View of Sigatoka Farmlands, Fiji

For many people who are in love with nature and the ocean the actions we can take to protect marine life is not just in the sea but also on land. We can alter many of our choices once we are conscious of the impact our choices have on the seas. From our daily lives to even greater and bigger practices such as agriculture and farming. 

Many of the farming practices that we see in the western world produce much of the pollution. About 80% of plastic pollution in the oceans comes from land. In the new world – the underdeveloped third-world countries – plastic use in agriculture is not as high as the western world. They have limited resources and money to be able to purchase commercial materials necessary for mass-production. This means they need to limit their production to what the land will naturally support and give. No chemicals. No pesticides. No plastic linings or plastic planters etc. Here in Fiji, all is done by land employing locals and enabling local lives. Poverty isn’t a concept. They have enough to eat and get by, that’s what they need. Being “rich” isn’t defined by cars and homes and other material things, it is defined by how many others you can help and how many others you HAVE in your life. They are back to the basics.
Pineapple plant and the Sigatoka River
Just through a few days here it’s clear – having a farm also means making many choices. Just as our lives in cities. You can choose to crop and grow your farm just as the natural size will support or you can choose to use the necessary means to grow as much as possible with the technologies and chemicals available to go for a more “industrial” or commercial farming. This choice directly determines the impact you have on earth – literally. Over farming most of the time will kill the soil – deeming it unusable after a while. The earth literally gets burned out. Through the use of just natural practices – i.e. manure and compost as main fertilizers- farmers prevent injecting chemicals into the soil that end up getting washed into our waters – lakes, rivers, wells and oceans. Many of these farmers might not see the sea at all – they might be living in very remote towns and mountains – but still will have a big impact on the health of our oceans. If we are aware of our impact we can save our oceans. 

Coconuts, Cassava and Corn

Here’s a great photo for cassava, corn and also coconut trees. This is by design – in permaculture everything has a purpose and a reason for being where they are. The cassave make the soil stronger and they are very strong against floods and draught. The corn is seeded in between the cassava rows (to the right) and as they grow, they keep the rest of the roots in place making them even stronger against floods. 

Everybody admires the beauty of this amazing view 🙂
As the realization and the scientific evidence continue to grow – a more harmonious way of farming is developing – Permaculture Farms. Just the practice of being in sync with nature. This is the way of life here in Fiji. The majority of the farmers are just using oxen to plow their acres of land – not even tractors or other petroleum using high maintenance vehicles. The land is clean. The air is clean. It is natural to run out of certain things in the home or in town – that’s when the community spirit kicks in. There are still strong neighborly relationships and bonds, everybody knows everybody – neighbors check up on each other, go for neighborly visits. They are happy, they live long and healthy lives. 

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