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Farm restoration grant - please vote for me!  RSS feed

 
Scott Strough
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Location: Oklahoma
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Some people may already know that for two years now, going on three, I have had my own roadside stand for selling vegetables I raise in an innovative permaculture system. What you may not have known is the methods I developed (adapted from the awesome work of many of you here as well as others in organic agriculture) were specifically designed to be scaleable to any size garden or farm. I now have an awesome opportunity to grow this to the next level in size, maybe with a generous grant from Chase to buy the farming equipment needed for a larger scale. There are a few abandoned farms directly adjacent to my market garden. One of them has traded a lease for me restoring the productivity of his farm and soil health. But it is about 40 acres and all is in terrible shape, incredibly poor soil and erosion and scrub. Completely unfit for agriculture and slowly deteriorating away. I know permaculture can regenerate this land and have already started on 1/2 acre. It will take a lot of money for equipment and hard work to get most that 40 acres productive again, but for sure permaculture methods are the way to go. The farm is too far gone to even try conventional methods. Long ago "farmed out" and due to Oklahoma weather patterns (flood or drought with little in between) it has actually deteriorated even worse since going fallow.

I am excited to say I worked most of yesterday applying for a Chase small business grant.

The next step in the process is to obtain 250 votes from people who would like to see my tiny farm grow to the next level. If I am accepted, I will use the grant money to purchase the labor saving equipment required to reach a moderate scale. This will allow me to prove the organic permaculture methods I am using to restore soil health work at scale. I also should be able to integrate carefully controlled modern animal husbandry in a Savory type Holistic managed planned grazing rotation with my veggies.

Once I get 250 votes (it's free to vote so please help), then my application goes to the final step, the review process.

The grant is for $100,000! That will allow me all the farm equipment I need to really get this truck farm operating in high gear! (all no till) I already have the landowner that is leasing me the land in exchange for clearing and regenerating soil health on board! So this could potentially be a huge break! I could potentially jump to 20 acres and even get the greenhouse I need all in 1 year! Any of you guys that feel what I am doing is interesting or important, please help out with a vote!

Thanks in advance!

Vote here: Vote !

PS. If I should happen to get this grant and get this abandoned farm back into production, I intend to sink the profits from the farm into buying another adjacent abandoned farm of 58 acres. Maybe even a third abandoned farm also adjacent with 20 acres and an abandoned old concrete block building that was once a vegetable stand decades ago! Then I will start up an apprenticeship program to teach new young novice farmers the principles of permaculture and how to start their own farms from the bottom up. This will be just one more link in the growing conversion of agriculture worldwide! Thanks again.
 
Scott Strough
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Location: Oklahoma
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Now a blatant bump to blatant advertising! Only 23 more days left and I currently have 76 out of 250 votes needed! So if you haven't voted yet, please do! Thanks in advance!

Vote
 
Kelly Smith
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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is there a way to vote without having a facebook account?
 
Scott Strough
Posts: 299
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Kelly Smith wrote:is there a way to vote without having a facebook account?
I wish there was, believe me. I would already have 250 votes by now if there was. But I don't make the rules. Apparently they use facebook to try and make sure people only vote once. Because unless you share, they don't actually post on your facebook or send you any advertising. My business is a roadside tomato stand. And by the time my customers start stopping by for tomatoes the time limit will be up. Very frustrating. I know my customers would for sure vote, but I don't have any ripe tomatoes yet!
 
Kelly Smith
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Scott Strough wrote:Apparently they use facebook to try and make sure people only vote once. Because unless you share, they don't actually post on your facebook or send you any advertising.


i understand - especially when money is involved.

wish i could help more.

edit: your post to apple count seems pretty strong - so i added a few flags to get more attention. hopefully some others with fb can help.
 
Scott Strough
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Thanks very much.
 
Nicole Merrill
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Location: Helena, MT
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Would you be okay with me posting a link to your voting page on my blog? I only started it a couple months ago, but I have over 100 Facebook followers who might click on it and vote...? I'll only do it with your permission.
The blog is: www.merrillfamilyfarm.wordpress.com if you want to check it out first.
Best of luck!!
Nicole
 
Scott Strough
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Nicole Merrill wrote:Would you be okay with me posting a link to your voting page on my blog? I only started it a couple months ago, but I have over 100 Facebook followers who might click on it and vote...? I'll only do it with your permission.
The blog is: www.merrillfamilyfarm.wordpress.com if you want to check it out first.
Best of luck!!
Nicole
Of course you can! Oh and BTW I love that fodder system to sprout grains for chickens! Once I get my hens I'll probably build me one too.
 
Nicole Merrill
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Location: Helena, MT
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Sweet deal! I'll add a post. Praying it adds lots of votes for you!!
(Yeah, the fodder system is da bom!)
 
Nicole Merrill
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In case anyone is following this thread, here's a link to the blog post
https://merrillfamilyfarm.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/one-itty-bitty-click-can-change-the-world-or-a-corner-of-it-and-how-you-can-improve-soil-conditions/
 
Scott Strough
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I think you did a wonderful job. I wish I knew how to create such a beautiful Blog! That was so much fun being interviewed too! Thanks again
 
Nicole Merrill
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Location: Helena, MT
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Thanks, Scott!! I'm just happy to be part of something bigger than just little ol me
 
Scott Strough
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Nicole Merrill wrote:Thanks, Scott!! I'm just happy to be part of something bigger than just little ol me
Me too! We are all part of the larger permie world domination takeover! Muahahahaha
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Voted! I love the way people are showing up to help out! Permies is all about community - we can do this together.

 
Scott Strough
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Voted! I love the way people are showing up to help out! Permies is all about community - we can do this together.

Thanks Jennifer,
Less than 100 votes to go! Woo Hoo! I am on track to make it by the deadline. I am sure you fellow permies had a lot to do with that!
 
Scott Strough
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Ok permies! It is crunch time. This is the last week of voting! I currently have 220 votes. I need 30 more votes in 7 days to get this project to the review stage. Once in review, I am hoping it will be obvious to the reviewers that permaculture is by far and away a much superior form of agriculture. Once the reviewers see that, then it will be up to me to convey how the grant will help me prove permaculture is scaleable too. I know this already has been proven for some production models like food forests, animal husbandry and pasture cropping small grains. I want to prove vegetable production in a permaculture model is scaleable as well. One small step in the conversion of agriculture to regenerative models of production worldwide.

So please, if you support what I am attempting, even if I make some inevitable mistakes along the way, vote! It's free and easy!

VOTE
 
Mike Feddersen
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Scott you should ask Cassie if she could do a plug for you on the dailyish email.
 
Scott Strough
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Mike Feddersen wrote:Scott you should ask Cassie if she could do a plug for you on the dailyish email.
I never thought of that! Thanks. Maybe she will, if she is OK with the obvious blatant advertising!

Also, I was just featured on another blog.

Oklahoma farmer to scale his permaculture farm.
 
Scott Strough
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A big heartfelt thanks to all who voted. I woke up today to find 252 votes. I couldn't have done it without your help! That hurdle is finished. Next hurdle is the review process which determines the social environmental and economic benefit potential derived from the grant. This I sincerely believe will be the point at which permaculture excels!
 
Scott Strough
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Thanks to your support I officially today made it to the judging phase of the Mission Main Street Grants program from Chase! I am in the running for a $100,000 grant which I will use to buy equipment to expand my small market farm using permaculture principles. Recipients will be announced in September - wish me luck!
 
Gail Gardner
Posts: 114
Location: SE Oklahoma
duck forest garden hugelkultur
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Hi Scott,

I'm glad you got to your needed 250 votes. Best of luck in getting chosen. I don't get by here nearly often enough, but should anyone else read this who needs votes, please contact me on Twitter @GrowMap or Skype (username GrowMap) and hit me up to get you votes. I have decent reach on most social networks especially Twitter and have collaborators who have a lot more influence on Facebook than I do.
 
Scott Strough
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Gail Gardner wrote:Hi Scott,

I'm glad you got to your needed 250 votes. Best of luck in getting chosen. I don't get by here nearly often enough, but should anyone else read this who needs votes, please contact me on Twitter @GrowMap or Skype (username GrowMap) and hit me up to get you votes. I have decent reach on most social networks especially Twitter and have collaborators who have a lot more influence on Facebook than I do.
That's good to know Gail. Because if I don't make the actual grant, I'll try again next year. So far no word yet.
 
Gail Gardner
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duck forest garden hugelkultur
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Scott Strough wrote:That's good to know Gail. Because if I don't make the actual grant, I'll try again next year. So far no word yet.


I hope you get chosen. There are a lot of ways I can show you to gain visibility when you need it. They work for things like grants, but also to get customers for whatever someone might want to sell. It is still early days and most producers have mediocre sites or don't want to give buyers what they want. I eat 99% organic now and even though it is raised all around me, most of it is shipped from far away because locals aren't interested in making what they produce easy to acquire. Eventually I hope to assist some of them in broadening their thinking to grow their markets.

Are you selling any organic fruit or produce, or grass fed meats or poultry?

Also, have you considered contacting companies that are hired by counties or utilities to keep the trees trimmed in bar ditches and under power and phone lines? They use huge chippers and have to pay to dump what they trim each day. It may be possible to find one or more willing to dump these chips on the bad property. They will eventually compost even without being turned - creating topsoil where there was none.

John Kohler did an episode about a place he visited that covered hills and rocks in this manner and 2-3 years later they have beautiful topsoil. I couldn't find that video (he has so many), but here is another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vZktDmuBAc

The county where Mesquite, TX is actually creates massive amounts of compost and then gives it to county residents a pickup load at a time. They let the tree trimmers dump there instead of filling up the landfills and they turn it all into compost for re-use.

In that video they are aerating and in the county they turned theirs with heavy equipment, but those are both simply to speed up the natural process. Wood chips, leaves, grass, etc. will all eventually break down without turning. It just takes a lot longer.
 
Scott Strough
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Gail Gardner wrote:
Scott Strough wrote:That's good to know Gail. Because if I don't make the actual grant, I'll try again next year. So far no word yet.


I hope you get chosen. There are a lot of ways I can show you to gain visibility when you need it. They work for things like grants, but also to get customers for whatever someone might want to sell. It is still early days and most producers have mediocre sites or don't want to give buyers what they want. I eat 99% organic now and even though it is raised all around me, most of it is shipped from far away because locals aren't interested in making what they produce easy to acquire. Eventually I hope to assist some of them in broadening their thinking to grow their markets.

Are you selling any organic fruit or produce, or grass fed meats or poultry?

Also, have you considered contacting companies that are hired by counties or utilities to keep the trees trimmed in bar ditches and under power and phone lines? They use huge chippers and have to pay to dump what they trim each day. It may be possible to find one or more willing to dump these chips on the bad property. They will eventually compost even without being turned - creating topsoil where there was none.

John Kohler did an episode about a place he visited that covered hills and rocks in this manner and 2-3 years later they have beautiful topsoil. I couldn't find that video (he has so many), but here is another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vZktDmuBAc

The county where Mesquite, TX is actually creates massive amounts of compost and then gives it to county residents a pickup load at a time. They let the tree trimmers dump there instead of filling up the landfills and they turn it all into compost for re-use.

In that video they are aerating and in the county they turned theirs with heavy equipment, but those are both simply to speed up the natural process. Wood chips, leaves, grass, etc. will all eventually break down without turning. It just takes a lot longer.
yes gail, In fact I have a pile of chips right out front even now. I don't raise poultry or farm big acreage yet. It is what the grant is for. I need the equipment so I can do more acres. Right now I sell mostly tomatoes.
 
Scott Strough
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Well guys I didn't get the grant. But I did want to thank everyone who voted.
 
Gail Gardner
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Scott Strough wrote:Well guys I didn't get the grant. But I did want to thank everyone who voted.


I'm sorry you didn't get the grant. If you're reapplying this year, please contact me in advance to discuss ways to get you more visibility to get more votes. Where in Oklahoma are you? You might have said before, but I don't recall.
 
Gail Gardner
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Scott Strough wrote:
I think you did a wonderful job. I wish I knew how to create such a beautiful Blog! That was so much fun being interviewed too! Thanks again


Hi Scott.

I can put up pages about you and other permies here anytime you wish like the one I did for http://pspliving.com/dvf-launch/. You can register a domain for under $15/yr and point it at your main page which can have as many other pages as you wish. That way you don't have to pay for site design, hosting, or anything else. If you want to learn how to create your own blog posts I can teach you. It isn't hard and doesn't take long to learn if you have someone to show you how and to answer questions when you have them.
 
Scott Strough
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Gail Gardner wrote:
Scott Strough wrote:
I think you did a wonderful job. I wish I knew how to create such a beautiful Blog! That was so much fun being interviewed too! Thanks again


Hi Scott.

I can put up pages about you and other permies here anytime you wish like the one I did for http://pspliving.com/dvf-launch/. You can register a domain for under $15/yr and point it at your main page which can have as many other pages as you wish. That way you don't have to pay for site design, hosting, or anything else. If you want to learn how to create your own blog posts I can teach you. It isn't hard and doesn't take long to learn if you have someone to show you how and to answer questions when you have them.
Thanks Gail. I do need to learn that. I will contact you.
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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