Greenleaf Farm is a 2-acre family farm located in upcountry Maui at 2300 ft elevation. Owners Bill & Marta Greenleaf began their farm initiative in 2005; building it on a foundation of permaculture to reflect their intentions and action. Today the farm is home to five gardens, chickens, vermiculture and an aquaponics system all mingled amongst our many fruit & nut trees. In early 2014, the farm expanded with an additional 10 acres further upcountry in Olinda. The Olinda Farm is currently under 2 acres of production but will continue to evolve & expand as we implement our many ideas to continue to nurture the ‘aina.
Composting & Soil Enrichment
We have a worm composting (aka vermicomposting) system that provides us compost tea for foliar feeding at any time, as well as the compost itself. Both these byproducts of the worms are an incredible boost to the fertility of our farm. In addition to the verminculture, we have 5 compost piles in alternating stages of development. We regularly have a pile that is finished, one that is finishing and a few we are currently adding to with yard and kitchen waste. Our chickens also provide us manure that we add to the compost pile to ensure a rich production of black gold. We gather horse and cow manure where we can to add those nutrients to our compost operation. Growing cover crops is another way in which we increase the soil fertility. We alternate cover cropping in our yearly planting schedule which feeds the soil as well.
Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in the natural ecologies. It was first developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications. The word permaculture is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture, as well as permanent culture.
The intent was that, by rapidly training individuals in a core set of design principles, those individuals could design their own environments and build increasingly self-sufficient human settlements — ones that reduce society’s reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution that Mollison identified as fundamentally and systematically destroying Earth’s ecosystems.
While originating as an agro-ecological design theory, permaculture has developed a large international following. This ‘permaculture community’ continues to expand on the original ideas, integrating a range of ideas of alternative culture, through a network of publications, permaculture gardens, intentional communities, training programs, and internet forums. In this way, permaculture has become both a design system and a loosely defined philosophy or lifestyle ethic.
We can feel the harmony between the land and it’s inhabitants. Whatever the land gives needs to be given back for harmony to be deepened and better understood. We have developed multiple sources of composting as sources for feeding the soil.