Greetings. We currently have a crowd funding campaign going at indiegogo.com to raise the remaining funds required to build the prototype of an integrated food and shelter system we call the Undercover Homestead.
Designed to be fully off-grid, it includes renewable energy, greenhouse aquaponics and plastered straw bale construction. Our goal is to prove that this concept can produce food in sufficient quantity all year long to not only feed and house but support a family as a small CSA business.
We need to replace factory farmed food with localorganic food in order to regain economic stability in the world today. Want a job with guaranteed security? Feed your neighbours!. Everybody eats. Everybody doesn't eat well and most people don't have a clue where their food comes from or how it is grown. There's a lot of diesel fuel on our plates right now and it needs to cleaned up.
There is now no reason to be trapped in jobs you hate trying to meet utility and fuel bills that won't go away. If you want independence and aren't afraid to get your hands dirty, you could adapt the Undercover Homestead to suit your needs. No commute and no daycare. Raise food and your own kids. Sell the food and nourish the kids.
Here's a link to the indiegogo site where you can view the video and see the perks we are offering for contributions. I hope that you'll visit, contribute and then benefit from the lessons we pass on from the build right through to first harvest and beyond. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-undercover-homestead Because the fish feed the plants and the fish eat mostly plants, inputs are low. Residential and growing areas share common power, heat and water management systems, so assets aren't duplicated and building costs are reduced. The superior insulation, noise reduction and fire resistance qualities of plastered bales make them not only beautiful and stabile but safe and energy friendly. SIPs can also be used to enclose the extremely robust post and beam system that uses the ingenious Hook and Build system to simplify construction.
Most commercial greenhouses are too expensive to heat during the cold winter months but we believe that our use of insulated growing tables, warm circulating fish water, night-time radiant reflective insulating curtains will be more than enough to see us through the coldest of Canadian winters.
We intend to make the Jean Pain brush cake composters produce hot water and methane via anaerobic digestion, no matter what it takes. The humus and effluent from that will combine nicely with the biochar from the biomass gasifier that will be providing much of the heat. All of these goodies will be used to improve the soil where our summer gardens will grow.
Afraid of the country? Not a problem! Food needs to be grown where the people are and the Undercover Homestead requires only a modest amount of space, access to water and sunshine.
This system is perfect for urban farming, especially in the rustbelt areas where food deserts exist.