Ten Acre Organics:
Our mission is to design and build the most sustainable and productive 10-acre farm in the world, as a model that can be replicated on the edges of cities everywhere, to provide the freshest, healthiest, most local, and most sustainable foods possible. Our ten-acre farm model is an integrated, diversified farming and food production system, which includes aquaponics greenhouses, an organic crop field, chicken coops, an apiary, mushroom production facilities, composting facilities, and a commercial kitchen. We will strive to create a zero-waste facility.
Our company grows food using an emerging, innovative technology called aquaponics – a method of raising fish and vegetables together in a symbiotic environment in which fish waste fertilizes plant crops, while the plants purify the water for the fish. The same water recirculates continuously in the system, which makes aquaponics the world’s most water-efficient method of food production.
At Ten Acre Organics, our farm model is designed to be an integrated, diversified food production system that models natural ecosystems. Natural ecosystems are diverse, resilient, and sustainable, they source their inputs locally, and they create zero waste. In contrast to conventional monoculture farming, we prefer to manage polycultures in a way that maximizes biodiversity and takes advantage of the natural symbiotic relationships between the different species of plants and animals being cultivated. Our approach is heavily influenced by the science of agroecology and the philosophy and practice of permaculture. Furthermore, we are passionate about the integration of advanced science and technology with farming in order to maximize productivity and resource-use efficiency and to eliminate unnecessary waste and tedious labor. We believe that this integration of technology with a whole-systems approach to organic agriculture is the most promising way to move forward to create a sustainable and responsible agricultural system for the world in the 21st century.
We are transforming our 1/4-acre lot in East Austin into a highly productive urban micro-farm, as a first step and 'proof-of-concept' on the way toward building our full ten-acre model. Our micro-farm will include two aquaponic greenhouses, a chicken coop, two beehives, fruit trees, indoor mushroom production, 2000 square feet of row crops, and a composting site with worm bins. We plan to sell the food that we grow through a local farmers' market and through a ten-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, comprised of ten friends and neighbors who will receive weekly baskets of our produce.
Risks and challenges
Ten Acre Organics is learning daily ways to improve our design and implementation. Along our journey we have run up against a variety of issues that have tested our problem-solving skill. Each problem to solve has given us the opportunity to test our concept and our ability to overcome setbacks.
In our urban micro-farm the highest potential for challenges come from the aquaponics systems which are complex - they require constantly-functioning electricity, pumps, plumbing, and greenhouse systems, as well as a dynamic balance of nutrients suitable for all of the plants, fish, and bacteria in the system. In the early stages of the project we will devote ample time to monitor and adjust the system to function at an optimal level.
Other significant risks include weather events (e.g. high winds, rapid freeze, torrential storm, heat wave) as well as the risk that we will not achieve our funding goals and will be unable to complete our development objectives in line with our projected timeline.
The most important way to mitigate these risks is through proper planning, and we feel that this is perhaps our greatest strength - we've done our homework, we've learned from the experts, and we've spent hundreds of hours planning and designing every component of our project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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