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This photo was taken in June 2010, one day after we had bought the land. The scars of 70 years of cattle breeding could be seen everywhere.</p>In the rainy season, animal trails became streams which accelerated the erosion. During the dry season, the vegetation got burnt because there were hardly any trees left to shade the land. They have been cut for the purpose of maximizing the pasture area.</p>The roots of many plants could not penetrate the hard ground because the heavy animals had compacted the soil with their hooves. 
This photo  was taken in March 2014. Finca Bayano looks quite different. The land has already recovered substantially from the ordeal of decades of meat production. Thousands of trees are thriving now and many animal species are coming back.</p>If we had not bought the land it would now be like many other Fincas which, due to destruction of the soil, require ever larger areas to feed the same number of animals. Sooner rather than later, farmers in Panama will have to realize that the time of ruthless exploitation of nature is eventually coming to an end. We are exploring the neighborhood in search for the best coconuts. </p>Our intention is to plant 1,000 coconut trees this year but it turns out to be complicated to find such a huge number of nuts. Nowadays, even villagers prefer a modern (!) diet, and for that reason most neighbors have only one coconut tree. Once ripe, however, the nuts fall down, and most of them are rotting below the tree. It is a much better idea to sell the nuts to us. We are offering 15 cents apiece.</p>By the way, mangos and cashews are also rotting, in this land of plenty. Furthermore, several hundred cashew, carambola, and moringa trees are on the planting agenda. As fast-growing shade trees, there are 1,000 bananas and the same number of papayas on our plan in 2014.</p>To make sure that all plants grow well at Finca Bayano, we will build irrigation reservoirs this year. 10 reservoirs, with a volume of about 1,000 gallons each, will be dug per acre.</p>During the dry season, two of our workers will be responsible for the irrigation only.

Prepare, don't despair!

Finca Bayano is a small community in Panama. It’s being established for people who believe that a future crisis may be difficult to survive in Europe and North America, in especial. According to our plans, 100 people are going to live in our village, focussing on self-sufficiency. Neither will the world end, nor will humans become extinct, however, the system we live in may collapse. That’s what we’re preparing for. We call our project 'Survival Insurance'.

Our farm, 75 acres (30 hectares) in size, is located about 200 miles west of Panama-City, at an altitude of 1,600 feet (500 meters) above sea level. The coordinates are according to Google earth: 8°06' N and 81°28' W. The area is sparsely populated and malaria-free. The climate is ideal with an average temperature of 75°F (25°C). The soil is fertile and there is adequate rainfall. Firewood is available in abundance, and there is mostly a fresh breeze. A creek divides Finca Bayano into two equal halves. There is no industrial pollution and there are no power plants in this region. Also, there are no active volcanoes.

For decades it was possible to live passively and at the same time be in a comfortable position. This time is over. At the national level, there is the probability of rioting in many countries. And at the international level, the danger of a nuclear war is rising. Current events suggest that a major conflict is supposed to be provoked. Perhaps the struggle for Ukraine marks the beginning of the war for the heartland.

The idea of farming together with like-minded people emerged in 2010. By then, we were concerned that we would not have enough time to prepare. Up to now, our fears have fortunately not been met, and we are a lot closer to leading a virtually independent life at Finca Bayano. Most important, besides owning the land, is a good relation to our Panamanian neighbors. Our attitude towards politics and religion is neutral. Although our project is of an exceptional nature, we do not represent politically extreme opinions. Neither do we assume that the crisis has anything to do with biblical principles, nor do we believe that seers of past centuries could have foreseen the crisis.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!