrubs to compensate for the removal of native vegetation
  • Incorporate organic methods for pest control
  • Create an agroforest that is both productive and aesthetically pleasing
  • To educate others about our successes
  • To be part of what we hope will be a growing trend towards food production which, not only provides for the present, but is 100% sustainable and beneficial to future generations
 
After you finish reading this page, please consider visiting these other pages which contain more detailed information about our agroforest.
  • About agroforestry - general information about agroforestry and how it relates to our specific project.
  • History of our forest - our forest has a very long and interesting history. Learn how this land transferred from famous Japanese clans of the past and eventually became the property of the Hayman clan.
  • Agroforest plan - proposed plan for the agroforest including trails, campsite locations, and what we plan to grow.
  • Agroforest camping - visit one of our 4 planned campsites and Lover's Point.
  • Agroforest challenges - A few of the challenges which need to be met in order for our agroforestry project to succeed.
  • Project progress - an ongoing chronological record of our progress from initial interest in the property up to the present.
  • A few pictures - family pictures of our trips to the forest.
  • Please consider becoming a sponsor - for those of you who believe in our mission, please consider sponsoring this very important project.