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Backyard Aeroponics: Self Sustaining Farm for Wisconsin cold

February 9, 2017


“Benjamin Staffeldt grew up on a farm and works in a garden center so when he and his wife Sara moved into a rental home (a duplex), it was only natural he’d want to start farming his (shared) backyard. They began with containers and then bought a kit greenhouse to extend the growing season and were selling to local supermarkets and restaurants, but the heating bills to farm during Wisconsin winters (with temperatures as low as -70°F) was cutting sharply into their profits.

They knew they had to maximize greenhouse space so they decided to grow vertical and to grow differently. They experimented with hydroponics and finally settled on aeroponics. “So aeroponics is similar to hydroponics using water rather than soil, but it’s mist,” explains Benjamin. “It’s a mist that comes on inside the growing chamber, and it comes on every 3 minutes for 10 seconds, it’s a really high oxygen water that’s hitting that root. The method was actually developed and is being used by NASA because it uses so much less water and the speed of growth is much faster.”

To fully customize the growing experience, they added a thermal wrap to their aeroponics towers which helps refract light to help keep the temperature stable within the grow chambers. They’re now growing enough in their 10′ by 12′ greenhouse for farming to be Sara’s full-time job.

They’re hoping to commercialize their hybrid system- what they call Art Garden. It’s geared toward those looking to grow in a cold climate and in a small space (one unit fits into 4 square feet). This is all part of an increasingly customized growing world that Ben hopes might make farmers out of more of us.”

Thermal Banking Greenhouse Design

February 4, 2017


Steve Schwen and his family run Earthen Path Organic Farm in Lake City, Minnesota. This video describes a great greenhouse they have built from scratch. The Innovative building is designed to increase the growing season whilst reducing energy costs, especially important given the extremes of temperature that occur in Minnesota.

What’s also very impressive to me is the statements Steve makes re profits. Quoting Steve;

“I look at profits with dollar signs, as only being a very crude measure of the success of your farm or your efforts, Because your profits are in the health of your family, the integrity of your family’s relationship to the community, those are the profits that we forget to measure, I mean maybe it’s a 60’s thing, but in the end we all need to look at our journey on this earth as being connected with our community and start to dissolve the separateness of us and the rest of the community and the separateness of us from the land, we’re not badening the land, we’re learning to dance with it and work with it”

1 MILLION pounds of Food on 3 acres

September 3, 2011

This farm is absolutely amazing. They have 10,000 fish and 500 yards of compost and produce 1 MILLION pounds of Food per year. This has to be the way of the future if we are going to feed the population of Earth as we grow.

The beauty about this type of system is that it could also be utilized on marginal land as well.

Shocking World by Monsanto – A must see!

July 7, 2008


Video: Google Video

I’m not going to add much to the comments accompanying this video from Google Video –

“On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television – a documentary that Americans won’t ever see. The gigantic bio-tech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years”.

It’s Food as a weapon and another thing that greedy sociopaths would want to control.

Suburban Permaculture

June 26, 2008


Video: YouTube

With the price of petrol on an ever increasing spiral upwards, food is being sucked along in it’s wake. With supermarkets and Industrial farming also on an ever increasing spiral upwards, nutrition and health is going in the opposite direction.

Lets face it political instability is on the increase like the weather and food shortages, so why waste time and money on lawns and pay for food that’s neither fresh nor healthy, yet is increasing in prices and being sprayed with who knows what… grow your own food, improve your health, and put the money you save into solar panels.

The Trap – F&#k You Buddy (part 3 of 6)

June 26, 2008


Video: YouTube

I remember years ago seeing something about a study, that used Rats to simulate the effects of population pressures and diet on people… the premise was that our behaviors are in a lot of ways similar.

In these tests they used an enclosed system and they steadily increased the population of rats. Now, to take out some of the variables they ensured that there was plenty of good food and water. The results were that as the population levels increased, the neuroses increased, there was rape, murder and even cannibalism, as the populations went up… and this should of surprised them because?

It’s only corporations, politicians and religious nutters who’d argue that limiting populations is a bad thing.

Next in the rat house, they tried two other experiments. One where they gave the rats a healthy diet and water and alcohol to choose from… these rats chose water. Then they gave the rats an unhealthy diet; you know donuts and big Macs type crap, with the same option for water or alcohol, this time the rats chose alcohol.

Now, it occurs to me that the way we are being forced (Trapped if you like) to live; which suits the corporations alone, is bound to create problems. Even the family unit it’s self is, in a since, not ideal, in fact far from it.

Perhaps the problem is that our social evolution has been messed up and out of sync with our forced living style… that the discarded village tribalism, where there is a mixture of kids, parents and grandparents living together, and a system where one’s food comes largely from your own area (with some trade) and everybody’s got a say and nobody is left behind, not unlike what some Hippies were advocating (forget the media crap) or if you prefer… like Switzerland, only hopefully with a little more spark.

Eritrea – Greening Eritrea (Part 1)

June 19, 2008


Video: YouTube

This is a good news story about Eritrea, one of the world’s newest nations, a land devastated by war and the stripping of it’s trees to feed camels and to provide firewood for cooking. Eritrea now has some hope thanks to a Japanese American call Sato.

It all started with the re-establishment of Mangroves… something we had, for years been wiping out to provide profits for developers, despite being warned by scientists that they were vital for fish nurseries and the ecology in general.

As with most reclamation projects, the solution is to look at the way Nature does things, then learn from this often simple solution and give it a hand. Initially they had to use small amounts of fertilizers to get the Mangroves started, but once they got going, the areas ecology picked up, soon there were more fish, crabs, prawns and more plant matter… it was off and running.

“This is a low-tech solution to hunger and poverty. In these times of food price rises and global warming, it is just what the world needs,” Manzanar project manager Ammanuel Yemane, of Eritrea’s Fisheries Ministry.

UN Survey on food shortage

June 19, 2008

The survey

Last month the UN conducted a worldwide survey with one question:

“Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”

The survey was a huge failure.

In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what “honest” meant

In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant

In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant

In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant

In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant

In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant

In the US they didn’t know what “rest of the world” meant.

Strategies for Sustainable Agriculture Vegetables

June 4, 2008


Video: YouTube

For those who have been with us awhile you’ll know that both Craig and myself are not fans of GM food, nor Monsanto in particular.

The other day our public TV showed ‘Animal Pharm’, basically it was a PR video for GM. Now neither Craig nor myself are Luddites, Craig’s an Electrical Engineering Graduate and my field was Metallurgy & Engineering, so we’re not impressed by self interested science, nor are we taken in by the ‘they are doing it to feed the world’ bullshit… they are doing it so they can control the world’s food source pure and simple, for profit and the people setting the agenda are incapable of understanding the potential dangers, because all they can see is bucks… that’s what Bankers and Lawyers (spit on the ground) do.

Anyhow, it’s really good to see this type of thinking in the US, as it is in Europe and Australia. It’s this sort of thinking that will both make us healthier and save us money… my advice, get some antique seeds and start growing your own food, you don’t need much space and a little exercise will do you a world of good too.

Gore Vidal on the future

May 30, 2008


Video: The Real News

Some future, bankruptcy, depression, riots, Martial Law, now fuel and food shortages… and it seems like just yesterday they were telling us that everything was going sooo swimmingly. Next we’ll have all those religious nuts doing the self for filling prophecy Armagetting thing on us. As the narrator in Monkey Magic once said. “God must love fools because he made so many of them.”

And in case your’e thinking that Buddha was another religious nut… after 49 days of meditation, one of the first things Buddha said was. “There is no God.”, Einstein said much the same thing.

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