My multi-year plan for achieving my goals and objectives

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The pursuit of every dream must start with a vision. Without a vision of your goals, your dream will remain but a mirage in the distance. You know it's there, but you haven’t a clue how to grasp it or why you pursue it, to begin with.

You see this often. People mindlessly chase money and wealth in pursuit of their dream of riches without having a tangible reason why. And after having secured their dream of riches, they experience nothing but misery, unhappiness, and unfulfillment. …

Sacrifices my family made to save hundreds of dollars per month while reducing our carbon footprint

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“What do you mean we aren’t replacing it!?” I asked my wife

She replied “We can live without it”

And that was the end of the discussion. Since my wife is Commander-In-Chief of Home and the kitchen is most definitely her domain, the decision was final. We weren’t going to replace the broken microwave. Not that we used the microwave that often, but to me, it was a convenient appliance to quickly heat things.

Since the microwave is part of our kitchen fixture, it…

Factors to consider before installing a small-scale aquaponics system

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My family continues to discuss options for growing food on a homestead that we dream of owning one day. Last month, I wrote an article about managing water on a small homestead. In that article, I explored aquaponics as one option to grow food if the land has a small pond to utilize as a source of water.

Aquaponics is worth exploring because it's one of many ways to grow food sustainably. By researching and understanding available options, my family can eliminate options that are not suitable for what we want…

An ancient German farming practice that continually and sustainably feeds your garden for decades

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I enjoy browsing through “Free Stuff” on Craigslist every now and then. I’m never actually looking for anything in particular because my family has all the material needs for our lifestyle. I like to see if there is anything useful that can be used for homesteading.

Of course, Hawaii being a net importer of life’s daily necessities, it’s not uncommon to see postings for free wooden pallets. As tempting as free lumber of any quality is, I wonder what they carried, which makes using them for…

Composting enriches the soil and reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills

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What is composting?

Compost is an organic material and the end product of composting. Composting is the natural process of turning organic matter into fertilizer that can be used to enrich the soil and feed plants. Though organic matter will decompose on its own if left to nature, a properly managed composting system will provide an environment that is suitable for microorganisms, bacteria, and insects that all aid in breaking down organic matter, speeding up the decomposition process.

Compost can be bought at your local hardware store or nursery…

A path to environmentally sustainable and responsible self-sufficiency

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Many have chosen the path of becoming homesteaders, all for different reasons. Some seek escape, or adventure, while others are looking to be closer to nature. Many are looking to become more self-sufficient. I do not believe, by any means, that it is an easy lifestyle. Some have attempted and failed at homesteading or had unrealistic expectations and have chosen a different path for their life. …

Environmentally sustainable options for managing water use for small-scale homesteads

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I’m continuing to envision and plan for operating an environmentally sustainable homestead one day. One vital aspect of homestead ownership is the proper management of water that is environmentally sustainable and responsible. Establishing a conceptual understanding of how water use can be managed properly is one small but important step in my journey on teaching myself the knowledge necessary in managing a homestead responsibly.

I don’t want to end up as the proverbial dog that manages to catch the car and not know what to do next. In my family’s…

An introduction to Masanobu Fukuoka and natural farming techniques

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I wrote in a previous article that I dream of owning an environmentally sustainable and responsible homestead one day. I’m continuing to explore agricultural practices that align with my goals. I came across a farming method known as natural farming. Several practitioners based in Japan, such as Masanobu Fukuoka, Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, and Mokichi Okada have successfully implemented natural farming techniques.

For this article, we will cover the natural farming techniques advocated by Masanobu Fukuoka.

Who was Masanobu Fukuoka and what led him to develop natural farming?

Masanobu Fukuoka was born on February 2, 1913. He graduated from Gifu University with a specialization in…

A symbiotic and harmonious relationship between satoyama and its community

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What is the satoyama (里山)?

Satoyama (里山) is a Japanese word that translates to the village (里) — mountain (山). The satoyama can be loosely described as as a geographic area that borders areas that are known as the hitozato (人里) and okuyama (奥山).

  • Hitozato (人里) translates to human (人) village (里), or more colloquially as an area or a settlement which humans inhabit, typically located in a rural community.
  • Okuyama (奥山) translates to remote / far away (奥) mountain (山). …

Human actions have consequences, some of which can result in the extinction of entire species

Image courtesy of the author

A few weeks ago, my family went on a hike in North Shore, on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. An employee from the Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) waved my family down and asked us if we wanted to see something we probably never seen before. Under her escort, she took us to a location on the marked trail just outside of cordoned-off area and pointed to a well-camouflaged albatross.

Based on our interaction with the HMAR guide, we learned that the albatross was…

Y.M. Saegusa

Husband, father, and future homesteader. Editor of

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