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Newbie in Central Iowa (Story County) a few questions for Grant

 
Amanda Carranza-Ballew
Posts: 3
Location: Story City, IA
books food preservation forest garden
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Hello Grant! I live in Story City, IA, and first learned about Versaland last year when I initially discovered the whole amazing world of permaculture. I was so excited to realize that someone in Central Iowa was already doing agriculture the permaculture way on any scale, much less the large scale you all have at Versaland.

As my header states, I am actually a complete newbie when it comes to anything agriculture, but the thought of building a homestead and farming through permaculture has captured me and I know it's what I need to work towards and do for the rest of my life. (I would love to tell you the full story someday, if I ever have the opportunity.) My husband and I just bought a house on about 1/2 acre in Story City and I'm busy preparing a small fall garden and also the (hopefully) much larger spring/summer garden for next year. I'm also saving up so I can attend/take a PDC as soon as possible, so seeing the possibility of winning a ticket to the one at Versaland in October made me so excited.

I have two questions for you:
1. For someone (like me) currently working very small scale, but with the goal of working large scale someday, what is one thing I need to make sure I understand and master over the next several years while I work towards the large-scale goal?
2. If you are ever in the Des Moines/Ames area, can I take you out for lunch? I would love to have the opportunity to pick your brain for an hour or so about how you got to where you are, why you do what you do, and just in general discuss the state of agriculture in this great (though at times frustrating and confusing) state of ours.

Thank you very much!!!
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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Amanda Carranza-Ballew wrote:
For someone (like me) currently working very small scale, but with the goal of working large scale someday, what is one thing I need to make sure I understand and master over the next several years while I work towards the large-scale goal?

Thank you very much!!!


I would try and document your systems and processes as best you can. Workflows, systems, in-and-outflows and imagine how that might look at a larger scale, e.g. many nodes. It's really nice to experiment on a small or modest scale first to learn what really works.

My biggest growing pain has been maintaining large-scale plantings with a small-scale equipment set. Everything gets easier on a bigger scale in terms of unit/area of energy and time input, but it does require more overall investment.

So...if you can feed chickens with compost in an integrated awesome 1/2 acre system and it takes x/hours a week to do chores....how would that work if you had 40x the system (20 acres) How would our efficiencies improve? What sort of additional equipment would you need?

Best advice I can give on that.

lunch - sure this winter sometime. PM me

Grant
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