First Year at Factor e Farm
This is a brief visual tour of Factor e Farm in the first year, Fall 2006-Fall 2007.
Factor e Farm is our living laboratory for Open Source Ecology.
Step into our vegetable oil-powered Suburban for a ride.
We started with a clean slate. 30 acres of former soybean fields were cut bare and left all up to us.
We brought some life with us to repopulate the land:
We drank milk, straight from the goat's teat.
The goats multiplied.
So did the ducks.
We split 2 beehives from friends, and added Piglet to the show.
We added a bit of hydroponic crops, but insects ate those.
We planted rootstocks for fruit trees from seed, plus many other perennial edibles. See Nursery Year 1 for the rest of Year 1's nursery work.
We began drilling a well with our own rig. We used 30 drums for rainwater catchment from the newly built greenhouse. Redworms were busy eating poo. That was the daily grind at Factor e.
We built some non-engineered structures.
The cordwood addition took quite a bit of time. It cost $2/sq foot to build this 200 square foot structure - if we don't consider labor - which leads me to say that I wouldn't like to do that again.
So we looked for better ways, and designed, built, and tested a Compressed Earth Block press. Here's our first brick. We can now rebuild civilization.
On the energy front, we produced biodiesel. In winter, when it's cold, it turns to biobutter.
We generated electricity with a 1-cylinder, Lister diesel engine - and are now upgrading to solar concentrator electric power with a turbine. That's all for now. Stay tuned.