Posted by & filed under Permaculture.

Have you heard of Tilapia Aquaculture?  I am amazed at how fast this has been growing as a species for fast food production.   We were at our local Organic Grocery store.  I wanted to start eating some more fish to eat healthier as my Cardiologist recommended.  But I usually do not like to eat fish, unless it is deep fried and freshly cooked.  I had heard the name tilapia before, my wife loves it.  But I was in the navy for 6 years, and lived in Hawaii for 5 years and had never heard of it before just recently.  So I asked the seafood butcher behind the counter about this fish.

He said that they only purchase organically certified Tilapia fish from reputable fish farms.  I have a friend that had his own trout farm in Colorado, but it was a lot of work so he and his wife finally sold it.
The fish counter man told us that it is a great product and has a good protein quality, and strict farming principles.

But I was still unsure.  So, we purchased some to try, well at least for me to try since my wife does eat it regularly!  But I am still a bit of a skeptic.  The fish is now being sold worldwide!  How does that effect our ecosystem, and the natural species in the areas that they are grown.  So let’s look at the pros of Tilapia Aquaculture.

Did you know that over 475 million pounds of tilapia fish last year were consumed?  More than four times the amount 10 years ago.   So what is tilapia and where did it come from?  It came from Africa, not well known, and now is the most popular farmed fish in the United States.  Why is that?

  • Raising Tilapia fish has now become the mainstay of many fish farmers around the world (both in the developed and in the developing countries alike).
  • Tilapia fish is also a quite popular fish for use on aquaculture projects around the world and often recommended to poor fish farmers in the developing world as a fish to raise on their fish farm.
  • Tilapia Fish Farming is highly recommended and profitable for the fish farmer
  • Fishery experts around the world have dubbed tilapia as the “aquatic chicken” claiming it possesses many positive attributes that suit the fish for a varied range of fish farming systems.
  • Strong & Flexible Fish
  • Strong Immune System
  • Ability To Grow Rapidly
  • Fast Breeding
  • Ease of Handling
  • Wide Acceptance Of Tilapia As Food Fish.
  • Great Business Opportunities for farmers as well as everyone else involved in feeding the world.

It is not just the Tilapia fish farmer that wins in this endeavor.  If you will go to, you can find all sorts of information and business opportunities yourself.  There are books, courses, tools as well as cross use of tilapia waste for use in running and fertilizing hydroponic system for vegetables and other produce!

Tilapia is being introduced into more and more areas of our planet, to be farmed in tanks and specialized farms.

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Great Business Opportunities

Raising Tilapia Fish has a viable market in all economies whether it is first, second, or third world.Tilapia fish farmers have a cash-generating crop that can be sold in their local food market and /or internationally.

The demand for tilapia is pretty high. If you are a fish farmer you want to grow fish that people will buy in volume.

The U.S. is the wealthiest market for export and the Tilapia is the fastest growing imported fish in the U.S.

According to Restaurant Magazine, “Tilapia is the #2 fish on U.S. restaurant menus and has grown more than 50% in each of the last 3 years”

Last year, more than 52 million pounds of fresh tilapia were exported to the United States, mostly from Latin America, as well as 422 million more pounds of frozen tilapia, both whole and fillet, nearly all from China, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The European Union is also a lucrative export market for tilapia

U.S. and European demand for tilapia is steadily increasing and the market for value-added tilapia fish products such as frozen fillets and prepared/prepackaged foods is growing even faster.

In addition, the market price for tilapia has been stable or increasing over the last several years as compared to other fish. Market prices for salmon, for example, have declined more than 50% in the last few years.


So Tilapia Appears to be a Great solution for our food requirements.  It is a white fish,  easy to grow on farms.  It is delicious and profitable for all of the industries involved in the supply and demand cycle of business.  Will there be a plateau to be reached in the production of Tilapia Aquaculture?  Hard to say now, because of the continued increase of people living on this planet.


Next time I will write about the Dis-advantages of Tilapia Aquaculture.  There needs to be a balance in life, and we are all responsible for our actions and our choices.  I want to introduce you to Robert and Terri TallTree.  They are Native Americans who are blessed with the wisdom passed down from their elders in the natural way for thousands of years.  To learn how to balance in your life, learn how to be at peace and find your purpose and passion,

Click on this Link:  You will learn a different view and teaching of how to live and love your life while serving others and having a life full of wealth and love.  Remember that wealth is not just “Things”, but it is the Journey to finding your  purpose and passion that brings happiness.  Sign up here now.  As an extra bonus, we will send you my book : “How to Grow Great Heirloom Tomatoes”  just by sending me an email with your invoice!


Building your Dreams into the Life of Your Dreams

Chris Downs —– The Caretaker

Posted by & filed under Organic Gardening.

Sustainable Gardening is popular because it is a basic life-supporting system; It covers the Air/Water/Soil and everything that is a part of the environment.

There has been a disconnect between us as humans and the world we live in. We need healthy soil, water, air and food (fuel). Most people do not even know how the food they eat is delivered to them! When I first went in to the Navy in 1974, I got to see how the food was cooked and delivered to the kitchen.

There were eggs delivered in plastic bags, and it looked like a yellowish bag of uncooked pudding. Not a very appetizing sight to say the least! I asked the cooks where did they get their food from, and of course, they just told me that it is delivered by truck. Since we had a garden since I was young, and we got to work on it yearly, I know where the produce came from. My Grandpa Windecker was a butcher, and until I went into the Navy, I had never seen any fat in hamburger meat, so I was surprised to see all of the white stuff in the meat that was brought to the kitchen.

Why is Sustainable Gardening So Popular?

One of my friends in bootcamp was from New York City, and had never left the city until boot camp. When I pointed out the difference between what we were eating, and how I had been use to eating, he looked at me like I was from outer space. He told me that his family use to buy bulk food from the restaurant food supplier, and all of the food they bought were in big cans or boxes with plastic bags inside. He was from a big family and they had their own restaurant so that made great sense.

However, he had never seen how the food was grown or raised. Meat came packaged from a truck, and vegetables came from the supplier also.

It showed me that there was a huge difference in our experience with food. The food they bought was some of the best that they could buy for a great price since it was used for a good restaurant, but not as fresh as when I got to pick it out of the garden, off the tree or when we would go in together and share the meat from a neighbors cow.

Our ability to live healthy depends upon our Sustainable Gardens and Farms. But what does our food production depend on? Clean air, water, soil and the entire surrounding environment. In nature, food grows as part of a complete system this includes many biological members. They all interact with each other, and include mostly plants, animals, bacteria, chemistry, microorganisms as well as the mini environments they live in.

They feed on each other and depend on each other to be there to thrive and survive.

Also, as a basic life-supporting system, sustainable gardening to include water, air and soil also are connected. For example, the flow of air affects rainfall and rainfall affects the flow of air. In addition, life-supporting systems are dependent on the components and vice versa. For example, soil is created by plants and plants are created by soil. In summary, components are dependent on life-supporting systems and the life-supporting systems are dependent on components. However, it gets even more complicated than that.

So here are the points of why a Sustainable Gardening System is important for your survival.

  1. How do you food your family if there is a natural disaster?
  2. It provides filtering of different items from our air and water
  3. How do you provide for more seeds?
  4. Have you ever gone to the store and it’s shelves were nearly empty due to a coming storm?
  5. How long can you supply your own food and water if there was an interruption of the food supply line?

Each and every component, system and sub-system is important in running the overall ecosystem. When you disturb one, the others start to fall apart.

So what factors should you look at to become sustainable?

  • Ensure the property has a healthy environment to begin with
  • Survey the land to see what grows naturally and how your plans affect all aspects of the land
  • Is the water safe, or can it be cleaned up for humans or used as fertilizer in the garden
  • What can you plant without making a huge impact on the current environment?
  • Remember as you look at your new home, you are now part of that ecosystem.
  •  Become the Caretaker of your entire environment.
  • Manage what comes in and what leaves the land. Keep your waste recyclable.

Remember, that we as humans once lived as part of our surroundings. We took care of our surroundings, because there were
less of us to use the land. We would go from area to area and allow nature to regenerate itself from season to season. We were
also toward the top of the food chain; sometimes preyed upon, but mostly a predator. After learning how to grow stable crops,
that is when we as the two legged inhabitants started greatly changing the environment.

Because you have the knowledge and can see and understand our history of being Caretakers, we can build the Dream Life that
You desire.

The best way to know that you are growing your environment to be a Sustainable Gardening Lifestyle, you need to know if your Life is in Balance. There is a couple thousand years of knowledge passed down from generation to generation by the American
Native inhabitants.

This information has been kept intact and will help you choose the life that will allow you to make your Life Sustainable. One the keys to having a sustainable environment is self mastery and it just happens that my good friends Robert and Terri TallTree teach Self Mastery. Learn how to Master your life and your environment in a good way!

Start First with their 4 brothers which will teach you balance in your life and help you attain that balance.

Click here now and start your journey to a Sustainable Life!

Turning your Dreams into the Life of Your Dreams
Chris Downs The Caretaker

Posted by & filed under Permaculture.

Permaculture started out as two words , Permanent and Culture.  It was shortened to Permaculture for the purpose of making life easier for people, like me, who tend to shorten words and “Slang” it into a new creature.

I was flying home Monday, and I met a young man who shared that he was a Horticulture student that also worked in an Organic Grocery Store in California. His Concern was that the big food companies like Monsanto who use GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) were taking over the world food supply. During the next 5 minutes, he shared his story and his fears. He told me that he believed that Organic food was going to disappear and we would have no choice except to accept the inevitable of living shorter lives, increased medical bills because of that fact.

Permaculture Course lesson

I had to stop him when he informed me of what he told me our fate was. There is NO One that can tell us that we cannot grow our own food and live the life that we choose, as long as it is lived with love and service.

Mindset is one of the most important aspects of any Permaculture. Remember, You are Totally Awesome and you just cannot help it, because that is the way God Created you, in HIS Image! Permanent Cultures, have a strong base of community.

They have to, or they do no remain permanent.

I want you to think of everything that you see around you.

  • Now expand your vision, similar to making the map in google map go from your neighborhood, all the way to seeing the planet from the space station.
  • What do you see? From space what does earth look like?
  • It is a beautiful blue,green, white and gray ball, spinning around completely every twenty four hours.
  • Where is not anything on it or in it that does not affect someone or something else.
  • Without the trees, where do the birds live?
  • Without the Ocean, where do the fish, whales and coral move to?
  • How can we live in a world that is absent of these things?
  • When you look at our cities what happens to the vacant lots when they become abandoned?
  • What do you eat if there is no vegetation? No Flora or Fauna?
  • Do you hear the birds singing their songs of Love and joy?
  • How about their calls of warning, but most importantly, their calls of praise and thanksgiving for all that belongs to them! They are created and live a life free from doubt.
  • Can you be you without the challenges that you have faced?
  • We are all created for a purpose and a passion breathed into us when we were conceived.
  • What is in your heart and burning in your mind for you to accomplish? Can you truly accomplish it on your own? I can’t nor would I want to.

In the bible, GOD Creates the Heavens and the Earth, fills it with wonderful magical beings, Including man. You and I have been created to be caretakers of this world and each other. What an awesome thing it is, and it is all created by Speaking.

The Book of Genesis is the Permaculture course that we were given to follow. We as caretakers were created for the purpose of being good stewards of what has been created. The rest of the bible shows us the problems that we created as well as what has been changed and needs to be changed back again to become a PERMANENT CULTURE.

What are the steps toward permaculture?

  1. Follow the permaculture course that was handed down from generation to generation.
  2. Love one another as well as all of creation and manage ourselves and the land and water we live on.
  3. Wake up and see the beauty all around you and share your Joy and sing praises for all that we have been given.

If you truly want to see the freedom that comes from living a life in balance, start with your self. I want to share the teaching of Chief Robert and Terri TallTree called the 4BROTHERS. It is the wisdom of Native people, handed down from generation to generation.

You have many choices in your life, sign up now for our RSS feed and learn what a permaculture course is and how you can truly become part of the community created to live a life of Joy and Freedom.

Turning your Dreams into the Life of Your Dreams
Chris Downs The Caretaker (Hope, Inspiration, Salvation)

Posted by & filed under Farm Equipment.

You can use old farm equipment an alternative to buying brand-new equipment that can cost you thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending upon the size and scope of the equipment when it does, cost and efficiency is a very important consideration.

Why Would You Want To Use Old Farm Equipment?

I remember the first tractor that we bought. We had been looking for tractors for about six months.

My father came home with a 1940 ford 9N. The tractor was in about 120 different pieces, but we were able to trade some work and $50 for the purchase of the tractor. We could get it to start, they look like it’d been sitting outside for about 100 years, even though I knew it was only about 30 years old.

When we got done with our chores, on Saturdays, we would spend about 4 to 6 hours working on the tractor. It became a fun project for my father and I. By the time we had it all back together, it looked like brand-new, however we painted it a little bit different so everyone would know that it was our tractor.

So why would you want to purchase old farm equipment?

The following list will give you the advantages of using old farm equipment.

  • Lower initial purchase price.
  • Easier to work on and maintain.
  • The enjoyment of having equipment with character.
  • Usually a smaller and or compact size.
  • Better fuel economy for most older pieces of equipment.
  • You can find used parts for a lower cost.
  • The equipment can also be used in your advertising.
  • Better for the environment when well maintained.
  • it is usually paid off at purchase, or shortly thereafter.
  • You get to bring joy to many people while you are searching for parts!
  • Old farm equipment is a great way to recycle.

There can be some disadvantages of old farm equipment also though:

  • parts can be hard to find
  • maintenance or shop manuals may not be complete
  • You may experience a learning curve on the maintenance and repair of the equipment that you purchase.
  • Parts stores or dealers may laugh when you tell them the equipment that you have and the part that you are looking for! Been there, done that!
  • Maintenance or repair may take longer due to the scarcity of parts

Now that I’ve told you the advantages and disadvantages of old farm equipment, I want to tell you what to look for your purchasing old farm equipment and what to stay away from.


  1.   Research the equipment before your purchase it.
  2.   Is that brand of equipment still being manufactured today?
  3.   If so, does the manufacturer still service the equipment?
  4.   Can you purchase a number of items that will keep you supplied with regular maintenance parts and items that will last you many years
  5.   What is the reliability of the equipment that you are going to purchase?
  6.   Do your homework and talk to as many people that you can about that type of equipment.


  1. Do not buy the first old farm equipment that you see.
  2. Do not believe everything that you hear from the seller, unless you know them.
  3. Do not purchase your equipment as an antique and expect to make a profit from that aspect of old farm equipment.
  4. Do not purchase your equipment just because it looks cool.
  5. Do not purchase your equipment if you do not understand or think that you can learn how to repair and maintain it.


As you assess your needs for equipment to help you increase your production on your farm, remember that this is an Investment in yourself. You will be healthier and happier if you keep your business and life in balance.

God created you to follow your purpose and passion. Keeping up with the Jonses or Clampits (Beverly Hillbillies) is not a means to an end.

Old Farm equipment can help you increase your profits and lower your expenses as you choose wisely!
Send us your pictures and tell us your story of old farm equipment.

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Keep your life in balance, and you will enjoy the Journey as you travel through life!

Turning your Dreams into the Life of Your Dreams
Chris Downs ——————– The CareTaker

Posted by & filed under Organic Gardening.

Maybe you are wondering about the benefits of organic farming or better yet, what is “organic?” Technically, organic refers to the way farmers grow and process foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat.

What are the Benefits Of Organic Farming?

I use to just buy food in cans from the grocery store, and from the non-organic cheapest produce. I would also purchase meals from a fast food restaurant so that I could eat and get back to work.  I had the hurry up and get my work done so that I could rest a bit before the “next days work”.  I had eaten healthy while I grew up, and we had a garden that was great.  However I had learned some not so good habits while I was in the service.  From bootcamp, I learned that meals should take 15 minutes from start to finish, including getting my food.  The habit was entrenched into my mind, and that is the habit I adopted for years.

After getting out of the service, I had gotten stuck in that habit of poor eating habits.  Even to the detriment of my health.  I knew better than to eat that way, but I choose to anyway.  After 8 heart attacks, I finally got it back into my head that I need to add great fuel to my body to have a healthy body.

These are the benefits of Organic Farming from my viewpoint:

  1. Organic farming promotes soils that are teaming with life and rich in micro nutrients which produces better quality food with higher nutrition value.
  2. Uses natural fertilizers such as manure or compost to enrich soil and feed plants.
  3. Uses beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease
  4. Manages weeds by rotating crops, tilling, hand weeding or mulching.
  5. Gives animals organic feed and access to the outdoors. Uses preventive measures such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing to help minimize disease

Organic food costs a little more, but for me it has been a small price to pay for the benefits to my health. I have gone from needing a heart transplant, being kept alive by a pacemaker and drugs, to having a measurable increase in my heart function due to many factors, but the major one is good fuel for my body.
Cannot afford to purchase straight organic?
Purchase food that you eat the most of organically. The more you eat of fresh, live food, the healthier you will tend to be. It has worked for me!

What are the benefits of Organic Farming for the farmer?

  • Thousand of corporations are targeting consumers worldwide by adding organic foods to their product lines.
  • Consumer demand for organically grown foods and livestock products are increasing. Sales of organic products are the fastest growing sector of agriculture. Sales continue to grow by over 20% annually and have shown an annual increase of at least 20% during the last 6 years.
  • Over the next 10 years analysts are projecting total sales of organic products to exceed one hundred billion dollars worldwide. The vast majority of growth will in occur in the United States, Japan and throughout Europe. (Source – IFOAM, International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement)
  • Organic farming is a science within itself that conventional farmers can learn while they transfer their capital resources and skills to master a trade that can be even more profitable than conventional farming.
  • Researchers in the United States have found that by following organic farming methods, conventional farmer’s can actually reduce production cost by over 25%. This is accomplished by eliminating the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, minimizing soil erosion by up to 50% and increasing crop yields up to five-fold within five years.
  • Organic farms can support substantially higher levels of wildlife especially in lowlands and where animals can roam pastures or graze on grassland. Not only does wildlife benefit, but entire ecosystems and ground water are improved by simply following organic farming methods.
  • Consumers purchasing organically grown foods can taste the difference and see the quality of virtually any organic product they buy. Regardless of minimal price differences
  • Consumers buy organically grown food products not just because of competitive prices, but due to the increased availability of organic food products as seen in both grocery and organic food specialty stores

The number one benefit of organic farming is: Eating organic foods may in fact, reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer for individuals who abstain from consuming products produced by conventional farming methods. Biochemist are continually researching the inherent benefits of organically grown foods and discovering the consequences consuming products loaded with toxins and chemicals which, until recently, have only begun to be introduced to humans.

The fact is, you ultimately are what you eat.

The benefits for all of the above points come down to these three basic statements:
Better Health through Organic Farming
More Customers thus more profits through Organic Farming
Healthier land through Organic Farming.
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I would like to give you a gift of our book on 4 ways to increase your profits on your Organic Farm.

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We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts of what the Benefits of Organic Farming have given to you!

Turning Your Dreams into the Life of Your Dreams
Chris Downs —– The Caretaker

Posted by & filed under Composting.

When Heather and I built our first garden together we asked each other how to make worm composting bins. My idea was to build three large concrete bins then the tractor to scoop the compost from one to the other.

Heather’s idea was to just pile on in three separate piles and move it from pile to pile.

My idea took more work, and cost more money, as well as having to take extra care of allowing the worms to move from bin to bin. Heather’s idea was a lot simpler, but there is no delineation from one pile to the next. So when it was time to move files from one to the next everything kind of just got mixed together. Especially with the rain and wind and that we had on the island.

We found a perfect compromise. We bought a half ton of straw bales, and stacked them neatly to make three bins, and then place the compost into the worm composting bins. The compost would also eat the straw bales, so we would replace them with a new straw bale over time. So as a low-cost solution that was easy and efficient to implement this is a great way to start your compost bin.

how to make worm composting bins?

How to make worm compost bins? Start with the following actions:

  • Find an area in or near your garden or on your property that can easily hold and maintain the material that you are placing into your compost bin.
  • Choose the type of material that you wish to build your compost bin out of, whether it be wood, concrete block, fallen down trees, posts, or bales of straw.
  • We preferred the three bin method so you want to make three distinct bins for your compost.
  • Ensure that the worms can migrate from one bin to the next
  • You may also choose to just purchase a tumbler, whether it is metal cages, plastic bins, or an old plastic barrel that foodstuff was stored in. Make sure it is safe for your composting worms.
  • If you choose to make your own plastic barrel, get some help from your local hardware store.
  • To make moving the piles of material from bin to bin, remove all the plant matter in the bin area before putting in your compost material.
  • Place your worm compost bin building material so you have three distinct three sided bins.
  • You want to make the bins tall enough to contain all the compost material you place inside.
  • If you plan on using a small tractor or large tractor, make sure the bucket of the tractor fits inside of the bins easily.

Now that you have the bins built, make sure that you have water nearby to keep the compost material wet, and that you can protect it from wind and contaminants from infiltrating your bins.

Now that you know how to make worm composting bins, you just need to be able to use them. Depending on the size of your farm or garden, will determine how large or how small your worm composting bins will be. Some of the new plastic composting bins that are on the stand and you can turn them over and over with a hand crank are very efficient.

However, the cost can range from $100 on up to $500 and more. The straw bales cost us two dollars each which came to a total of $46. So as you teach others how to make composting bins you can share what works for you.

We would also love to hear how you created your worm composting bin and the success that you are having with it. Sign up to our newsletter and as a gift I would like to send you at no charge a book called for ways to increase your profits on your organic farm. At the same time sign up for our RSS feed and get the latest news from his

Turning your dreams into the life of your dreams

Chris downs ———————- the caretaker