Community Needs Assessment - February 2012 - Results

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Community Needs Assessment - February 2012 - Summary

Volunteer Details

Community Needs Assessment - February 2012 - Volunteers


  1. "What's needed most in the project, and what are you willing to commit to the project to address this need? What relevant experience do you have that qualifies you to take on this task?"
  2. Are you currently affiliated with OSE in any way? How?
  3. "What challenges do you face in your life that could be addressed by the results of our work, in the short term (<1 year), and in the long term (5+ years from now)?"
  4. "What are you most concerned about regarding the success of the project, and what solution do you propose?"
  5. "What unique talents can you offer to the project, and how much commitment can you provide either as a volunteer or for pay?"
  6. List 3 ways that you can start getting involved in the project.
  7. "Can you recommend someone else who could join the project, and what relevant skills do they have?"
  8. "Can you recommend any foundations that we should write grants to? Who do you know, if anyone, at the listed foundation that we can talk to?" #Can you recommend any on-contingency grant writers that we can recruit to the project?
  9. Can you recommend a pro-bono lawyer that would like to help us file for tax-exempt status?
  10. "City, State/Country"
  11. Put a 1 in the text box to show up on our map.

Marcin Jakubowski

"Most needed at this point is a more rigorous procedure for technical development and management of this procedure. This is necessary if the project is to deliver stated results on predictable timelines. As the project scales, it is difficult to keep the quality control on the results. A better platform would assure better results, as the project scales into a general Open Source Product Development Pipeline. My learning to date is that it is difficult to run a complex, integrated project solely on volunteers and random contributions. While such contributions are essential to open source development, and are the backbone of our current operations - more structure is needed to take the project to the next level. To this end, I am taking 2 weeks right now away from the project to define the methodology, and to recruit a team to implement this procedure. I am personally buried right now and trying to surface, due to our tremendous growth. My relevant experience that qualifies me to take on this role is 5 years of on-the-ground experience with prototyping on a crowdsource budget, and my ability to solve a problem from basic principles - to create the necessary management structure for a Learning Organization that is destined to change the world. This is an interesting challenge: a mix of proven enterprise practices, infused with iconoclastic, open source innovation."

I am the Founding Director.

"Society is cracking at the seams, as we rely on the modern equivalent of slavery and colonialism to provide the lifestyles that we lead - and at the same time, we are alienated from our true interests and higher purpose. In the short term, I would like to demonstrate at Factor e Farm that we can generate a resilient economy by providing healthy local food, renewable energy, natural housing, and robust economic production at Factor e Farm. In 5 years, I would like to see the global economy start converting itself to an open source economy - where open source unleashes productive power of individuals and communities - to finally put an end to all forms of corruption and geopolitial compromises."

I am most concerned about the lack of the proper organizational infrastructure to take the project to the next level.

"I offer the unique talent of generalist thinking and practice, and an ability to focus in a way aligned with passionate pursuit of a goal. I am an integrator who sees a clear goal, and who is taking concrete steps by addressing the material needs of civilization as a prerequisite to further human evolution."

"I would recommend Peter Senge's group, which offers critical insights to the management of a learning organization."

"Maysville, Missouri"



More reports about OSE national and international. Especially in the related movements - Open Source software, makers, 3rd world developement organisations (Fair Trade?)

I could write about it in my Pirate Party Germany(Nice psychological question btw.)"

interested reader

myself nothing I would think

cost of prototypes money + time - - - - - -

"Bernburg, Germany"


Benjamin Kirkup

I'm not sure what's needed most. I would presume that complete set of all 50 technologies, up and running, would be the most serious immediate priority, with at least two communities using them actively as the next priority. I don't have experience that make me qualified to achieve these goals. "

"I am a minor, but not completely marginal, donor. "

"I'm hoping that I have no short term challenges riding on this project. I live in a small community of ~7 adults and 5 children, with a 1000 sq ft communal garden. We are in the suburbs, not off the grid, and reasonably affluent. In the long term, I'm not sure what will happen, but I would like local fabrication to be available to the children, in 10 or 15 years."

"Well, I'm concerned that all the plans will be made, a few copies generated, and then it will stall. I suggest that critical mass of adoption, forking, and so on, will be the most important piece. Farmers in America are too few and too idiosyncratic to make it to critical mass. However, by partnering with religious charities that operate routinely in the developing world, there might be room to create a sustainable foment."

"Well, I'm a microbiologist, a microbial ecologist. I'll assist when that specialty is needed. At one point, someone was working on a fermenter to produce energy from waste and manure. I was happy enough to try to help, though that effort stalled before I could contribute much at all. I don't see much in OSE that requires microbiology; most seems to be mechanical engineering, with some electrical, etc. "

"I already keep tabs on it, and I donated a little money, and spread the word a bit. I guess I need to wait until fermentations, cheese making, soil microbiology, or something else like that comes up in the project. Microbes are very powerful and hard to control."

Not off hand.

I'd suggest talking to Rick Warren once you have enough of the technologies together to consider spreading them in Africa.

No. I didn't realize people did this.


"Silver Spring, Maryland"


Joseph Post

I can help organize local lectures and provide free music for videos. I am a professional composer and audio engineer. "I helped Marcin out when I lived in King City, MO and I provided some music for a CNC torch table video."

"In the short term, I'm always interested in ways I can live more sustainably. For example, technology relating to plant food production. Within 10 years I plan to be living sustainably off the grid, utilizing several OSE developed technologies to build my home and produce what I need. "

"Currently I don't have any concerns, I'm really excited to see how quickly everything is developing. "

"I can provide music for videos and help set up local lectures. I can help if hands are needed on a work day. I fluctuate in-between a heavy workload and little work, so it would be during the slow months I could help out most."

"Overland Park, Kansas"


Quintin de Lima

"Proper documentation, clear step by step build plans. This is key to the goal of success. I am prepared to build prototypes and test the build plans on GVCS prior to full release. I am a hands on kind of person and i'm keen on buildings a number of GVCS for my home."

i'm a truefan

"South Africa has an occasional power supply problem. the costs for electricity are projected to increase 30% in the next 2 years. i've already converted my water heaters to solar evacuated tube technology to save money. i'm extremely interested in the gasifier and its potential development path that can lead to home biofuel creation. also i am interested in the solar concentrator, steam engine, battery and inverter. Deep cycle batteries are extremely expensive here and make the cost to convert to photovoltaic un economical. i like the idea of making them myself. my goal is to build the OSE car, if it meets my daily transport needs."

"To keep the team motivated and focused on the original scope, i see negative statements often in the forums. These are generally from people who have never had vision or run a large project comprising of many different individuals. Proper documentation and build instructions are paramount. I understand how the BOM is seen as important, but to be fair, costs are relative to your geographical region. The costs to build these machines are going to be significantly cheaper where i live."

"I've signed up as a true fan, as time progresses and if the project lives up to its potential i will contribute more financially. also i want to replicate these machines and use them, i've been researching some of them for years but have struggled to find freely available build instructions. this is what sets OSE apart. "

"true fan seems the most important, it will provide funding for people to do this full time. review work and attempt to replicate machines and provide feedback."

"i have already. engineer, inventor. they have built and operated some of the GVCS before."

"Johannesburg, South Africa"


James Slade

Prototype testing. Verifying that the equipment is capable of doing its job time and time again in a variety of situations to see what it can and cannot do. 7 years of QA and QC experience. Yes. Replication of the CEB. Testing of the LifeTrac and likely future prototypes.

"Building our homestead and fabrication work. Long term would be building our community up. We're a part of a larger picture involving many homes and families coming together."

Safety. That we keep safety in the foreground of the designs. Even when prototyping and of course fully covering safety on completed projects. "DIYer, community organizer, PR. We work on OSE as much as we can here to implement it into our projects and show that it works.As funds allow, I do it full time."

"Fabrication locally - Offers another site to build prototypes and relay info with FeF. Allows for more hands to help by having another location. We can host a lot of folks from our region here.

Testing - Putting each piece through real life testing.

Education - Bringing the GVCS to the public around Texas, showing how it works and its robustness for DIY."

Dan Schellenberg - Fabrication and a DIYer

"Cedar Creek, Texas"


Craig Ambrose

true fan

"We're building an ecovillage, at the moment largely based on closed source machinery. I see a lot of opportunity here to replicate GVCS designs and also build a local economy around the idea of open source hardware."

"Probably a human resources bottleneck and Factor-E farm. I know you guys are aware of this and I'm not terribly concerned. As you know, greater parellisation, presumably involving a lot of sites and project teams, will be needed to get things done quickly."

Not much I'm afraid. Ruby on rails development at reduced rates. I'm not able to offer volunteer help at the moment.

"Motueka, New Zealand"



"I 'm wondering how you will get the ""blue prints"" so to speak to your intended customer. I don't think that your customer will have ready access to a wireless connection.

Maybe what I'm saying too, is that you will need to identify who your perfect customer is, and work towards meeting their need(s). You must have a business plan, I would like to read it, maybe I could be of help defining your perfect customer and help brainstorm on how to reach them."

No None.

"What I'm seeing so far is that the people who I think that you want to help, won't have the skills to build the items that are proposed. They will need training, and access to the raw materials.

My solution would be to incorporate existing resources that people might have, and to help develop the equipment along side the people that are manufacturing the device. Just thinking, but maybe have a kit (with detailed instructions i.e. lots of pictures) and look for volunteers to travel with the kit to assist with fabrication as needed and start-up advice."

"I might be able to help with instructions, that is break down the steps of the device fabrication to as easy as steps as needed, again, I would say that it would be a case by case approach."

"I could read any instructions and ad any needed steps. Fabricate parts of a device to see if it works as intended. Moral support! Good Job!!

"Ruthton, Minnesota"


Brian Beck

"San Angelo, Texas"


A.J. Tarnas

"Marcin is the wrong person to lead OSE, and he has chosen the wrong location to accomplish his goals. I will do what I can over the next 3 years to start a separate OSE location in Pittsburgh PA, growing from a membership-based tool-lending library. I will make it pay, rather than relying on donations."

"No, just as a frequent internet visitor of the project and poster on the forums, and a booster of the project IN REAL LIFE."

"I want a world of abundance. OSE will bring the rough-and-ready mechanical power of machinery circa 1920 to the home and farm-scale producer, at long last. The GVCS will not accomplish much more than this -- free plans for motivated individuals to build and sell at a profit, and the first ecomomy of scale for standardized parts in a robust mechanical toolkit since the 1920s."

"OSE will not learn from the best of the past. It needs competent mechanics and engineers, and open-book financial know-how. Learn from Jack Stack at Springfield Remanufacturing, and in the ag world, Darren Doherty, Alan Savory, Willie Smits, Sepp Holzer, and Joel Salatin. Learn from the mistakes of Gaviotas, and recruit the former engineers of Gaviotas. Immediately seek out chemists and physicists who can make nanomaterials (filtration, catalysts) and biomimicry-based low-power devices (Benyus, Gunter Pauli). Give up the fixation on using metal for everything and start using wood for rapid prototyping (via Woodgears). "

"Last year I made $7k. I lived on $4k. This year I own a home and land in Pittsburgh that cost me $4k. I have projected livings costs of $3k. My talent is living frugally. I am completely directed toward the sort of bootstrap research for the benefit of the poor that Marcin and OSE embrace. I am not a chemist, programmer, mechanic, or engineer, so I have almost nothing to contribute at a technical level. But I am very widely read, a handy person, and motivated. I want to make a living at this, but I would happily volunteer years of my life to get it done, though I will not donate money to it."

"- Start another GVCS project site in Pittsburgh. - Port designs to a wood- rather than metal-centric material basis. - Demonstrate geopolymer and nanomaterial formulas."

"- Jorge Zapp of Bogota, Colombia -- bootstrap engineer. - Jack Stack of Springfield, MO -- machine shop foreman and bootstrap businessman. - Matthias Wandel of Woodgears -- engineer and maker-extraordinaire. No personal references."

N/A No. No.



I can do this.

"Gladewater, Texas"


Jacob Dalton

"I see two goals as most important: 1) delivering on the promise of scrap metal to useful complex machinery and 2) demonstrating these machines can be used to create a viable business or sustainable farm. Crossing these lines of uncertainty would give the project the pragmatic viability to change it's base from dreamers to early adopters (or perhaps going from Stallman to Torvalds as a GNU/Linux analogy).

As for my own contribution in this regard--currently I'm a true fan. Also I'm moving back home with my parents this summer. They own a former dairy farm on 280 acres of land in north western Wisconsin. My father owns a small landscaping business that installs lawns, and I would like to incorporate GVCS principles into our business and machinery. I'm thinking of building a hydroseeder (or retro-fitting our hydroseeder) with a powercube design to make it more maintainable and technically robust. I would also like to build a micro-tractor and fit it with a small harley rake to increase automation for use-cases in between tractor and manual labor.

I've done landscaping with my father for a period of about 7 years, and as a stake holder in small business I'm well qualified to evaluate the utility of any GVCS technology we incorporate in our business. I'm a pretty good interface between the cultures of internet enthusiasts/entrepreneurs (who help promote and support OSE) and blue collar entrepeneurs who have experience running businesses and running machinery in their every day lives.

"As stated above, I'm a true fan. In the passive sense, I check the blog and Marcin's youtube channel daily."

"I'm a young man (26 years old) with a lifetime ahead of him. In the short term, I think the GVCS could help our family business gain some advantages over our competitors by lowering the capital load we have invested in machinery and building out our own solutions to in between use cases that can lower our labor inputs while increasing efficiency.

Assuming I pay off my student debt during the summer, I would be available to a) work on site at FeF as a fabricator, prototyper, programmer, or documentor or b) extend the facilities at my parents' farm to create another fab-lab and independently pursue the same goals (assuming I have enough capital and/or a business plan that makes this viable). We have a pretty good array of dormant resources on the farm having converted from a dairy farm to a crop farm. In the long term, I would like to start or be a part of an OSE village in the United States or abroad."

"Efficiency and Usability. By efficiency I mean creating machines that are capable of running a small business or sustainable farm operated by people of average ability. Creating machines that are feature complete is not necessarily good enough if they don't sufficiently meet the needs of users. I see the goal of reaching a feature complete GVCS 50 as a reachable within the next 1-2 years which would be outstanding in itself, but the goal of high adoption of sustainable farms and small enterprise as a much more difficult target to hit.

I see a tension between efficiency and usability and I think the example of open source software is telling. The difference between the developer perspective and the user perspective often goes unresolved and small nagging problems for everyday users persist when they don't affect the developers. There's a cognitive problem here too--engineers think in a way that's amenable to a remote collaborative process because objective means of success can be agreed upon. However designers typically work in an individualist mode that's highly dependent on intuition and eschews active collaboration. Very very few developers are good designers since the super skill of development is analyzing unintuitive abstract information while the super skill of design is connecting intuitions to information in a concise and simple way that's relevant to the maximum number of people. Some version of this problem is certain to manifest itself in OSE.

I think that resolving the tension between making machines that are easy to build and understand and making machines that are efficient and economically viable doesn't likely have objective means of resolution. Personally I would focus maximum effort on getting a rock solid tool chain to bootstrap production and perhaps sacrifice feature completeness for high standards of quality and efficiency--obviously the machines must be viable before they're accessible. Upon reaching some sufficient threshold of proven viability, I would swing efforts strong and hard towards the problem of accessible/usable design that anyone can use.

I'm sure OSE already already has a wealth of experience addressing these problems, and I don't think the strategy I outlined is in any way novel. I just think that the example of desktop Linux and its lack of mainstream adoption (despite great success with early adopters, engineers, and enthusiasts) is illuminating. Furthermore I think the success of the open source process in engineering and its weakness in design is the fundamental institutional problem facing open source and the wider DIY movement."

"The quick version: programming, shooting and editing video, web development, and product testing. I have experience farming--operating machinery and caring for livestock. I have some experience welding and using a lathe. I can probably learn or be taught to fabricate in a short period of time. I'm interested in working full time onsite or remotely for OSE and should be available in this capacity at the end of October. I can devote some of my time to the project during the spring and summer but will be busy helping run a small business, so I don't think it would be wise for me to offer a consistent allotment of time for that period.

More detail:

I had an extremely diverse university experience (I graduated from UW-Madison where Marcin got his PhD) which I studied variously: mathematics, computer science, creative writing, and video production. I graduated with a double major in Math and English with a certificate (ie Minor) in Computer Science. I also grew up on a dairy farm, and I've been involved in my father's small business projects which include: tree transplanting, landscaping (mainly lawn installation), and general contracting (residential home construction). For the last 2 years I've been teaching English in South Korea (in large part to pay off student debt and also for the experience of being abroad) and will return home to Wisconsin on March 1st. During the summer I hope to pay off my remaining student debt after which I can work as a volunteer or for pay so long as my basic needs of food, shelter, and perhaps health insurance can be provided for."

"1) Build a micro-tractor, report results 2) Visit FeF 3) Build a powercube based hydroseeder 4) Field test useful prototypes 5) Become a fabricator at FeF" Nope. I've lived in South Korea for two years and my social circled is quite limited here.

n/a n/a n/a

"New Richmond, Wisconsin"



I hope in the next 5yrs to but some land and use OSE to help me live simpler and closer to the land.

I would hate to see the project sputter out. Continue doing what you have been doing and I believe it will keep going.

I am an IT person by trade. I been trying to think of what I can do to be of use on a volunteer basis.

"Longmont, Colorado"


Graham Kelly

I have networker skill sets..

"Yes, I donate monthly to Marcin"

"The ONLY challenge I have is US government regulations, and the upcoming revolution."

"The OSE needs to go offshore. I am a permanent traveler, so I can give you guys some offshore solutions."

"I'll volunteer, but I'm not sure what you need."

"1. Financially 2. Financially 3. Financially" "I have 125,000 customers, half of whom I cannot deal with any more, due to US regulations. Shame. See my website for details. www.GoldNow.St"

"I don't circulate in those areas. Most folks I know are in survival mode (the 99.9%), which I why I'm interested in OSE."



"Wellington, New Zealand"



"New York City, New York"


Ferd Irizarry

Modelers...guys who can help visualize different outcomes in struggling areas.


"ST: providing low cost options to people in the very worst regions of the world. LT: same focus but working on strategic options and concepts and operating within principle of "

"do no harm""."

Don't know enough th have an opinion.

None at this time.

Reading the blogs and websites.

TIDES at the national defense university.

"Fayetteville, North Carolina"


Anna Dawson

Producing healthy frozen and vacuum packaged whole food plant based meal kits.


I want to share my ten years of research on creating locally produced healthy frozen whole foods for all at a reasonable price. "see I want to share a simple kitchen design for tray freezing, packaging and distributing healthy locally sourced foods from small farmers and gardeners and mid scale diversified farmers."

"I have spent 50 years teaching foods and growing farm crops. At 70 yrs. of age, I can develop a series of video clips to teach people what I do. I am busy learning how to do power points for teaching on line. However, I could use some computer geek help."

"1. Learn more about you. I just heard a short radio blip about your organization. 2. I have a 1400 sq. ft. Harvest Processing Kitchen that can develop new products, do nutrition analysis, create video clips etc. 3. I want to support the set up of Harvest Processing Kitchens while mentoring cooks at my place or online. I have created a floor plan for a mobile kitchen that would focus on processing vegetables, fruits, grains and dry beans. This goose neck trailer can be built ten miles from me for transport anywhere in the country. Tray freezers are built nearby too."

USDA Rural Development may be interested in funding this idea. NESARE might fund the creation of educational materials. I believe these organizations are all over the country.



"Kinderhook, New York"


Ahmad Faramarzi

"Bought a farm a year ago and have finally moved and live there. I have many projects ranging from building eco friendly structures (small homes) to water managemengt and pond expansion on the farm. No specific project at this time but more info will be provided soon. I have an engineering background in various fields (mechanical, nuclear, aerospace) but theoretical. The past year on the farm I have been forced to learn some basic mechanical skills. I also have a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and always ready for a challange."


"We have a very bad soil that is mostly clay. It is called ""black jack"" with a very high shrink/swell characteristics and lousy perculation. Since we have 30 acres of relatively flat land, flooding and water management is an issue. I'm doing my own research but additional brain power would be good. "


"Culpeper, Virginia"


Elaine Bearden

"Just heard about you on NPR's Sunday edition.

I've been a community organizer/advocate for many years; rec'd permaculture design certification from Peter Bane and have taught basic permaculture principles through the TransitionUS movement here in the southern Blue Ridge region of the Appalachians.

Many of the ideas generated through a community forum I started here in the Upstate of SC in 2005 have come to fruition, including a local farmers' market and the evolution of similar conversation groups on essential community resources like food and water. "

"Must review and think about this, but I see and believe in what you are doing. "

"Would love to come for a week and offer helping hands in whatever way I can, to participate in/support the vision."

"I know that Transition may have funding opportunities; have you contacted any UN/USAID orgs for sources re: low-cost, low-energy strategies for developing areas? "

"Travelers Rest, South Carolina"


robert terhune

non carcinogenic oil refining /in expensive waste purification unit...single family/water purificatin just learned about the program on npr lack of work/time on my hands liability issues

"ibew electrician,hands on design build "

pay attention

"my father russell terhune old school slide rule engineer...retired high school teacher...82 yrs old...needs a legacy larry howard electronic circuit cabnet builder,sound stage reinforcement co. peculiar sound ibew local 124 816 942 7500"


hensley law office raymore mo.

"Belton, Missouri"


Chris Kleps

"I own a 33 acre woodlot in Clackamas County, Oregon. I have done most of the work myself since 1982. I am a retired veterinarian. I have taken and support the Clackamas County Extension "

"Master Woodland Manager"" program. My nephew in Christian Shearer, who is involved in Permaculture. He has property in Missouri. I wonder if you know of him?"


"I am pushing 70. I am looking at winding down and passing the farm along to the next generation. I am hoping that it will be my children."

"I am a life-long gearhead, and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. I have had a life-long commitment to self-sufficiency. Tell me how I can help."

"Estacada, Oregon"



Build mining equipment and heavy equipment repair.

"No, but exploring"

"AZ desert dweller and 30 miles from nearest city... Make do with what we have or build.. Recycle maniac... (lol).. Hope to move further out in next 5 years. Not off the grid yet, but working on it."

Self reliance

"Machine and equipment design, inventor/experimenter, welder, electrical/electronic, hydraulic, mechanical background."

Look at project and see where I might possibly be able to fit in

"Gladen, Arizona"



"Enthusiasm and awareness are the greatest needs. The open source model needs people who are inspired contributors in terms of thinking, trying, promoting, and resourcing, and these are enlisted through recruiting. I'm willing to keep learning and promoting, at this point.

The project seems perfect for community college innovation and learning grant funding. They involve a wide array of skills in interdisciplinary departments. An inspired CC leader/dean could pull this off. A tech school could be a great partner, too. Small engine, welding, milling, programming, marketing, business, organizational leadership, etc.

If I were in the public system, I would be that leader.

The other source of leadership and volunteers would be a community of retired engineers. I live in such a community and am thinking about how to mobilize a chapter." Interested observer wondering about the best way to participate given time limitations. "What appeals most are personally meaningful contributions to economic and food resiliency, social justice, the cool factor. I've got 25 good years left and am searching for a way to leverage what I know to leave a lasting contribution to the world."

"The technical side is fascinating and progressing through the genius of your volunteers. There's a people/organizational side that is about the adoption.

What's the economic/business model that creates a sustainable model that meets stakeholder needs? Do we know stakeholders' needs? Do we need more than one experiment of the 200/200 or various sized x/x projects?

What are the right structures organizationally? What roles are needed? I saw your org chart for the eFarm.

What's the right legal structure to ensure shared prosperity and proper governance? How do people participate at different levels (stock-holder, remote volunteer, present volunteer). How are assets held?"

"I am a university administrator thinking about early retirement. I also have software, grant writing, writing, social community/networking, construction talents.

Tied up right now, but looking to get more time."

"Awareness of what your doing. Critical friend offering advice. Promotion of your work."

I'm contacting a famer/electrical engineer and a farmer/software engineer of like mindset.


No. But I am considering contributing my own efforts.


"Monument, Colorado"



Health needs of a sustainable nature suited to the surrounding community focused on lifestyle mitigations.


"As a physician, renumination fairly for results produced is the core of of the challange facing healthcare. This includes food, which in many successful societies was the medicine of the community. Sanity has to return to food production-NO GMO"

ability to continue

"As a podiatrist, I assume you have some feet there!"

Do not know enough about the project. Not at this time Not at this time Not at this time Not at this time

"Chicago, Illinois"


Michael Hunter

"I believe what would benefit this project is the ability for systems to be created to fill voids where needs are at present. I am an electrician, with robotics, PLC and automation experience. As well as experience in water filtration and waste oil processing. "

No connection.

"I am working on developing a process to connect local farmers to restaurants through growing seed, pressing seed for oil, filtering oil, packing oil in a contract form, so to have ownership of the oil after it is used. Collect used oil, filter oil, split oil into fuel for farm equipment and run generators to sustain the farm . Also with the by-product of the pressing oil, take the meal and combine it with another biomass(switchgrass, corn husk/stalks, ag waste) to pelletize it for a heat source."

"Being able to make a system that is flexible enough to change with the needs of each particular farmer in a region? Making a seed press, making a packaging machine,making a centrifuge, making an engine converter for different fuels. My idea is to create modules that can be interchanged in and out to create the exact model the farmer is looking for."

"I am always challenging myself, my wife and my 2 sons to enhance the way of life not for just ourselves but for others that are committed to endure the challenges of something different.

Being creative with what I have been given, and using knowledge from as many experienced persons as possible."

"Brain storming Safety protocols Troubleshooting"




"Trumansburg, New York"


Ed Tokas

"At this stage it is absolutely necessary to consider ecological impact of the manufacture of equipment. If you haven't yet addressed the issues of worker safety, and/or water, soil, and air pollution, it's not too late.

I worked my professional life as a chemist in the chemical industry. For all of their wrongs they do some things right. My experience with the above issues would appear to be of use to the continued growth of your Open Source Ecology Farm (OSEF).

I'm very interested in determining what role I might play in the future of OSEF."


In the short term my challenges are to help lessen the impact of development on our lives. In the long run I'm concerned with what we are leaving behind for our children and grandchildren.

"Not knowing details of your setup I'd imagine addressing the ecological impacts are growing exponentially as you build prototypes and beta testable equipment. If these safety and environmental concerns can be shown to be on the drawing board , and being reduced to practice, you will avoid a lot of the pitfalls that existing larger industries experienced during their startup.

The solution seems obvious, develop a plan and address them in order of impact importance, like worker safety (glasses, gloves, masks, etc.)/environmental impact ( fuels, hydraulic fluids, toxic cleaners, etc)."

"Honestly I'd prefer to be on the payroll, but can't rule out some volunteering. My talents are being able to reduce to practice the above mentioned needs as a result of experience on both sides of the fence, meaning as a chemist and as a safety coordinator."

I have the luxury of having some free time in between running a home based business with my wife and trout fishing. This would not be hard to do.

"St Louis, Missouri"



"NEEDED MOST; All the machines developed will need energy to run. Some can work with just human energy, most will need fuel of some sort. My fantasy, similar to yours, is 'appropriate scale alcohol fuel production.' Towns or farms can produce their own fuel from locally, sustainably, organically-grown energy crops, resulting in revitalized communities, no wars, local control of energy, no pollution.... WILLING TO COMMIT: I recently started an ethanol Meetup to educate folks on the oil industry-sponsored myths about ethanol, and perhaps develop a small still.

Please view the work of David Blume, ""Alcohol Can be a Gas.' Thankyou for your nobel and graceous effort. EXPERIENCE: High energy and tenacity, and I can write and speak publicly."


"Challenges addressed by OSE work? My life is small, but the planet's challenges are large. I do not see west civ. returning to 'prosperity' as touted by politicians because the earth is tapped out of easy energy. There are no plans to divest from fossil fuels, and since matter and energy are related, the toxic, destabilizing, energy like oil, is a cultural dead end. The only 'way' is to return control of resources to local regions/municipalities etc. The earth does have an abundance of solar energy, however, I am not an advocate of large-scale anything, including solar as it is plowing up delicate desert ecology here in CA. But plant solar photosynthesized into energy, (plant-based trapped then harvested solar energy), is a solution. " "Again, your machine ethics are beyond reproach. However the energy they will run on commits the user to the old paradigm; dependence on the large-scale or foreigh or inorganically or toxic or corporate-controlled.... Again, a life of dependence, not independence. "

"TALENTS: Juicy rants, tenacious commitment, clear vision....and I can write. VOLUNTEER/PAY: I have a few hours a week to volunteer if we are on the same page. "

What do you want?

"David Blume, Blume Distillation"

"Oakland, California"


Khuong Dinh

A strategic roadmap. I have ten years of Systems Engineering and Program Management that I can contribute to the project.


I'd like to live a simpler life. I'd like to make Thoreau and Emerson proud by leaving this place a bit better than when I first entered. I think the OSE can be a great venue for me to achieve this.

"Hard to tell right now, but it seems like you guys are doing a great job with getting the word out.

As for the technical and systematic approach, I think that you guys would need a coherent roadmap and someone with great leadership to spearhead that project and tie it all together. "

I can fully commit with my expertise in Systems Engineering and Program Management.

"1. Strategic Roadmap development 2. Overall Test and evaluations strategies to evaluate the prototypes 3. Provide lessons learned and failures that I learned from the Department of Defense. "

"Try this:"

"Charlottesville, Virginia"


David King

"A human powered thresher - primarily of wheat, as that is one of the primary grains in our society. My focus is on local sustainability, local food and food justice. I am primarily a grower of food in Los Angeles, CA. If the current US system of food production should become stressed with a pathogen that acts on our corn supply, which is vulnerable to such stress, much like the potato famine in Ireland, communities will need to rely on their own food production. We can grow vegetables and process them, but without access to grains (wheat, corn, rice) the amount of vegetables just to make subsistence living feasible without these grains poses an insurmountable problem. Thus, grains become an essential component of the solution. Growing and harvesting grain without specialized tools is possible and the specialized tools for such low-tech harvesting already exist, as is the technology to grind the threshed grain into flour. The major problem to solve in this chain is the threshing. It is either a labor intensive procedure best accomplished by actuating the angst of angry teenagers or using huge machines that are expensive to buy and impossible for a good many small endeavors of the kind imagined to mitigate a food crises. I have given this a good deal of thought, but I am not so mechanically inclined and I have had little success in engaging others to do this. I am thinking of a bicycle powered unit - or series of units to do this. The current model houses many different operations in one unit (the combine). But for small acreage, these units are not practical. A human powered device would be less expensive (although it might not get the teenagers off the hook) and could be much more practical and efficient process to get the grain to the grinding stage."


I heard of your project on NPR this AM.

Currently I am working to breed a variety of wheat that can be grown easily in Los Angeles. I am on the Mayor's Urban Agriculture Working Group with the intention of providing relief to the food dessert of Los Angeles' inner city. Short term (1 year) the intent is to provide relief from chronic hunger with those economically stressed and the homeless; long term we would like to make Los Angeles more self-sufficient in producing a large share of our caloric intake here in this very fertile basin. "The complexity of a combine is mind-boggling! I don't know how to create an affordable, simple machine to take its place. I don't know if the solution is a series of machines (one machine to hull the grain and then machines to separate the wheat from the chaff, or the separating might take several machines). Should these all be attached to one power unit (bicycle) and be unattached and re-attached as needed? I don't know. In fact, I have found very little on this idea in any literature. " "I would be willing to commit time and effort to make the item - I have a community of bicycle mechanics I could get involved in the project. My lack of progress on this is that I am already investing all my extra money into growing the grain and buying almost all of that with my own money. I am only a few tools, I might be able to enlist the help of welders etc. But I don't know beans about how a combine works - in fact I've only seen one in operation in the last decade. (I grew up in northeast Kansas, I was familiar with grain harvesting then, but I didn't take good notes...) "

"1. I am already working on a strain of wheat that was grown in southern California prior to 1942. 2. I am part of the Seed Library of Los Angeles and I can enlist gardeners to grow the grain . 3. I am willing to approach a community of bicycle mechanics to help build the thing once there is something to build."

"Rodale Institute? I know they do projects that involve sustainable food supply. Sharon Rempel in Canada and her Demeter Project might find the project worthwhile., based in California also might be interested in a project of this type. All of these are interested in distributing more heritage grain through out commerce and this project, with many local growers taking the place of large centralized growers might pique their interest.

The Bikerowave project in Los Angeles is a community of bicycle enthusiasts who teach bicycle repair to interested persons might be induced to provide the mechanical skills to create a designed machine as a group project. "

Rodale Foundation?

"Not this second, but I will enlist some."

The Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA) operates under the 501(c)3 status of The Learning Garden. I believe this project could be operated under that umbrella.

"Los Angeles, California"



"Lunenburg, Canada"



I'am reading all your info and watching videos and goind to donate some money.

"Kurš?nai, Lithuania"


Jacopo Amistani

A good presentation to the european culture must be started. the gap that still exist between US and Europe as the simple way of thinking or the most commplex social structure and culture must be reanalised and reused to adapt OSE to UC cultural Standard.

Coordiantor for the OSE Initiative In Italy

"in short term the creation of an assosciation that develop a community that wont to improve enlarge the project in Italt. On long term, the creation of a coop entreprise based on OSE principle "

"the biggest problem for europe is: 1) omologation tu Uropian Community lows (Machinery Directive) 2) progect also in metric sistem"

Coordiantion skills and great comunications capabilites creating OSE Italy; Starting the network brtween peaple and institutions or organaisations/ Founriesing an development of the project




"Padova, Italy"


Ann Klefstad

"Basic-skills training for potential participants: basic-skills institutes where people can learn wood, metal, textile, etc. working skills. A network of such institutes, perhaps allied with community colleges that already exist, to teach in short low-cost or no-cost classes basic materials skills, would enable a much broader participation in the project. I'd be interested in helping to develop a description of such a program and researching interested institutional networks. I'm a communicator by trade: writer, artist, editor, journalist. "


"Short term, acquiring skills and tools that would enable a broader sculptural practice; longer term, the need for a teaching/enabling practice that would enable travel to many locales in the world. "

"Concerned about waste: wasted effort and materials as people take on challenges that their lives cannot accommodate.

Training institutes, kind of like the folk schools in Norway, that are hyperlocal, have funding sources (grant and loan programs) that would allow people to take time to develop and marshall skills and tools, and that could be loci for social life that would enable people to help each other with larger challenges." "I'm an awardwinning communicator / journalist and lifetime maker of things. Right now I'm raising two kids alone, writing and making art, and so have no time that I can commit for free. After I complete two longterm projects this summer I could make a full-time paid commitment to the project."

"I can develop and hone a description of the project for potentially involved educational institutions and funders.

I can research such allies.

I can educate myself about the project and its local manifestations and potentials through interviews and reading. "

I'd have to ask!

"Blandin Foundation in Grand Rapids, MN, as they are particularly interested in rural economies. Rural places are great reservoirs of the kinds of skills that the project is built on. You might speak to Bernadine Joselyn at the Blandin Foundation.

McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis, MN. They fund many third-world and rural development initiatives. Kate Wolford is now their president; she ran Lutheran World Relief, a notably successful and efficient NGO, before she came to McKnight.

"Perhaps myself, though I have no free time at the moment. I do grantwriting, but will not have time to do on-contingency projects until next fall. "

"Talk to Springboard for the Arts in St Paul, Minnesota. They should be able to hook you up with someone. "

"Duluth, Minnesota"


Paul Ricci

"Suggest find chemical engineers to develop a heat-tolerant plastic from renewables like wood chips to make into car bodies, tires and electric motor components so that vehicles can be made locally.

Sorry I am an ex-dancer and accountant - this is just an idea."


Surviving the coming collapse

Is there enough time left

Organizing and manual labor

"Am moving to Vermont in near future and will look to network with others of like mind. Wish to develop a template for forming small sustainable economies (eco-tribes?) that either alone or in affiliation with other similar units can survive off the doomed national energy and resource grid and still lead a civilized, technologically advanced lifestyle. Feel that Vermont is the most likely state to adopt this philosophy statewide and in its political system."

Not yet

"Putney, Vermont"



I can build almost anything.

"Not yet, just learned of it."


You can do that yourself as I have. You do *not* need a lawyer.

"Tallahassee, Florida"


Gary Harvey

"Kennewick, Washington"


Elmo Mäntynen

I'm going for full replication within the next five years and starting an intentional community/village in the spirit of FeF.

"Sourcing of parts should be as easy as possible. Things that would help in that regard: Identifying appropriate commonly available second hand parts and making allowances for them to be used in the designs; Using parts that are commonly sold as replacement parts for common equipment; Where appropriate, defining interfaces between subassemblies so that localized versions can be made; Making designs parametric with vitamin dimensions as input (a 'la Prusa mendel RepRap); Consulting agricultural etc. repair/maintenance professionals around the world. Also, Metric!"

I might be able to help in localizing/testing the designs next year when most of the GVCS is in beta and I'll be studying to be a professional welder.

"Helsinki, Finland"


Barry Campbell

"I just heard a program about OSE on CBC Radio, and came to see the website. I am not sure yet what is needed in the project or what I can commit."


I live on a rural property in Canada and am trying to be less reliant on external inputs

"My daughter, Sonja Campbell, she is young and has boundless enthusiasm."

"Enterprise, Ontario, Canada"


Joe Williams

Equipment usable by small landowner (up to 2 acres) - earthmoving, CEB, etc. I realize this is not the main charter, but it's where you could find a significant market and support (e.g. Mother Earth News) for your main goals. I have a Master's in Mechanical Engineering. Work experience focused on electromechanical systems, controls & instrumentation, advanced engines and engineering management."


Significant earthmoving and landscaping in the next year. I'm also a huge fan of the open-source and Maker movements and find it professionally satisfying to work on such projects.

"I'm a skilled CAD operator, design reviewer, and project manager. Right now I could offer only an hour or two per week, but more in the future."

"Kirkland, Washington"


Giovanni Marco Zaccaria

"I think that one of the most important goals, is to spread the word, knitting the fabric between communities and actors. Here in Europe, there are centuries of intensive work on rural infrastructure. We have the unique chance to combine the GVCS, with larger common infrastructure for communities of 500+ people. I spend my spare time traveling for eco-communities and eco-villages, forging human relationships. Here, there are a lot of people cheering for you!"

"Sure, at the time I carry out the role of technical coordinator for OSE Italy. Also I carry out dissemination activities between Italy and Spain, I made the translation of various materials, including the official translation of the flyer in Italian. I also created media materials to disseminate OSE."

"I'm writing a proposal trough a crowfounding platform, for a personal project, an open source device ables to produce hot water from waste.

In the short term, I plan to apply for a Master degree in Environment Technologies as a way to learn deeply the topic, to visit more eco-communities and villages around europe.

In the long term I hope to live in a eco-village."

"That the project can be truly global. Each country has different regulations on the approval of the machines. There is also a problem for the translation of the units and components outside the U.S. I suggest, in the near future, the creation of regional development teams to provide the same standard of quality of the original devices."

"What has made me closer to Open Source Ecology is the opportunity to express myself and to grow as an Eco-engineer. I am excited about the opportunity to be part of this iniciative and I put my full available capabilities and skills in engineering and creativity, as well as in communication and dissemination to reach the goal! I'm young and I have not enough resources to continue to participate in the project without money. I wish strongly work for OSE."

"- Making crowfounding campaigns in Europe - Dissemination around EU Universities. - Creation of media materials for social networs platforms."

I am in contact with the team behind Arduino. I spoke with them about the OSE initiative and they seem very excited. The research center is in Italy and next month I'm going there to visit and discuss with them.

"Barcelona, Spain"


Ben Millstein

As a board member of a remote recycling operation I am wondering if the pellet or brick makers would function well with recycled paper and cardboard to use for stove fuel. I also wonder if recycled plastic can be processed locally for reuse to add value and reduce shipping costs and carbon footprint. I would also love to see an open source design for a multifuel burner for a boiler or furnace. I'm inspired by what you do and hope to become involved as my time becomes more available.

"Kodiak, Alaska"


Stefan Ludwig

"First thing: buidling up the structure of OSE on cybernetic principles

the cybernetic principles give the most availability for - long-term viability - effective control combined with self organasation

second thing: Information for multiplicators around the world. A lot of people sympasise with the ideas of ""open source"", ""ecology"", a ""fair economy"".

Whenever I point such people to OSE they like it. I think contacting people around the world to spread the information ""OSE is here"" is important."

"Yes I made some small contributions to an OS-stepper-motor-driver"

"Me personally building electronics myself with a PCB-mill, industrial robots

building cheap houses.

In general: I expect the world economy to break down between 2014-2016. Stockmarkets,assets prices of gold, oil, houses etc. will fall down dramatically 70-90% like in 1929.

So an alternative economy based on DIY is highly needed to recover from this great deperession ahead."

"The timeline is very ambitious. Finsihing prototyping for all 50 machines is a big challenge. Cybernetic management has tools to be very effective on reaching targgets and has very effective tools to clear up what is important and what are the ways to go. (espessialy the method syntegration)


sorry - I don't have talents that match this description

"1: translating the basic description of what OSE is doing to inform the german speaking central europe about OSE

2: going on developing my stepper-motor-controller based on the propeller-chip

3: informing people in my area about OSE trying to launch a project that does build the machines which are already here"


Franz Alt

"Wolfhagen, Germany"


Jozef Trubac

I supported kickstarter project

"short term - feeling that there could be option to live reasonable, sustainable and happy life long term - not just feeling like stated abowe but real option."

"you are doing the great job out there. many cool projects going on. maybe I would be also thinking about how to substitute oil. probably I would go for hydrogen on site production. check out mit profesor Daniel Nocera discoveries.

My second concern is about human factor. things like greed or envy. I would be really carefull about choosing people to this pivot village. but I hope all of the people there are really passionate about what they do and why. "

I have been watching open source ecology for one year or so. now I am really convinced about becoming true fun. but in coincident I get new job. so still in probing period. but after that definitely will support you guys. will see how things gonna turn out. maybe someday will aply with my cv ;)

looking forward to become a true fan. I can maybe recommend contacting people/forums/movements like zeit geist. I know you are not about these conspiracy things. but in my humble opinion these people are more then likely to get involved.

"Trnava, Slovakia"


Benjamin Timby

"I feel that pedal powered technology is highly appropriate to meeting the most essential human needs. The parts and tools are readily available world-wide; all that's really needed is the instruction to people in those areas. Last summer, I spent some time with Carlos at Mayapedal ( where solutions are being developed as we speak. Not only are bicycles a simple and readily-available means of providing tools and transportation, but they're much more environmentally sustainable than any alternative I've seen on this site. As I'm currently in school, I don't have much time to devote to the project, but hope to in the near future."


"In my dream of having a small, sustainable family farm, my biggest challenge is providing prices that enable more people to eat healthy food. I don't like that locally-produced food is only available to the affluent in our society. Maybe by cutting the costs of tools and equipment, and finding creative ways to eliminate the middle man I can undercut industrial agriculture. In the next 5 years, I could seriously see myself building a few implements using this site in the next 5 years." "My main concern is that this project never gains enough momentum to become a reality, that it will forever remain half-finished. However, I think everything you're doing in building teams and setting deadlines is directly addressing that."

"I was trained as a bicycle mechanic at Bike Against Collective in Fort Collins, CO at 17 years old, and have since then obtained ASE certification and have built many of my own implements."

"-Pass it along to many of my friends involved in appropriate technologies -Research and possibly build and document a prototype MIG welder"

"My friend Pons Maternum, an electronics guru and an avid proponent of creative commons. I don't know his specific skills but I sent him you're site and I imagine you'll be hearing from him if he's able to contribute."

MIT D-lab

"Berea, Kentucky"


Peter Put

"St. Albert, Alberta, Canada"


Josh Hoy

"Cedar Point, Kansas"


Josh Hoy

"Cedar Point, Kansas"



"Midpines, California"


Jack Taylor

"I like how everything is going, and am very excited to start working on some of the projects."


"I need a tractor, and several buildings, so the tractor and CEB are on my first years project list."

Not sure just yet.

"I know welding, electronics, a little programming, permaculture...."

"1. DL some of parts lists and start building things 2.Contribute to the wiki 3. I'm sure something else will present itself "

not at the moment

Not a big fan of receiving/writing grants.


"Maybe we should find a way around being in the whole ""tax"" system. Is this project not focused on being apart from the current failing system?"

"Travelers Rest, South Carolina"


Karen Fruchtenicht

Sacramento, California


Gay Abarbanell


"North Fork, California"


Bryce E Miller

"I am a subscriber to OSE's "

"1000 True Fans"" monthly. "

"Las Vegas, Nevada"


Giora Pasca

"Don't know enough about it yet. Just found out about it by listening to NPR. So maybe this is what is needed, knowledge dissemination.

This needs to go viral, now!

I am doing my share of letting people know about it.

Already a farmer friend in Northern CA, that is living off the grid for over 20 years is blown away and he's a mechanic so it appeals to him on many levels."

Not yet.

"I have concerns regarding the possible collapse of the global economy coupled with the knowledge that for the good of Earth it can't happen soon enough...;)

On a thought process level, what you guys are doing, really shows how we don't have to give up technology moving forward. You are putting my mind at ease." It is so simple and abstract. It's such a radical paradigm shift that requires a different mindset. I am wondering how to help this move forward. How to keep the spark going? "I signed up for a monthly payment to begin with...

I am sales person, or consultant, in the solar PV industry in Southern CA. I am engaged in one of those trades that will soon become obsolete. I have a degree in Biology. Can't think of a practical skill pertinent."

"Los Angeles, California"



"I am most interested in the steam, peletizer, generator system. I am a Mechanical Engineer and am currently interested in the power of steam to do work. producing a viable biomass energy production unit has me chomping at the bit."


I am trying to rework my lifestyle to better suit my interests. I am dumping consumer debt and the disposable mentality for the locally mfg and self produced. It has occurred to me that trading time for money to trade for things made around the world that arent quite what I want is insane. better to skip the middle man and produce it myself or have someone locally make it for me the way that I want.

I am concerned that the information gathered is going to be warehoused in a way that will make it difficult to access for low or no cost. I think that reproducing and re-disseminating the information is the best way to keep it alive and free.

"I am a fairly good researcher and manufacturer, at this time my problem is time. I trade around 70-90 hrs of my week to a corporation for money hopefully that will soon be cut to 60-70 hrs. I plan on building a small scale steam expander soon, as well as a small steam generator. I sorta set my own hrs at work so if I could make some money doing the research and mfg of a steam system then I cold work on it more."

"Elk City, Oklahoma"



"Willing to commit: by 04/01/12 1.Open Source Ecology presentation with intent to engage 30 individuals w/ ? 10 engaged.

2. Establish a project demonstration site in Athens OH.

3. Draft an Open Source Ecology – Athens OH project plan for the time frame 04/01/12 to 04/01/12

I have some group and project management experiences and competencies that may be relevant to this project." "My affiliation began today, 19 Feb .

NPR initial exposure to Open Source Ecology project;

Linkage communication w/4 of 6 identified collaborators in Open Source Ecology – Athens OH and Open Source Ecology – Monroe Co. OH w/ ask to investigate and assess.

Reviewed GVCS components with the take away to be a prioritized list of machine" "Both short and long term problems relate to 2 individual projects:

Re. Woodland Ridge Farm Enterprise: articulation, the implementation and the evaluation of targeted sustainability in food and energy production objectives over the next 12/60 months, respectively.

Re. Clean Energy Enterprise: Identification, alignment and linkage of clean energy advocates and resources in the Wood County WV and Athens County OH to assist in completed Clean Energy (product to market) project production objectives over the next 12/60 months, respectively. "

"I am most concerned about the systems by which the project is communicated to a larger regional community and with the system engaging increased project participation and impact expansion.

I propose: 1.. Immediate Linkage communication w/4 of 6 identified potential project collaborators in Open Source Ecology – Athens OH and Open Source Ecology – Monroe Co. OH w/ ask to investigate and assess. 2... Commitment to: a)Open Source Ecology presentation with intent to engage 30 individuals w/ ? 10 engaged. 2)Establish a project demonstration site in Athens OH. 3) Draft an Open Source Ecology – Athens OH project plan for the time frame 04/01/12 to 04/01/12"

I have a unique portfolio of group and project management competencies that may be relevant to this project. Re: commitment - Directly related to my ability to align and connect previously mentioned sustainable farm and clean energy projects w/ Open Source Ecology Project. Am thinking high probablity "

Willing to commit: by 04/01/12

1.Open Source Ecology presentation with intent to engage 30 individuals w/ ? 10 engaged. 2.Establish a project demonstration site in Athens OH. 3.Draft an Open Source Ecology – Athens OH project plan for the time frame 04/01/12 to 01/01/13"

"Yes will do that over time. Should have a few, this week."

"Again, I think I can help, here but will need a bit of review."

"Again, I think I can help, here. Want to talk w/ any referral prior."

Not right off.

"Athens, Ohio"


Jake Smith

"People with the desire to work on these projects and troubleshoot the designs in real world applications. I have a small farm. It needs a lot of work. I have some goats and plant a field, but have room for expansion just not the resources. I would like to participate, I just have little to no experience building anything. I'm a pharmacist that wishes to be more of a farmer, or at least become self sufficient."


"I really like the CEB, the bobcat like tractor design, in fact all the different attachments to the tractor design, the energy solutions such as the solar or wind energy converters with generator. I'm into the farm equipment side of this and the bricks for making solid structures. "

"I would like to learn more from the ground up. I know nothing about welding or building machinery. I am, however, an intelligent person and would like to learn to be a self sufficient farmer. I also have an aversion toward mainstream anything really, such as going out and buying name brand farm equipment or products. I would like to be able to do things myself. "

"I can attempt to build the products and test them out in real world settings, doing practical things on a farm. I need to clear off a grown over pond and dig out a spring to supply it with a good water source. So i would like to build a bobcat like structure, that has the ability to use a backhoe. I also am drawn to the CEB, and would like to use it to assemble necessary structures."

"I am more than likely not going to travel. But I would like to start learning how to build the CEB, and possibly some of the other equipment. Then I can provide feedback."

"Not really. I will have people that can probably help me out occasionally, but I can't say they will commit a lot of time consistently."

Nope Nope Nope

"Fairmount, Georgia"


Jake Smith

"Fairmount, Georgia"


Jake Smith

"Fairmount, Georgia"


Raymond Betemps

I am still investigating your site.


Removing stumps. Placing culverts.

"Grassy Plains, British Columbia, Canada"


Steven Biles

"What's needed most - Organization. I think it would benefit the project greatly to build an organization with some structure. A hierarchical, redundant structure would enable the project to leverage the considerable enthusiasm i've seen without depending on full time contributors. I understand that full time contributors are ideal, but I bet OSE could recruit 100 times as many part time volunteers. Professional engineering associations such as NACE and ASME are all run by part time contributors and produce some very good results.

I have worked for the last five years as an engineering consultant specializing in Pipeline Integrity Management. Part of my job is to create plans that leverage an organization's structure and needs to achieve an engineering goal - in my case, the goal is preventing pipeline ruptures. OSE has a much more ambitious engineering goal but i think the same ideas can be applied here."

I learned about the project recently. I'm working on digesting all the information available and determining the best place to dive in. "In the short term, I'm interested in working on engineering projects outside my narrow specialization. In the long term, I would like to make my family more self-reliant and sustainable, and to increase my personal freedom to work on what I want to without depending on a corporate job."

"I'm concerned that OSE will produce some great equipment designs and noone will use them. This is a hard problem and i don't have the solution. One things that would help would be to get people involved. Lots of people. The videos do a great job telling people about the project, but if there is nothing to *do* i think people will move on to the next cool thing. Have events at Factor e Farm, set up committees, split tasks into chunks that someone can do in an evening or weekend, and demonstrate how the technology can be better than the status-quo.

Some of this is already going on and I applaud that. I believe someone who is *invested* in the project, either because they designed part of a machine or because they have friends who are involved, will be a candidate to take the project to the next level and actually implement the OSE vision."

"I have 5 years experience in engineering, some programming and database skill, and project management experience. I could volunteer 10-20 hours per week."

"I'm particularly interested in the solar collector. I want to dig deeper on that."

"If I find someone who is interested, I will let you know."

"Denver, Colorado, USA"


Cynthia Cowgill



My husband would like to get involved but also is committed to Peace Corps for next 27 months. He is doing appropriate technology so will be building/brainstorming/designing what is needed in the Dominican Republic. Perhaps we will keep in contact with OSE when we have internet connection.

"Mokelumne Hill, California"


ken morton

"From the outside it looks as if the biggest need is for a better organizational structure and planning. One thing I have noticed over the years is that the Beehag (big hairy audacious goals) do not get met on time. I am thinking that FeF might be more productive in the long run by setting more manageable goals. I understand the desire and need to push oneself along, but I think that having overly zealous goals might actually be counterproductive. Also, Marcin has been capitalizing on his many strengths for years, but like everyone else he probably has weaknesses too. As the project mushrooms he may be thrust into new roles where his natural gifts may not be sufficient; he really needs to get the right management team that he can work with and that can complement/coach him.

More specifically, for the tractor and ceb press, I would like to see performance data of these items from an independent evaluator. I have been following the development of these two items for years and very much want them to hit the big time. I want to use them myself. With LIfetrac 4 they are beginning to deal with issues such as safety, better wheels and loader arm, etc. However, at the same time that I am getting closer to actually plunking down the money or writing grants to get the money, I am having questions such as: Can the tractor blade dig down and remove the topsoil so you can get to the subsoil needed for blocks? (They used a bobcat for this last fall because the tractor was still not ready for prime time). What started out to be a tractor has become a skid-steer loader with rear-mount motors that block vision: can it still be used as a farm tractor? What about the noise level with two power cubes running? Are the ceb in the videos the best that the press can do? (Size was not always uniform and some did not seem to be well pressed--though the latter may have been because the soil was too wet and they were in a hurry.) I think I saw somewhere on the site that they are thinking of doing a redesign of the ceb press. If so, will/can they make provision for interlocking blocks, rebar, and/or can they make stabilized blocks?

I do not have the skills that are currently needed but am thinking that in 2013 I may be able to make a dedicated project visit. I would want to see/use the tractor and ceb press before buying one; by 2013 there may be a need for other skills at FeF that I could provide. "

true fan--about # 120.

when i retire (2013?)

i want to start building houses for poor people. I also want the tractor and ceb to do some work on my place.

can't do much until after retirement.

"Jefferson City, Tennessee"


Dani Eder

"Needed most: better distribution of the work and communication. It is too centralized and closed to be a proper open source project.

Willing to do: help organize regional groups

Experience: Many years with a non-profit educational group with local chapters."

"Not officially, but have been building prototype hardware and adding to wiki documentation."

"No life challenges, I'm retired. I would like to further the development of open source hardware."

"Overly centralized work right now with lack of communication is stifling new members joining. Without more people, the goal of finishing the GVCS within a year or two will not be met. Failing to meet over-ambitious schedule risks labeling the whole project as a failure."

"Retired aerospace engineer, have been study manager/lead engineer, so I know how to work with other people on a technical project. Have written many engineering documents and manuals."

"Well, already involved. My goal is to aquire land near Atlanta that can be developed as a community farm and workshop, since making a sustainable technology ecosystem is more than one person can reasonably manage on their own."


"Atlanta, Georgia"


Dan Chay

"Marcin needs to use ""We"" more than ""I"" in his interactions (e.g., TED talk). Even if his ego isn't interfering as might be inferred, it's a pragmatic leadership thing to do if he wants to build a movement."

I'm a regularly returning lurker assessing a future role.

"Modular construction, modern fabrication, and agile development are all tools I could better internalize. Long-term, we're thinking of a variation on factor e farm."

"I'm eager to see this work. I'm most concerned that in the scaling, interpersonal stresses might overwhelm constructive organizational development. Solution: cultivate self-awareness, trustworthy behavior, respectful, courteous interactions, distributed leadership, and interest-based interpersonal problem-solving."

I'm not in a position to make an offer at this time.

"Reading, watching, learning, and occasional feedback." "I have been actively making referrals to this project, and will continue to do so."

"Kenai, Alaska"


Josh P

Do you have a plan for comprehensive healthcare for your community once it is built?

"Is it sustainable? Will there be additional social infrastructure to support sustainability and growth? Or, are you simply trying to kickstart this community/business along with others like it and assume the social infrastructure will follow?

I feel this is very important to address (sustainability after the community is developed)"

"knoxville, Tennessee"



"Helping Island communities (Pacific Island communtites/villages in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa etc)rebuild after natural disasters "

"Auckland, New Zealand"



"Rockton, IL"


tom bamford

"Whitehorse, Yukon, Canda"


Mark Axhorn

Exposure... I'm willing commit time and energy for this great cause. I have a background in the Visual Arts and Social Work. I've taking 3 yrs of University Business courses and graduated with a degree in Human Behaviour.


"Exposure... I'm willing commit time and energy for this great cause. I have a background in the Visual Arts and Social Work. I've taking 3 yrs of University Business courses and graduated with a degree in Human Behaviour.

I face the burden of being raised in a culture of consumption and waste. To quote David Suzuki - We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit. - I want to be more present in my life and to use another quote – Be the change I want to see- I have been doing informal research on getting back to the land and Social Change for years.

In the short term you will give me fuel for my dreams. In the long term you will provide with the blueprints to transition my dreams to a reality of my creation. It is very encouraging to find others who think as I do. I feel that we need to hit the reset button and we could be the catalyst to that."

I need you guys to succeed and for it to be replicated all over the world proving that it is possible. Solution: Do not deviate from the mechanical Best practices and begin add another layer of Social Best Practices."

My name is Mark Axhorn (only person of this name in the world) I am a 36 yr old married male, born and raised in Alberta, living in Nova Scotia for the past 10 yrs. I went to University on a Football scholarship and graduated with a BA in Sociology. I then did a 2 yr internship in Aboriginal Visual Arts Administration at The Banff Centre of Continuing Education, where I was also an artist in residence (Printmaking, Ceramic sculpture and limited bronze sculpture). I have worked over 12 years in the security & bar industry the vast majority of it being stage security for live venues and large outdoor events. I worked several years for the province of Nova Scotia as an income assistance (welfare) case manager with transient (homeless males). I am currently working as an Employment Services Case manager with the Province. I have had many jobs such as short stints in the oil field, dock yards and mud jacking. I one of those jacks of all trades...if I see you do it I can do it do. I do not know what I could commit to at this time but am not looking for a paid position."

"Spreading the awareness of the project.

Making myself avaliable online to the project.

I maybe able to visit the project site on a Arts Grant. "

Not yet but maybe in the future.

Canadain Arts Grants. Get any Canadians you have working on the project to apply to art grants. It seems to me that you are set up to have a artist in residence specializing in metal work or ceramics.

I have experience applying for Arts Grants and adjudicating Arts for residencies.


"New Glasgow, Nova Scotia"


jim daniels

"test site 160 acre farm close to you.wife retired attorney,started areas first csa 4 years ago now have industrial grade greenhouse,using susainable ag.we are converting land from row crop back to natural habitat ,vegies etc...I teach at SIU school of medicine (background in rural family med,public health) currently wotrk at office with medical home model ..want to eventually link young people up with older generation farmers to learn lost skills of sustainable ag...I have public speaking skills and some mechanical skills "


"we already have built a few structures on the farm but idea is to eventually link up with local university to act as an"" incubator"" site for sustainable ag teach 360 degree skills to run sustainable farm our opinion this has great effect on both individual and group health..our first project before the greenhouse was to build a structure for meetings and to house visitors this summer we are building an industrial outdoor brick oven,over next 5-10 years develop site to be a multi functioning farm/learning center your ""tool"" box would be a way cooler way to do this than using standard equipment "

time and energy wife Kate is devoting almost a full time effort day job supports things ....I will one day transition but right now it is people power that we need ..she is president of WISAS western Illinois sustainable ag society so we have tapped into local like minded farmers and we have worked with the local community college..we even had an intern last summer

"as noted above we need no pay will volunteer...what about building one or more of your tools by partnering with local community college..classes work shops etc our farm could be a test site to not only teach how to build the projects but we could then use these to farm,and construct building etc that would in turn be used to teach and expand the project" 1 get plans for your tools 2talk to local community college about this idea3 draw up a budget

"as above my wife ,farmers from WISAS,I have a few freids with outstanding skills ie mason,electrician,carpenter,welder etc" "Marian Gradner Foundation,local community foundations great river comminity foundation,john wood comminity college"

"I have written grants for medical education (500,ooo) there are some full time grant writers in our area though who have gotten good results ..our community just recieved onof the big Kroc grants to build a large commuinty center"

my wife Kate

"Quincy, Illinois"


Jozef Trubac

I already took the survey once so take this like update. I am an it guy so I hesitated to offer you help. I worked so far 4 years like system administrator. my skills are covering network, servers and clients configuration, management, monitoring, troubleshooting and optimizing. I am not a programmer but I can script some things. so if you think I can help you somehow just let me know anytime."

Frederick Wibe

"One of the greatest challenges right now, as I see it, is to spread and explain the idea of Open Source Ecology in such a way that a majority of ""ordinary"" peoples receives it and understands it. And also to illustrate why OSE, as it stands, is the best solution for many of our biggest world problems but also for the many everyday problems that an ordinary person suffers from in this current system. We need to do this because for this to work optimal we need to raise public awareness to be able to recruit the most qualified people

I'm willing to commit my time to this project by creating a short film defining and explaining the current problems, explaining OSE and why it's a valid solution in such a good way that it hopefully gets viral. I qualified because I've worked 5 years in the Swedish movie industry (you can IMDB me), I am a skilled director, editor and a screenplay writer. I'm currently 3 month from completing my medical studies (the movie industry was killing my soul) and have a lot of useful experience through my education." I'm a true fan. "Short term... I think your work addresses my growing distress of seeing allot of problems in society , ranging from physical to psychological, that grows from a system with no humanitarian purpose.

Long term... I'm hopping you will be a solution for those problems."

"I have tried to show people existing videos of OSE but most people doesn't ""get"" it. Currently you have to devote a certain amount of time to understand the concept. I propose a holistic explanatory short-film that hopefully makes the general public aware of this great project."

See above. As a volunteer a could commit maybe 1-2 hours per day. For pay I could commit full-time for a limited period.

"Stockholm, Sweden"


Joel Kennington

One of the bigest tasks is to bring these iniciatives to the poor to thouse who truely need them. I can also I draw in sketchup and can help. Forum member only Construction equipment The procedure for incorporating it in to the third world.

"Multicutural and multilingual, "

"Keep reading or wathching. This is almost like a TV show for me. I check dayily. Redraw for documentation. Work on a concrete mixer. "

"Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico"




Home-based energy production

"Niagara Falls, New York"


Evan Bell

"Program/Project management, leadership, and community building."

"True Fan for 6 Months, followed blog and wiki carefully last 2+ years. Occasionally posts to forum."

"Short term - Satisfying practical contribution to issues that concern me Long term - give access to industrial means of production, provide another option instead of wage slavery. "

"Marcin is not a skilled leader of people, does not understand how to make concessions, prioritize, delegate responsibility effectively and detach himself from overall goals of OSE to further the 'cause' and build a community. Many unfortunate incidents could have been avoided.

HOWEVER, it does appear he is getting much better at this and may end up surprising naysayers. If he matures into the role of a visionary leader, not only a rabid dictator with a 'my way or the highway' mentality, then his dream of massive parallel production is possible. " "Nothing right now, I work as a web analyst and project manager that keeps me very busy. Would like to come do a dedicated project visit in the spring or summer of 2013 potentially."

"Post on forum - not read by OSE leadership Post on wiki - no process/governance for contributions Publicize - no process/governance for grassroots PR, outreach"

"Someone who can make better decisions, admit that they are wrong, and collaborate better."

"Toronto, Ontario"


Sandra Hunt

"Inspired teachers where teaching all students is more important than pay or personal benefits.I am a teacher who specializes in working with children not covered by current education systems due to language learning problems. High intellegence children who cannot demoonstrate that intellegence in a written language form."


I am disabled and my students must come to me. I am not sure how your project really works but am interested.

I need more information

"Kirkland, Washington"


Phil Koontz

"A renewable fuel/energy supply.

Local technology for producing power.

Better energy efficiency to the point that very little or no fossil fuel is required. You get the idea. Efficiency and conservation first.

Note some of the big preliminary assumptions the project makes--money and resources are readily available but not developed (consider the odds of someone owning farmland but no tractor for example--or a full machine and metal-fab shop but with no projects to work on). "


"Might try to work up something similar to the micro-tractor, starting from a 13 hp hydraulic system I have on a log splitter.

Long term, off the grid homesteading and zero energy housing. "

"Although I'm entirely in favor of the concept of open source, DIY technology, I see a lot of re-inventing the wheel. The tractor, for example--very similar to a Bobcat, but without the depth of research, technical expertise, longevity, reliability, and maintainability that comes with an established commercial product. The engine is a consumer grade two cylinder instead of, say, an nice little diesel. The steel tube frames and ad-hoc bearings will probably be maintenance problems in the long term. I would rather spend the time and money on a good ole tractor instead of building one. Just me--"

"I'm slow, but I started on this path about 30 years ago. Our family has a multi-generation community coming along, harvesting trees, milling our own lumber and building with logs. I have a decent little machine shop, my son has the auto mechanic shop, and we both do woodworking with hand tools. My daughter in law keeps chickens and has a small truck farm in progress.

All of this is in remote Alaska, on the bank of the Yukon River. "

"Well, let's see--I would like to take a shot at a few of the projects. The micro tractor and forge press, plus maybe a steam engine.

I have a nice big lathe (14.5"" swing), and some backgroung with engineering thermo and steam.

I want to do some metal casting one of these days, probably brass and aluminum to start with.

I'm closely involved in a local biomass district heating and CHP (combined heat and power) project to provide heat for our local boarding school and possibly power for the local electrical utililty. "

"Galena, Alaska"


Zoltan Farkas

"Most needed: field tests. Given a set of constrains (eg. no access to fertilizers and/or pesticides, limited water resources, etc) provide field tests on what can be achieved in terms of sustainable ecology = how many people can we feed from a given piece of arable land. Another item: open source health care - how to cure now common diseases without access to modern medicines.

Willing to commit: actual field tests on my own land, translations of knowledge base to/from English/Hungarian, any IT related help, evangelization.

Experience: my own experiments on poultry, fruits, horses (as in ""horsepower"", taken literally :-), plus IT skills - I'm in the process of setting up a Hungarian OSE-like portal; that's how I found this website."

not yet.

"<1 year: better ""parametrization"" of my experiments, community building. 5+years: I'm afraid, I will have to eat my ""dog food"", experiments will turn ito everyday practice, and not on a voluntary basis." "Creating either a common subset of skills (tech+agriculture+science) for individuals and/or setting up teams/communities to share the tasks & cooperate. In other word, the human factor."

"I started my ""experiments"" a couple of years ago, so I have some ""professional"" background. I also have experiences on the human factor mentioned above. I have my own piece of land dedicated to this purpose, have a small team of various professionals (vet, agr. engineer, two experts on herbs and bio-pesticides, a good mechanic, etc), all actually working on OSE related topics. Plus, I'm originally an IT engineer and I'm interested in automation of various agricultural processes, such as irrigation, feeding (poultry), etc, all with embedded, open source systems. If needed I can help with generic IT issues as well."

"1. Tool development/testing related to agriculture (hay cutter, microcombine, etc) 2. IT related stuff such as automation, remote control, remote monitoring, etc. 3. Localization of documentation." "not yet, most probably at a later stage."

"In Hungary EU structural funds are available for such projects, as well as the new resources from the Norwegian Fund. These need well - written proposals in which I have some local experts to help with. "

"Local only (Hungary, Romania, Croatia)."


"Veszprem, Hungary"


Raymond Belec

"Chaput Hughes, Ontario, Canada"

"I am a general machinist with 25 years experience. I work as a cnc programmer/machinist with a mining equipment manufacturer. I also have a home based tool and die shop. I own a lathe, milling machine,surface grinder and metal casting and heat treating oven. I am interested in buiding machines"

"I just learned about OSE on cbc radio.

"I would like to build.

"join a development team design and build prototypes share skills and knowlege"


"This has nothing to do with the actual deliverables, but I think that what is most needed is prayer - prayers for guidance, prayers to find the right people to work on the projects, prayers for discernment regarding technology and its use. I am willing to work to address this need. I will write letters and contact any and all missionary organizations and religious organizations I can find to ask for prayer support and to request them to publicize the efforts amongst both those who can use the technology and those who might be able to contribute their knowledge. I also think the project needs visibility in Mexico, Central and South America, and India. All of these places have educated people highly interested in the goals of this project. I think there are universities and farmer cooperatives in these areas that would be willing to make some of the prototypes. The more diverse the group of thinkers, the sounder the tools will be. I and my coworkers have contacts in Honduras (farmer cooperative), Costa Rica (EARTH University), and Mexico (Monterrey Tech) that could help spread the word."


"Just knowledge of real time systems software that I can offer during the summer as a volunteer. Most likely, I could work on support documentation and publicity. " "1) Recruit prayer support from and publicize project to every imaginable religous group I can find. 2) Publicize the effort (and the needs) to local universities' engineering departments 3) Through contacts at my school, try to get out the word in other countries."

My uncle developed motors for a living and is a futurist. I will send him the info on the program. I hope he would be excited enough to want to help.

"Dallas, Texas"


= Travis Boyd =

"I think that what's needed most, is what Marcin is working on now - scaling the organization to gracefully handle the increased funding. The open-source community will take care of the actual tech development, but it's like herding cats. It's critical to develop a structure to properly channel the interest, and organize the results.

I'd also like to see more work on modern farming techniques - permaculture / aquaculture/ponics, agroforestry, swaling, water retention and recirculation, and so-on. "


"In Wallowa County, a low income base and the demise of the timber industry have left people dependant on tourism and small-scale farming. Food security is very important to us, as is bringing as much of the means of production into local hands as possible."

"We have a whole valley full of tradesmen & artisans, farmers who still remember how to plow with oxen, loggers who use horse teams, a functional steam railroad and a rapidly growing base of solar-powered infrastructure, micro-hydro installations, and much more.

We have a blacksmith who intends to replicate the ironworker, and the induction furnace, farmers eyeing the Lifetrac and powercubes, and the potential for lots more.

I myself am a full-time wireless ISP operator (, but have interest in aquaculture and am eagerly awaiting the ability to produce plastic panels from local materials for greenhouse use."

"I would like to put your organization in touch with a local non-profit, Wallowa Resources. They have some experience in working with rural populations, solar/hydro/biomass, landscape stewardship, watershed restoration and more.

Feel free to reach out to them on your own -"

"Blacksmiths, potters, small-holding farmers, several CSAs, the local high schools would love to build USEful things in their shop classes, believe me we have quite a list of interested folks."

"Have you contacted the NRCS, FHA and USDA?"

Sarah Skaar or Matthew King - - they might have some useful information or contacts.

"Enterprise, Oregon"


Wesley Bruce

"Adding occupational health and safety criteria to all design stages. Just in case. Adjusting the project subsystems to the differing bio-regional problems. I.E. flood resistant lifetrack in flood zones. Qualifications: Many years studying renewables and Cold Fusion, including a Bachelor of Science sustainable development, industrial ecology, and Sustainable agriculture, Permaculture certificate.

Adapting to operations on mars and beyond. That sounds hard but its not."

Email and editing a few pages. Too far away for hands on help.

"Not many. My day job is unrelated to the project. I don't believe we will need the OSE to rebuild from economic or military collapse but it will help in the third world and remote Australia where dis-economies of scale play a part in blocking development.

5+ years someone will be making a variant of lifetrack on mars. Shipping billion dollar spanners to Mars is not viable. OSE will work over there. That's not the priority though. The third world is. "

"In the light of the current economic crisis, which will get worse, we need to keep funding demands to a minimum. Don't rush into big builds even if you think the funds are promised and watch out for bank default where the organisation has its money. " "Studied appropriate technology and high technology together. have a comprehensive training in integrated energy and systems design but I'm not a greenhouse fanatic. Studies how to use crops for both food and fuel at once. Need to link up with builders and testers to refine some solutions. I don't have a lab or workshop I can access."

"Created new pages on various energy and material options. spell checked a few pages and added links. Looking at OS boat options and marinizing power cube. Adding new crops to the mix, particularly for non temperate areas, currently not well covered."

No not at this time.

"NASA, the NSS or the Mars Society may cover some of your designs because any Moon, Mars or asteroid mission will need a variant of OSE and its a waste of their money and time reinventing the wheel. In the case of some of the hardware adaptation of OSE to Mars would save them many steps in the design process. Any colony out there must build with what's there in terms of resources. "



"Canberra, Australia"


Brandin Watson

"Need effective designs for the core machines and a free or affordable CAD program that can translate to and from existing proprietary programs would be a big help.

I have a few existing skills but I am currently studying manufacturing engineering in school which should be a big help down the road.

I don't think that it is a priority machine but I have experience with water well drilling and so I am particularly interested in that project and could probably already do a lot of the design engineering."

True Fan. Helped out with Buckminster Fuller Challenge entry a while back. Spreading the word. Always looking out for ways to benefit OSE. I am currently starting up a hackerspace and I want to have a strong fabrication and machining element. OSE tools would lower the barrier to entry. "As designs branch off from each other, I am afraid that some best practices may get lost in the noise.

There should probably be a single library for people to deposit their design changes and justifications at. There should also be a way for people to rank design decisions for when the libraries become bulky."

"I am a big picture guy that can understand potential markets for OSE. I am also developing a decent comprehension of engineering fundamentals, especially in regards to modern manufacturing processes.

I have strong leadership skills and I am good at building organizations.

My time at the moment is very limited due to school and also because I am working to get a hackerspace off the ground.

I could could work over the summers for a stipend that is enough to pay the bills."

"Pomona, California"


John B

"Toronto, Ontario, Canada"


ian uber

simple hand tools


"food production, energy production"

"ballarat, victoria, Australia"


Alexandre Nault

"Rimouski, Québec, Canada"


Kurt Belser

"Appropriate scale machinery for farms to process what they grow into value added products to increase sales and net income of what they grow. I am a beginning farmer. I plan on growing nuts in a silvopasture system with a couple other folks who are focusing on other products (i.e. medicinal herbs, goats, chickens, pigs, etc...). I made the decision a few years back to start the processing end of the nut business before having land due to the abundance of black walnut and hickory nuts in the wild in our area. We have received a grant (another pending) to research on farm processing of such products. Due to the specialized and centralized nature of the food processing industry, it is extremely hard to find machinery that is of an appropriate scale, effective and affordable for the scale at which small farms can operate. We have reached a point in our society where we have lost a lot of knowledge around regional processing of the products that our regions produce. One of the biggest missing links in the processing of any product is the separation of waste materials from the product your are looking to sell. Optical sorters came onto the market only recently but have become all the craze for almost any sorting application. The problem for people like us is that most start at $150,000. The industry is not making these sorters at a scale that is attuned to the small farmer. This also makes it extremely hard to compete as a small farmer with big industry, because they have access to machines that produce a far superior product. Part of our grant was to try and find machinery that was widely applicable for all the various nuts we would grow/buy from local landowners (i.e. chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and hickories). This has been a somewhat successful endeavor. We have had leads, such as the optical sorters that seem appealing given that with minor adjustments these machines could sort almost anything that could come from our farm (medicinal herbs, nuts, veggies, feed, etc...), but again the scale and cost of these machines has made that impossible to justify as an expense. The experience I bring to the table is that have a great understanding of farm production and will be actively farming on a scale that is needed, environmentally sound and economically appropriate. My position in the local food movement is unique in that I have also been trying to figure out (via grant funding) how I would eventually bring the staple foods that are not yet apart of local food economies to our markets, restaurants and so much more." No. I have simply been an active listener and reader of yalls stuff. "Short Term: developing strategy for regionally appropriate and environmentally sound niche farms to get their products to market in an affordable way that competes with the centralized large scale models of the processing industry.

Long Term: develop machinery that is multifunction for various processing functions and products for regionally scaled individual farms or co-ops."

"I am most concerned about the relationship yall have with the needs of the farming community. I believe that demographic, which I represent needs a voice in helping yall fill the gaps we face. I propose that we actively engage more people in this demographic and glean knowledge from them."

"If yall are as excited about research, development and implementation of things related to what I am talking about, I would gladly bring myself to the table. Of course all the research I have done thus far with the current grant I have and the pending one is open source. Although it is attuned to nut processing I work closely with other farmers and producers who have found this research applicable or useful. As I mentioned before I, and my collective will be actively farming for a living which gives us a unique perspective in the community. I have written many grants, of which I received my first this past year and am waiting on another.

Given my economic situation I do need some sort of compensation if I am to be actively involved (farmers do not make a livable wage as it is nor have all that much spare time)."

"Any of the other members of our collective, who will also be farming (producing different products but also need to figure out how they will process them into a end product). We represent a wide range of expertise (i.e. welding, computer skills and repair, construction, carpentry, plant management, permaculture, animal husbandry, teaching, grant writing, etc...)."

SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education). USDA (specifically the value added producers grants or rural development grants). myself

"Athens, Ohio"