Monday, October 7, 2013

A season of bounty

Today is the beginning of a new season in my life. A door has been opened to me. I have decided to live my dream: to devote my life to growing food. Nothing brings me joy and satisfaction quite like turning the rawest ingredients into the most delicious delicacies, and doing it in a way that is as socially and environmentally positive as possible.

The form this goal will take isn't certain. I have a couple of different bold visions for how I could make this happen. But all of them focus around growing food based on these principals.
  1. Grow delicious food. Fresh, well-cared-for food is tastier and a joy to the soul.
  2. Use science. I trust deeply in the power of science to guide (but not dictate) our decisions when sufficient high fidelity data is available.
  3. Innovate. By bringing my technological chops into this endeavor, I can make use of the benefits of automation, data collection, and collaboration.
  4. Respect humans. Much of our agricultural economy is based on disparities of human station. It is time for us to become a world where all people can thrive.
  5. Respect nature. We must respect the interconnected web of life of which we are all a part.
  6. Question. Inspect preconceptions carefully and make decisions in a rational manner.
  7. Grow efficiently. Aside from the benefit provided to nature in preserving resources, efficiency can help to keep prices down and to do more with our finite capital (i.e. land).
  8. Share. Sharing information, resources, and surpluses will make the sum of us greater than our individual parts.
Will the end result of this be a conventional farm? Or something completely different? Well, I expect I'll have many more treatises on this subject. But here are my immediate "next steps".

  1. Do a proper fall cleanup in the yard. I love my weed burner, by the way. More on that later.
  2. Prepare for the arrival of Joel and Felicia's chickens! My friends are moving and need a home for their girls. We've considered this for a long time and now is the perfect opportunity. More on that too.
  3. Finish the Master Gardener and Small Farm training programs through extension. Continue taking classes and networking.
  4. Finish Master Gardener volunteer hours.
  5. Ramp up compost production. I actually started vermicompost (worm compost) just last week.
  6. Set up a rainwater collection system.
  7. Build some greenhouses for spring.
  8. Start a pilot project for one or more alternative growing techniques.
  9. Document everything!
  10. Start developing a formal plan for how to scale this up!
Well, that's the short version anyway. Expect to hear a lot more. Whee!

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