Beginning in late 2007, we began planning the concept of ReZoNation Farm based on the ecological design and regenerative development principles of Permaculture.
The name of the farm derives from the permaculture strategy of “zoning”. By using the characteristics of a farm element (say, an angry hive of bees) to help decide its placement within the total farm system, potential problems can be minimized. Simultaneously its beneficial characteristics can be put to the greatest use. For example, a bee hive doesn’t have to be visited as often as chickens. Therefore, to avoid the annoyance of the occasional sting, but take advantage of their pollination services, we place hives just beyond the gardens and chickens. In addition, we try to avoid instances where human paths might cross with a bee flight path. Space is strategically assigned uses in relation to how people do work and exert energy on the elements within that space. Normally we do not design our spaces around automobiles, but instead around the width of a wheelbarrow. Paths are raised waterharvesting berms, and trees become windbreaks, food, and shade.
Zoning regulations result in land planning that has rarely met the most basic needs of families and communities in a regenerative way – meaning at their homes. The ReZoNation Farm model seeks to ‘rezone’ or redefine how we organize functions within the ecosystems we inhabit.
The strategy for ReZoNation Farm is to re-embed people in an intentional way within a productive ecological system of elements that support each other, while providing a surplus of food and materials for us to share and reinvest in a regional network of collaborative farms. The biggest challenge is doing this in an economy that generally does not reward efficiency of this sort at the family/home level.
This is also in some way an experiment to determine the amount of time and work needed to transform a small rural dwelling into an income producing economic development strategy. Projected energy and environmental changes in the Southwest will also present new challenges that will dictate how successful our future farms will be. This website is evidence that progress is being made, and it signals an evolutionary milestone which took three to four years (and counting since 2007) of work to initiate.
We hope that this story will ReZoNate with you so that we can share new tastes and beginnings rising from a careful observation of how we feed and shelter each other.
We want to befriend those interested in reconnecting with their food, and create new stories of shared farming experience while recovering lost tastes and farming knowledge that was once common place.
Jaime M. de Zubeldia, of ReZoNation Farm, was introduced to gardening and beekeeping as a teenager. He studied biology before earning a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona.