A Sustainability Review of the Year 2022

in ecoTrain5 months ago


To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.Benjamin Franklin

The world had gone through a lot in 2022, we could laugh it off, but it surely was unforgettable.

Over the past 12 months, the changing weather and the status of economy had help me build a food forest to help my family thrive this year. Starting from January, let's have a trip down the highlights of my journey in self-sufficiency and sustainability.

January: Typhoon

Making new raised-beds

In December of 2021, the strongest typhoon of the year brought devastation to the country. For several days, there was no electricity and internet, so communication was also cut off.

The orchard was a wreck due to the heavy flooding, everything was a mess.

Instead of falling into anxiety, it took time to make use of what the storm had given—and that was the extra time to work on gardening and using the fallen branches to make new raised-bed for my garden.

Even at hard times, life must be viewed in the perspective of positivity. With the abundance of resources, I was able build nee raised beds in the permaculture garden.

February: Career Downturn

Collecting rice hull from the village mill

It is already February, and I'm proud to begin the year with abundance, the dream that took me a decade to fullfil.

Due to the ill-effects of the plandemic mandates, I accepted the consequence of my decision and became full-time into gardening. I felt an urge to grow abunance and become sustainable as soon as possible.

It was a new experience to me and needed to fail in order to learn. I explored different sustainable alternatives and solutions to help improve the permaculture garden.

March: Permaculture Garden

Watering the cucumber crops in the raised beds

It is difficult to be caught up in a war, the war of greedy elites who uses the countrymen as chess pieces until they are satisfied or tired with the game.

The world had eventually befell into the dominos of the communist-led chaos, even the smartest people have failed resist the trap. Their failing policies was a time-bomb for the succession of major economic downturns.

With the dwindling funds, I resorted into investing into seeds and building a haven for permaculture.

There was no guarantee of financial stability on gardening, but the steps had become major milestones in helping to survive the 2021 economic crises.

April - May: Climate Disasters

An almost waist-high flood destroyed most of the permculture garden.

The first quarter of 2022 ended with bountiful harvests. Though there was trouble successfully growing most crops, cucumbers did well, which returned ample profits to support us in the dire months of the pandemic.

In April, two storms brought a rainfall equivalent to a full month of rain just a matter of two days. The permaculture garden was damaged again, I had to harvest the remaining cucumbers before it rots with the uprooted vines.

With the constant threat of climate disasters, I needed to storm-proof the orchard and build a resilient food forest that can protect its own ecosystem.

My planned transitioned from a vegetable farm into an even more sustainable food forest.

June: Food Forest

Growing carbohydrate-rich food sources.

Do you still think everything will be okay? I'm not here to make you panic, the world is in panic already, let's stay calm and be sustainable.

With the threat of the economic crises, it is still not yet late to find ways to become even more sustainable. Job security is also threatened by the mass layoffs and rising prices of basic necessities.

The aim turned into long-term sustainability, by healing the soil, growing low-maintenance crops, and growing more trees.

July: Agricultural Policies

Transplanting more fruit trees in the food forest.

It may seem that I am late with the recession already one foot in, it is never late to plant a tree for the future's benefit.

A global financial distress had piled and eventually hurting most countries. Leaders started panning the camera back into agriculture with major reforms and drastic decisions.

With the pressure on price control went awry, no one is entitled to depend their survival on the government, so sustainability must co-equal with sustenance instead of just being an esoteric lifestyle.

The economic crisis is not a time to find who's to blame and to point fingers at anyone.

It might need an adjustment to type of available food choices, but the solution is to be creative in making recipes with whatever is available.

While the government has the decision for implementing sane policies, their is no assurance that every family will see its benefit in an instant. The trying times called for quick changes in priorities especially in what defines palatable and what will silence the growling stomach.

Another answer might also be growing more fruit trees as a long-term economic investment.

August: More Bananas

Growing more bananas in the food forest.

Going back to bare-minimum Philippine countryside lifestyle, you only need a few whole food categories to survive and still live healthily and it would be rice, rootcrops, fruits, herbs, and meat—okay, add salt.

The rising cost of commodities had the world in tantrums, even the locals had the bitter taste of the Xi-and-Biden-led economic catastrophes.

Diversifying the food forest can't solve world hunger or even provide a stable source of income, but anything that can sustain families in the hardest times is more than enough.

September: Capturing Water

Growing cover crops and crops that protects the garden soil.

During the dry season, the taller trees allow younger crops to grow and the mulch lessens the need for irrigation. In the succeeding years, the orchard will become self-sufficient, productive, and potentially profitable.

Permaculture is not the answer to the greed of our global leaders or live a comfortable life, but it can be enough to make ends meet.

Building a thriving ecosystem is no easy feat at all, its components must grow in symbiosis with each other to protect the ecosystem. The food forest must continually thrive even with prolonged drought and after strong typhoons.

This man-made ecosystem must be able to capture water, but must also protect itself from flooding.

October: Inflation

Transplanting more fruit trees in the food forest.

Aside from the permaculture garden that brings food at the table, one tiny harvest at a time, there is the young food forest that expands from the center of the orchard to the sides.

As the skyrocketing prices has become a daily norm, no one should be complacent or accepting on the economic hardships. It must be used to fuel the dreams for sustainability.

The food forest had grown considerably since the year had started. I have added more Nitrogen-Fixing Trees and also fruit tree seedlings as a long-term investment while also helping in nurturing the soil and helping the property thrive with less erosion even with the weather extremes.

It was also the perfect time to prune the older Mango trees that were toppled down by the previous super typhoons.

With the bigger space, I was able to expand the permaculture garden with two more raised beds and an area to expand the food forest.

November: Year-Round Sustenance

Growing diverse crops to keep up with the trying times.

For more than a year, I have turned the orchard into a food forest. From being a place for seasonal fruits and citrus into a place of year-round sustenance.

When I started last year, the plan was to only do gardening, but the dream of sustainability had become more tangible through the never-ending economic turmoil that the world has been encountering.

Almost unexpectedly, my collection of different crops has increased in number. Growing a food forest is not easy but it is isn't complicated at all. Anyone can start with different fruit trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, and rootcrops. The only rule might just be grow what you eat and eat what you grow.

From there, you can bring in more diversity into crops that might spark new recipes and other medicinal use, or even invite pollinators, creatures, and other beneficial micro-organism into the food forest.

December: Peace-of-Mind

Last year, it was wet, dark, and solemn. With the unfavorable weather devastation and the crippling coercion, it can't be blamed that the year just passed so silent.

The blaring sound of month-long celebrations was so exhausting, I needed to escape and find solitute in the orchard and away from the deafening noise.

The food forest is no longer just a source of sustenance, but also as an refuge to those who seeks meditation and peace-of-mind.

Even with the false pretense of abundance is most homes, it is undeniable that financial stability was still shaky. The holidays then passed in a deeper silence, only normal dinners, less no music, and no fireworks.

Financial stability shouldn't be feared or feel ashamed about, it is a time for introspection and an exploration of living a life more sustainably until the reserves permits to live a life more comfortably again.

Year End Conclusion

This has reached the conclusion of the year, and I have to day, it was a rough rollercoaster ride. With all the threat from the inhumane policies, one must take a stand and strive fot self-sufficiency amidst the global turmoils.

How about you, how was your 2022 went?

Share in the comment section, below! ;)


Clearing the Damage After the Storm
Instead of falling into anxiety, I took time to make use of what the storm had given.
Building Abundance with More Fruit Trees Amid the Economic Turmoil
This year, I planned to initially plant 100 trees wherever possible until the year ends.
Using Saltwater and Fire to Heal a Permaculture Garden
Plant debris becomes natural mulch and organic matter.
Harvesting Cucumbers After a Year of Labor
As crops mature, harvest season began as well.
Fermenting Fish Amino Acid for the Garden Crops
It would be a sin to throw away such things, even the food scraps I turn it to compost now.

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About Me

@oniemaniego is a software developer, but outside work, he experiments in the kitchen, writes poetry and fiction, paints his heart out, or toils under the hot sun.

Onie Maniego / Loy Bukid was born in rural Leyte. He often visits his family orchards during the summers and weekends, which greatly influenced his works.

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What an intense year, feel we had a few similarities, I also experienced two floods this year and a lot of financial issues, however working on the garden and food forest is always rewarding and there is never a true lack of food.

Loved reading this post, hope this coming year we'll be able more abundance and sustainability

Thanks Fen!

It was a troublesome year, sometimes I feel worthless and tired, but I use the negative energy to fuel my desire for growth and self-sufficiency. If the world can't handle my different perspective, might as well leave and live a meaningful life even with the hardships and consequences.

btw I've been following your blog for the past months, hoping you only the best, good luck on your journey too!

You always had stories with you, brother😸😸 you really journaled everything but, I can't forget the stories you wrote about dragons when you are still ten. Although you are younger than me your writing skills are way better👍👍👍 i don't know why you write & watch about dragons but these monsters can be somewhat people like or plainly situational like😸😸 happy new year & may blessings abound you all the days of your life🥳🥳

Sometimes I get tired of myself "needing" to record everything, but day would be incomplete without note taking. 😬


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