Neosubsistent Agriculture Model

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Factor e Farm

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  • Self-sufficiency on 30 acres:
    • Full, year round diet for 12 people
    • Non-food agricultural products (fiber, medicine, fuel) sufficient for 12 people
    • Facilitate regenerative cycles that sustain themselves
    • Create a replicable, self-funded enterprise to sustain participants through transition towards complete self-sufficiency.

Conceptual Ideals

  • Closed loop systems
  • Permaculture
  • In alignment with OSE Specifications, Core Values, and
    • Flexible enough to be replicable across multiple regional climate and geography
    • Modular to promote scalability
    • Works in parallel with current resources, population size, product demand
  • Food swadeshi: growing food for your own self-sustenance, for your community or for a "grow food locally" business.

Seasonal Data Points:

Summer, 2012

  • FeF produces its own dairy, berries, grapes, 3 pears, a few pounds of apples, edible weeds (purslane, lambsquarter), chicory, mustard seed
  • Challenges:
    • Extreme drought
    • Began growing season late
    • Lacking agricultural equipment
    • Tractor isn't designed ideally for field work; breaks down frequently, isn't designed for hitching implements to back, poor weight distribution for dragging, skid steering is awkward with hitched implements, and tires compact the soil
  • Foresight gained:
    • Lifetrac 1 needs better wheels that provide traction and structural integrity, a new battery, a back hitch, and I think it will be much better suited for field work that the skid-steering version
    • Mulch saves lives

Fall 2012

  • Dairy continues, grew lettuces, mustard greens, choy, turnips, arugula, radishes, spinach, swiss chard. Harvested and processed rose hips, black walnuts, dandelion greens, wild arugula.
  • Challenges:
    • Drought continues, prevents pond digging
    • Frost came 3 weeks early, preventing many vegetables and beans from being harvestable
    • Production runs, infrastructure development, and construction distracts from agricultural priorities
    • Small rabbits difficult to house
  • Foresight gained:
    • Prioritization is key, as is manpower so that infrastructure development does not detract from agricultural operation
    • Plan for unforeseen weather and have a Plan B being implemented concurrently with climate-dependent crops
    • More use of the greenhouse
    • Have things organized and clean to increase production efficiency
    • Use animals that require minimal housing effort (ideally free ranging/minimal fencing requirements)

Advisory Board

  • Greg and Jennifer House, Coco Ranch, Davis CA - Organic and Ethnobotanical Consultants, Growers
  • Dr. Depeters, University of California, Davis - Dairy Sciences
  • Doug Gisi, University of California, Davis Dairy - Dairy Manager
  • Dr. Patrick Dragon, University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Grower, Mathematical Sciences Genius
  • Raoul Adamchak, Student Farm, University of California, Davis - Grower: 30 member organic CSA
  • Dan Schellenberg - Grower, Permaculturist

See also: