projecteverest

Generic Farming Blueprints for Specific and Extraordinary Results

Concept Overview, Problem and Endstate


Concept


This isn’t a new concept. It is exactly what we have been doing in Fiji and have planned and set up to do in Malawi. An experimental farm that will allow 10-20 crops to grow on an acre of land, increasing productivity by up to 8-10 times, yielding as much as 100kg of useable produce per day. Yes, I have checked and tripled checked, 100kg per day.


In order to achieve this, as has been done in India, we need to have a defined structure of how the farm is setup and what kinds of crops are being grown.


Refer to https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/397439 on how crops could effectively manage pests without chemicals and https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/389519 on the existing set up in Fiji.


Essentially, we can maximise space on the farm through a technique called companion planting (an example planting spinach and onion together, spinach uses a lot of above-ground space, but minimal below ground and the opposite with onion). This, paired with nutrient exchange and effective composting eliminates the need for fertilisers.


The Problem


While this has been effectively proven in India, we are facing challenges adapting this for use in different soil and weather types in different geographies. The team in Fiji over the July period lost valuable time having to research what is and can be grown in the Sigatoka Valley.


Proposed Endstate


A generic blueprint with the required capabilities listed across the Farm Blueprint that provides examples of something that provides that capability. For example, “in row A of bed 3, a Brassicaceae must be planted. Brassicaceae contain glucosinolates as well as myrosinases inside their cells. When the cell is damaged, the myrosinases hydrolyses the glucosinolates, leading to the synthesis of isothiocyanates, which are compounds toxic to most animals, fungi and bacteria. TL;DR – it prevents pests.


In knowing the required capability and reason for each farm component with examples, it will allow country-specific research teams to look into what the “Malawi blueprint” and “Cambodia blueprint” would look like.


Process and Resources Required


Process


The existing blueprint and design adapted for Fiji need to be deciphered and broken down into components, with a dumbed down version for non-aggies.


Each component then needs to have its function and capability identified with examples of what will fulfil said function and capability. Eg. Mustard, broccoli, kale, bok choy are all part of the Brassicaceae family that will prevent pests and have high above ground space utilisation.


Resources Required


Human resources – this would be the main resource needed to complete this project.


1-3 people could effectively work on this with at least one of the team with a background in agriculture or familiar with the experimental farm and its concepts.


1 person – to break down Farm plans/blueprint into components


1 person – to research other alternatives that achieve the required function and capability


1 person – to coordinate the above information and apply country-specific context to each.


The above could easily be done by a singular person but would be most effectively compiled if done in a small team.


An ideal resource and outcome would be an interface similar to FarmBot that allows planning of gardens to be done on the computer and moved around, this would allow easier iteration of experiments and input from our greater community.


Access their webapp here: https://my.farmbot.io/app/designer/plants
Create a login here: https://my.farmbot.io/login

Isaac Crawford Aug 18, 2017

It would be great to have a communal database/ framework with a run down of what crops suit where and their specific functions and capabilities. Knowing the agricultural science specifics of the crops will make the scaling up of the Experimental Farm a lot smoother. The key step will then become researching the market demands of the areas PE rolls out in with regards to what the locals eat most, rather than research on the scientific specifics.

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