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Renting multiple sites for mobile farm  RSS feed

 
J.D. Burnette
Posts: 30
Location: Kingston, TN
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This is somethings I've been brainstorming on. Ultimitley I'm curious what suggestions you would make in terms of the contracts with the land owners.

"5-10 semi trucks / trailers, all typically similar designs for livestock, crops, and people for a mobile village with event production capabilities: Horses for transpiration on site, Goats for clearing brush, Pigs for uprooting trees, Chickens and Guineas for sanitization and pest removal, aquaponics for meat and kitchen vegetables along with a vermicomposting and pollinator trailer. A nursery, sprouts, mycology, and humanure toilet/shower trailer are excellent possibilities too. Each of these would be outfitted with appropriate electrical fencing and housing as well as hammock space for volunteers who would still be responsible for their own travel but would have a place to sleep and take break on. The cabs could sleep 4 and allow for 2x2 driving shifts and resting shifts along with animal/farm duties on site. This means 20-40 permanent staff with transportation and I am guessing double that of volunteers (40-80) would have sleeping space and meals on site leaving room for 130-190 for “seasonal” passes who all have some responsibilities in the community ranging from manual labor to specialist labor and good producers will be required to figure out their own transportation although buses could be arranged and added into the mix. Festival or event size could be 250 minimum to whatever size we wanted to scale this design for.

Each of the trailers could form a stage during the event providing a teaching function and gathering point. Some of these could become media and or art areas. Each trailer would have an outfitted water harvesting system complete with a first flush diverter. Water filtration beginning but not limited to activated carbon, de-chlorination, de-flouridation, and alkalinity correction will be on some of the rigs to hook up to municipal sources. Greywater and black water will be considered and used before discharge from our system. There are many options when it comes to fuel ranging from solar charged batteries and electric, wood gas, flexd fuel, bio-diesel, standard diesel supplementation, and potentially methane or pyrolysis. The electric fencing would have to be double enough to house a set stocking density of animals on a given land size for 24 hours before having to be moved on a rotationally grazed plan that increases fertility, prepares the space for temporary human habitation, and jumpstarts the local ecology. Each trailer could provide temporary, fold out lean-tos/tents coming off of the sides and parked according to access, solar aspect, and micro climates.

Some of these trailers could have specialized use. The vermicomposting could be stacked with functions becoming the kitchen while onsite so that methane gas coming off animal manures from the bio digester could be used to cook with. Compost from this entire operation will be cycled through at least once, or more if needed and then deposited for a final prep on site to form perennial, biannual, and annual gardens beds while utilizing the human potential on the landscape for earthworks and plantings. Actively aerated compost tea could be brewed on a scale to match the acreage of our animal stocking density (I’m guessing 2 acres here). Mushrooms and sprouts could be combine on a trailer or done on larger scale in independent trailers for food and medicine providing staple crops for humans and animals as fodder. Products coming off of the farm could be traded for local help, supplies, as part of the land lease, and use for the event and staff.

The horse trailer seems to have lots of potential for development of some sort of HQ/Quartermasters/BoxOffice facility. Equipment that does not make sense to have mailed could be stored on the trailer that becomes main stage.

Leases could be set on land for 10-99 years if semi-permanent infrastructure is to be needed on “home” sites. “Home” sites are special relationships develops with the land owners and comes with a free Permaculture assessment and design. This means plenty of time to build for a future there or elsewhere and ability to adjust accordingly. Shorter term contracts could be worked out between “home” sites. Home sites would have to have a certain density in each bio-region as to ensure animals are not trucked for more than 24 hours at a time. In unison with completely temporary “grazing” sites, the “home” site density could be increased and thus reducing our need for as resources. Home sites would function as market gardens during some stage of ecological development. During our long term leases we will be building but not limited to: earthworks, ponds, dams, swales, terraces, hugelkultur beds, berms, cob, humanure composting toilets, larger hoop houses, shade houses, open aired barns/lean-tos, wofaties, potential housing for land & farm managers. Most fencing will prefer to be temporary, battery and solar/wind powered. All of this semi-permanent to permanent infrastructure will require a repayment for the initial costs plus appreciation and inflation over the length of the contract prior to early termination. Agreement to no repayment required if maximum contract length is reached. Memorandums of understanding enter both parties into an understanding of what is expected from the relationship and an agreement that mutual termination of the contract is the only legal action you will both take if the relationship is no longer beneficial to both parties. Permanent infrastructure will have to be repaid for by the land owner to the lease holder for 100% of costs, minus depreciation, plus appreciation, and inflation over the already completed time of contract minus maximum contract length. IE: The contract lasted 25 years so the land owner has 25 years to repay the costs divided equally over that period in quarterly payments.

BENEFITS OF MOBILITY
Move from area to area based upon need. You can chase seasonality demands while harnessing energy inputs from all sources. Access to inputs such as vegetable scraps from restaurants or communities as well as vegetable oil, saw dust at mills, mulch from utility companies, leaf litter from the curb side, etc becomes more viable. Seeds and many supplies could be mailed to each individual site and reduce our traveling weight. Visibility of needs and project increased.

LIMITS OF MOBILITY
Some weaknesses in land holding defenses. Whims of land-owners, Cost of fuel. Bio-regional hardiness of chosen livestock and crops, therefore, travel would have to be restricted to an east/west pattern and not given much north/south travel options as to stay inside of bio-regional zones."

Sorry for any typos.
 
Eric Toensmeier
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Posts: 145
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Sounds like a great idea. Have had thoughts of doing something similar myself. Mobile facilities and flexible business seem an important part of this phase of ag in the welathy countries.
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 297
Location: New Zealand
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Wow! You've obviously put a lot of thought into this. But my head hurts at the thought of managing animals like this while maintaining good animal welfare.i would be constantly worried that a grazing arrangement might fall through at short notice.
Have you got any further with your plans since first posting?
 
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