Evolution Farming, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
We meet Johnny at his home on Bora Bora island, not too far from the main city and located behind a school. He lives a bit higher than the sea level and has a fantastic view from up there. His land has a few flat spaces which are dedicated to infrastructure and growing vegetables while the rest is a both a food forest and planned to be a natural area with a nice hiking path to a beautiful view point to admire Bora Bora’s most impressive rocky top, Otemanu.
He welcomes us with a smile,his wife and his beautiful vibrant children and his dog. He is Australian and Polynesian and used to be an entrepreneur and a chef, owning a restaurant in Sydney. One day he decided to leave this high profile intensive urban life and moved to French Polynesia, back to his origins and later back to the land in Taha. He became a vanilla grower, “as everyone was doing it” and so he did using the chemicals like everyone else on the island. A few month later, he literally fell into the chemicals he was about to spray and had to be hospitalized, nearly poisoned to death by the products.
That was it for sure. A fast and sudden awareness about what he was doing and a strong determination to change it all. “The sad thing is, when I announced that I was getting rid of all the chemicals and looking for an alternative, everyone came to pick up the leftovers.” There was work to be done clearly. He started his research on natural agriculture. At the time, in French Polynesia, there were no resources about it so it took a lot of reading and practice until he managed to establish his own growing system, he named it “Evolution farming”. Based on natural agriculture principles and a keen knowledge on the soil life and the numerous and diverse micro-organisms that populate it, he managed to grow food without using chemicals. He started to train others into these principles and thus participates to this day to the development of a cleaner agriculture in the Pacific islands both for the land and also the magnificent lagoon and its life surrounding it. In 2017, he condensed all his research and his experience in a book “Evolution Farming” – it provides all the keys for a grower in a tropical area to create an abundant system while taking care of the soil life starting with the philosophy and study of the invisible world and the natural rythms, continuing with practical advice on infrastructure and tools and finishing with detailed description of how to cultivate each plant in a tropical climate.
To this day, Johnny is animated by the idea to further transmit this way of growing, contributing to the protection of the fragile ecosystems of the islands. He has established himself in Bora Bora on a beautiful land where he has a plan to create a demonstration of his system to further educate growers to these principles. His plan is to create a veggie garden, to cultivate the forest as a natural orchard, to grow sugar cane in the more sloppy areas arranged through terraces and create rum from it as well as to set out a hiking path for tourists to admire the beautiful landscape of the island from up there. The whole project is currently (2019) under preparation and we encourage you, if ever you pass by Bora Bora in the near future, to go and visit this place which promises to become a beacon for natural agriculture in the Pacific islands.
Hard to reach, you need to go there and ask around
Videos made on-site:
Introduction to Natural Agriculture and Evolution Farming