[permaculture] Coconuts & permaculture

JŸurgen Botz jurgen at botz.org
Sat Mar 15 05:42:24 EDT 2008

Hi Christopher, and thanks for your response to my query about
coconuts.  We have a little farm in Southern Bahia, Brazil...
the climate here might be quite similar to Belize, since you're
at about 17 degrees North of the equator and we're at about 17
degrees South.  But, graças a deus, we don't have hurricanes.
So I'm particularly interested in learning more about your
farm and what works for you.

Our farm is 18 hectares, two thirds of which are Atlantic rain
forest... the rest had been cleared by the previous owners some
years ago and planted with coconuts and pineapple.  The soil is
poor to very poor clay loam and sandy clay and the coconuts were
planted rather closely spaced (4m x 5m) in rows.  They are mostly
of a dwarf variety, with a few rows of talls here and there.  All
in all there are about 400, 200 of which are still too young to

We're in our second year here now and I've made some progress in
soil improvement, gardening, raising chickens, etc.  The dwarfs
in our "zone 1" are now doing quite well, thanks to graywater,
nearby compost piles, etc.  (The clusters on the ones near
compost piles are now growing with 20-30 nuts!)  But I'm
thinking that we will have to take some more drastic meassures
about the rest... removing at least 1/4 or them altogether,
and replanting some of the remainder in a more harmonious

How much rainfall do you get and how regularly?  Do you
irrigate?  What have you found to be helpful or harmful
to grow immediately under your coconuts?

Also, how do you produce coconut oil?  The oil on the local
market here is all produced the hard way... manually opening
the nuts, grinding the copra, roasting and then boiling it,
and finally skimming off the oil.



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