SJB ABUNDANCE MINI-FARMSTEADS
Abundance Mini-Farmsteads offers all you need to get set up with a unique hobby farm designed to produce 80% of your family’s food in a highly efficient manner, in an attractive setting that integrates with the landscaping.
· Grow up 80% of your own food – over 50 varieties of food.
· Nutritionally balanced, with a wide variety of both plant and animal foods
· Optimal, no-waste systems conserve space and minimize need for outside inputs and labor.
· Attractive design integrates into the landscaping.
What are the Benefits of Hobby Farming?
The quality and nutritional content of farm fresh food far exceeds that of conventional super-market food. Conventionally grown produce is typically lower in nutritional value, both because of mineral-stripped fields, as well as the loss of vitamins during shipping and storage. Studies have shown vitamin and mineral reductions from 16%-76% since the 1940’s. This applies not only to fruits and vegetables, but to animal products as well. Animals are pushed for extremely fast growth and heavy production: think fast-farming! Furthermore, most farm animals are raised on grain-based diets with various fillers, instead of the natural pastures. Meat, dairy and eggs from pasture-raised animals are higher in nutrition, and also contain correct balances of certain nutrients.
Raw milk is something that is next to impossible to have without your own goats or cow. While it is possible to buy it some places, I would not recommend it due the long time it’s been in transport. In the old days they had a milk man who brought fresh milk daily! Nothing beats having your own daily supply of fresh, pastured milk!
Exercise, Sunshine and Fresh Air.
The way it was meant to be: productive. You work for something. All the better if that’s done in the sunshine (link: sunshine) and fresh air! (link: negative ions). Nowadays you are supposed to PAY to get exercise in an ugly gym, under artificial lights breathing stale air. No wonder people struggle to make themselves exercise! (link: exercise). (Post stories about super-centenarians here)
Being outside, in peace and quiet, surround by God’s creation is the perfect recreation. It is spiritually uplifting. The companionship of animals is a good thing as well; what could be better than pets that feed you! It’s also great to give children something good and productive to do. (link: love in all
Many people will tell you that you can’t save money producing your own food. It’s true, it’s very easy to spend more than you save, if you don’t have a solid, efficient system and a good budget plan. But it certainly can be done, and I will show you how in my book.
Food is the one thing we cannot go without. So, having your own supply of food gives security against job losses etc.
Occupation for children.
Synergy & Interdependence: How It Works
The Abundance Mini-Farmstead utilizes multiple types of agriculture, one being permaculture - Permanent Agriculture. The idea is to work with Nature, instead of against it. It gently turns it in our favor, without breaking all of it's rules. However, some permaculture systems are very “rustic” and some are unrealistic. This system brings the best of several systems into one synergy.
Goats provide fertilizer for the fruit trees, as well as the hydroponic systems and the grow-boxes. In turn, prunings from the fruit trees provide forage for the goats.
Goats do a good bit of orchard/grove maintenance. The fertilizer and water for the fruit trees also grows weeds in the spring, providing pasture for the goats in the dry season. Goat manure also provides the fertilizer and growing medium for the hydroponics.
Goat manure is the main organic matter for producing black soldier fly production, which goes to feed poultry and fish. Black soldier fly larvae produce strong liquid fertilizer for hydroponics.
Milk forms part of the diet for the poultry, dogs and cats. In turn, the dog protects the goats and cats provide bird/rodent control for the fruit, as well as for the goats, poultry etc.
Ducks produce the ultimate pest-free potting soil for the grow-boxes. In turn, extra vegetables from the grow-boxes provide food for the ducks.
Goat manure grows black soldier fly larvae for the ducks and fish and tilapia produce extra fry (baby fish) for the ducks.
The chickens provide pest control for the fruit trees, and the fruit trees provide food (fallen fruit and scraps) for the chickens.
The chickens process/aerate the goat manure for the liquid hydroponic system.
They provide dog and cat food (eggs and meat scraps), which provides bird/rodent control for the fruit trees and safety for the goats.
The chickens provide pest control as the they dig and eat under fruit trees.
Goat manure grows black soldier fly larvae for the chickens. They produce strong manure for black soldier fly larvae; black soldier fly larvae produce strong liquid fertilizer for hydroponics.
Fish can form a major part of the dog and cat food; which provides bird/rodent control for the fruit trees and safety for the goats and poultry. Goat manure produces black soldier fly larvae for the fish.
Fish provide fertilizer for the hydroponics system, and the hydroponic system cleans the water for the fish. Extra vegetables from hydroponics are fed back to the fish, ducks etc.
The muck from the fish tanks/ponds provides excellent potting soil for the grow-boxes.
Extra fry provide food for the ducks.
Animals and Plants
Goats are the backbone of the abundance mini-farm. Not only do they produce milk and meat, but the fruit trees and gardens rely on goat manure for their principle fertilizer. Goat manure is also used to grow black soldier fly larvae for chicken feed, and a growing medium for the hydroponic garden.
Chickens, eggs! That’s the first thing that comes to mind when people think about poultry. At it should be. Fresh, pasture-raised eggs are among the healthiest foods on earth. But, chickens play other roles in this system as well. As they forage among the fruit trees, they clean up pests. Extra chickens can, of course, be raised for meat.
Ducks play an essential role in this mini-farm system. They too, produce wonderful eggs. Duck eggs are very rich, and preferred by some to chicken eggs. But eggs aren’t the principal product of the ducks in this system. We use Muscovy ducks, and they produce an excellent meat – red meat actually - that is similar to veal! They are also practically silent. They do not quack. This is a distinct advantage because a flock of ducks is actually very loud!
The other product the ducks produce is an excellent, pest free potting soil for the vegetable grow-boxes.
Predator control! Pests and predators can completely erase production of even the best-designed farm. The familiar farm dogs and cats serve a very essential purpose. Larger predators, such as coyotes, bears and panthers will take goats, and the ubiquitous raccoon will take one or more chickens a night unless the pen or house is tightly secured. Rats and mice are a torment to goats, and will eat entire crops of certain fruits.
No farmstead is complete without a supply of fresh fish. A lake is ideal, but many of us don’t have that option, and the alternative is usually an ugly conglomeration of tanks, tubes and pipes! We have the solution: Build those same workings into a beautiful “koi pond” with waterfalls! This is a semi-self sustaining system, as duckweed is used to clear the nitrogen from the water and turn it into high protein food for the fish.
No farm is complete without bees and honey, and they are amazing creatures to have around. This mini-farm system uses top-bar hives. These are less productive, but so much easier to work with and honey extraction requires no special equipment.
Fruit is awesome! Fruit can play a greater role in a healthy diet than people tend to think. Just replace other carbs with fruit!
There are generally 30 or so varieties of fruit to grow, no matter where you live. Fruit comes from trees, bushes, vines and even tiny plants.
A garden in the first thing that springs to mind when we think of growing vegetables. But, there are many alternative methods that make vegetable growing easier and more productive. The mini-farms system uses “grow-boxes” - self-watering planters – and hydroponics. The grow-boxes are completely self-contained, so there is zero waste of nutrients. The hydroponic towers are not self contained, but the run-off nutrients feed other nearby trees and plants.