Scott Farmer

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since Sep 05, 2012
I am currently working on expanding/diversifying livestock operations on a gorgeous 200 acre grass-fed cattle ranch here in Nevada County. I am working with the landowner and another permaculture designer to develop a permaculture plan for the entire property, with an eye towards a future eco-village.

I am very focused on increasing forage for all animals (cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats), as well as harvesting insect fodder from composting operations.

Outside of my current employment projects, I am very interested in aquaponics (especially in desert and urban/suburban environments) and plan to build a greenhouse based fish/veggie operation by next year.

I am also doing all the research I can on Entomophagy and find it a truly fascinating subject. I plan to start growing my own insects for food this year!
Nevada County, CA
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Recent posts by Scott Farmer

Ram pumps and similar things can't operate in a closed environment. Takes a lot of stream flow to pump uphill, not sure how you'd get the fish water up in something like that.

Definitely looking forward to building a ram pump in the coming months for another project!
5 years ago
Hi everyone! I recently got engaged and we are looking for affordable, low impact housing ideas that we could get up before winter gets here.

Does anyone here have experience navigating California building regulations? Is it even possible to do a legal, permitted building that doesn't have septic and all the other wastes of money? Maybe special regulations for "temporary" dwellings or something?

There are already 2 "legitimate" houses on the 200-acre property, and we'll probably only live there for the next 4 or 5 years while getting our own property lined up -- which is why we want to spend as little as possible, and learn as much as possible on this first round.

Can't wait to stop paying rent and eliminate my commute!

Thank you so much for any help you can give!
6 years ago
There are so many fantastic potential companions out there in dire need of homes! Please spay and neuter!

My 2 year old Rottie mix is hanging out here next to me!
6 years ago
Excellent! I will be embarking on my own initial Hugel projects this year, and I very much appreciate the wealth of information from my fellow Permies who have already been down that road!

Did those Homer buckets get buried too?
6 years ago

Walter Jeffries wrote:Train them. Start with basic obedience training and work your way up from there. In time they're valuable help mates on the farm and homestead. They want to work with you and do the right thing. It's a pack mentality. They need to learn what is right and what is wrong.

Yes! Rules, boundaries and limitations are of utmost importance, especially at this stage. I learned everything I know through The Dog Whisperer and friends and family have been Seeking my help with their pups for years now. My pup chased chickens the first time I brought him to the farm I'm working, but after that first day he lives in harmony with all the domesticated critters!

A vibration collar (shock is WAY overkill) can be a wonderful tool for teaching farm dogs their boundaries, as they are often not right next to you at the moment correction is required.
6 years ago
Great thread! Really got my creative juices flowing. Been planning a 12-month aquaponics greenhouse for a while and I may finally have a place to start it later this year. After seeing someone's RMH U-shaped bench, I thought something like that might be perfect! Surround the fish tank with mass benches, on top of which will rest the grow beds. I guess now I need to think about an appropriate mass for such a wet environment... Suggestions?
6 years ago

Joe Braxton wrote:Sounds like a version of straw potatoes. I'm not sure about the pine straw, maybe someone else will know.

Example I found with a quick search-

That's a great link! Definitely going to try that no-dig straw method this year, in addition to a couple potato box projects.
6 years ago

Rick Roman wrote:News article in The Guardian-"Insects Could Be The Planet's Next Food Source" It highlights an Entomophagy Festival in London called "Pestival 2013".

Thanks for sharing! Articles like this are very encouraging and really push me to get going! One glaring problem with the opening paragraph: " Insects have long been overlooked as food in all but a handful of places around the world ..." Absolutely not true. It is estimated that 80% of the world's population have insects as a regular part of their diet. The western industrial food system is once again the backwards one!

Still looking for an air date for the mentioned BBC documentary, but the interview with the guy who made it is good!

6 years ago
One of my favorites in East Africa was roasted locust, crushed and blended with butter and date puree. Had the same bug a few tasty ways, and would love to farm some nice big grasshoppers if my initial mealworm experiments encourage me to go further.

I would love to get to the point where more Americans turn to insects as an affordable, sustainable protein!
6 years ago
Hi everyone! I know I'm new around these parts, but I am eager to get some minds together on the fascinating topic of Entomophagy! Please post any interesting info you find, and definitely keep us updated on any experiments you are doing in this field! There is not a lot of info out there on the topic, and I would very much like to see that change!

I first ate bugs as part of my diet (and not just on a dare) while doing some agriculturally oriented missionary work in Africa (personally, I was more interested in feeding people than saving their souls). Several nights during the termite mating season, we would turn on the church generators and light the place up like a landing strip. That being the only electricity in at least 5 miles, millions and millions of termites descended on the windows and floodlights. The whole village turned out and people were collecting buckets, bags, and baskets full of termites, all the while talking and laughing with neighbors and enjoying handfuls of the termites raw, wings and all. I tried a few raw and probably won't do that again, but the ones I took home and lightly sauteed with some onions were actually quite good!

After pondering raising bugs for myself I found a good TEDx talk on Entomophagy (TEDx Talk) and was delighted to know that I wasn't alone in my interest. There are many new insect farming efforts going on all over the world, to fill the void between demand and wild-harvested. The feed conversion rates for insects are outstanding, and for every 10 pounds of feed we can get 9 pounds of a foodstuff high in protein, vitamins and minerals!

I plan on starting a small mealworm farm in the next few weeks. I am not worried about profits at this point, just fascination and education, but why shouldn't there be grasshopper or mealworm appetizers on happy hour menus across the country!? I might see if I can at least regain my costs through local sales to reptile owners and whatnot, and maybe try to drum up some human interest while manning farmer's market booths this season.

Thanks in advance for your input!
6 years ago