Our farming project aims to develop and validate a scalable sustainable community farm system.
- Scalable means it can size from an individual up to a community.
- Sustainable means it should be economically feasible and our goal is to a be net zero energy system and meet a market need.
In evaluating whether or not the system meets a market need, we intend to engage with the public, collect feedback and assess commercial feasibility of various business models – this is just as important as the technology and advanced farming methods.
We can look to fresh vegetable consumption data from the USDA as a starting point for the right mix of crops under the roof to meet the demand of the local community. Using this data we can also determine the right size of a farm for a target community size based on population and distance.
Source Data: US Department of Agriculture
Finally, once the facility is up and running, we’ll be running learning and education programs about various methods of hydroponic and vertical farming as well as renewable energy targeting K-12 and Adults.
With a functional and feasible system design in place, we want to share this with local communities as a blueprint they can implement themselves. We’ll identify and document all the pieces from site selection, financing, construction, operations and possible business models to make it work for your community.
Benefits and Motivation
- Reduce / eliminate logistics of produce from other regions of the world – this reduces carbon emissions and strengthens local self-sufficiency.
- Reduce / eliminate supply chain refrigeration in transit and the grocery store. According to Drawdown1 f, refrigeration (CFCs, HCHCs and HCFs) is a top ranking factor of global warming. Their capacity to warm the atmosphere is in the thousands to tens of thousands times more potent than CO2! Supermarkets on average leak 875 pounds of HFCs annually according to Climate Friendly Supermarkets
- Potential to make fresh and healthy food more accessible in just about any place. There are communities who lack a basic grocery store with a reasonable driving distance.
- Fresh produce tastes better and more importantly retains more vitamin and mineral content. Local grown eliminates days and sometimes weeks from the supply chain. Some produce is not even feasible for sale or consumption after a few days like microgreens.
- Improve food security and local resilience.
Current Status: Board Approved – In Planning
This project will require a fair amount of funding for land, building and equipment. In order to address market research, the project will be located in a populated community which brings additional challenges for land costs and possibly zoning. We intend to complete the initial project plan, select a target site and present the project to the relevant city council to get support for the project by end of Q1 2021.
We’ll kick off a fundraising following while in parallel seek financing options for the project with interested partners. Once we’ve secured financing to start the project – and depending on how that financing affects our plan – we’ll be looking for volunteers in a variety of areas to help get the ball rolling. v
- Go buy the book Drawdown, its a great reference to understand what are the greatest impacts on global warming and what can be done about them. Your purchase helps the cause!
- Listen to the podcast How to Save a Planet and specifically episode Cold hard cash for your Greenhouse Gas. It’s an eye opener, get it here:
- Check out the grocery store scorecard at Climate Friendly Supermarkets on how they are reducing HFCs emissions here:
- Read the facts on supermarkets and HFCs here:
Citations & references
- Hawken, P. (Ed.). (2017) Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. Pgs 164-165. Penguin Books.
- USDA. Food Availability (per capita) Data System; https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-availability-per-capita-data-system