Organic food production is being practiced in Richmond Vale on many different levels. We try to stay healthy and prevent diseases by living and eating healthy. We produce our own food as much as we can – and we always strive to improve – and buy locally what we cannot produce ourselves.
Our organic food production includes:
Farming for food – our vegetables grow in and around 3 greenhouses in an organic garden. The garden is run by our local expert on organic food production, Fayah, with the help of the students. We have fixed times in our week schedule when every team should be available to work in the garden. We prepare our own seedlings in the nursery, we make the beds incorporating the permaculture design rules, we produce compost from kitchen leftovers and manure (horse and chicken), we collect mulch, we plant and take care of our seedlings, water the plants and weed, and – finally – carefully harvest the fruits.
We also have an organic fruit garden where we have numerous fruit trees, like guava, star fruit, sour sop, Barbados cherry, wax apple, mango, plum rose, papaya – to name a few.
And finally, after months of research and consultations, we are in the first stages of creating an organic banana farm. Soon all our bananas will be chemical-free as well!
In our organic food production we use absolutely no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Our best organic fertilizer are gliricidia leaves, which are a great nitrogen-fixer. If needed, we make garlic tea to spray the plants for pest control.
We keep our own animals, these days: chickens and pigs. Our pigs eat leftovers from the kitchen, as well as a lot of fruits from the fruit garden. Our chickens are now living in chicken tractors among the passionfruit plants – this ensures that the plants get their nutrients from chicken manure, the little claws turn the soil, and chickens get to eat fresh grass. We also improve their diet by including moringa leaves.
Food processing is another part of our organic food production. Once all the vegetables and fruits have been harvested, the time comes to either eat them quickly or process them in a healthy way. We are making our own jams, hot pepper sauce, basil or spinach pesto; we try our hands in making coconut oil, sauerkraut, roasting the cocoa beans; we make healthy kombucha (yes, even from moringa tea!) and sauerkraut. In trying to be self-sustainable we are baking our own bread and making yogurt from fresh milk which we buy from a local farmer whose cows are free-range and exclusively grass-fed. Last bur not least, we make delicious fruit smoothies and banana/mango/papaya ice cream, without adding any sugar, of course!
Education is always a part of our lives here in Richmond. Our students come and go, and new people always have to learn how to continue and improve our healthy ways. We are always researching, listening and preparing our own presentations on how to live more healthy. Then we go to schools, events, conferences and spread the awareness about why eating healthy is important.
Establishing organic food production is a gradual process but we are getting better and better at it! The more self-sustainable we are, the more we can be sure that what we eat is, in fact, healthy and organic food, non-GMO and chemical-free.
Would you like to join us in producing and eating organic?
Read about our programs here