Trading our tractors for Horses
Trading our tractors for Horses
We're switching from oil dependence to horse-power for our grass fed meat operation and teaching others how too.
We're switching from oil dependence to horse-power for our grass fed meat operation and teaching others how too. Read more
About this project
If zombies destroyed civilization would you be able to take care of yourself? I'm not talking about bunkers or guns. I'm talking the basics. Do you know how to grow your own food? Raise chickens? Milk a goat? Do you know how to make soap? How to sew? How to harness up a horse and plow a field? It isn't as easy as you think. Our goal at Flip Flop Ranch is to produce healthy and sustainable food while teaching others how to be self-sufficient.
Flip Flop Ranch is a small farming operation that raises old-fashioned heritage breeds of livestock. Recently we have acquired an additional 100-acres here in Southern California. We now have the land to grow and expand the availability of our wholesome poultry, eggs and meats and to give our cows, sheep, pigs and chickens the opportunity to eat grass the way nature intended!
But here's the twist. Instead of using earth-polluting and expensive tractors to operate our farm, we are going to trade out our tractors and use sustainable, beautiful and significantly cheaper draft horses.
We are doing our part with a lot of love to bring real food to your table. Food you would feel good about feeding to your family...food that heals the earth instead of hurting it. We are asking for a little love from the community to help us realize this dream…
We come from a long line of farmers, but my grandparents left the farm for the city and we had to relearn farming on our own. We started Flip Flop Ranch to not only raise healthy and sustainable food, but also to teach others how to be self-sufficient.
You're sick, the world's sick. Somebody needs to produce healthy food and somebody needs to teach others how as well and that somebody is us.
This project will create one of only a handful of grass-fed meat operations in Southern California. Because this will be a real, working and productive farm, we will use our pastures, livestock and horses for a series of hands-on farming workshops to teach others how to do the same as well as providing many educational opportunities for the public.
The 100 acres we've recently acquired used to grow hay until a few years ago. The last owner let this land go to dirt because he couldn't farm anymore. We want to revive these fields and bring new life to them. We have been successfully raising livestock for years and producing meat for our customers. The addition of 100 acres of pasture and hay production, we can expand our grass-fed meat operation significantly.
Our vision is to create a resurgence of self-sufficiency within the American culture that leads to more stability in the food system and the economy. We’ve started a farm school to help people learn to be self-sufficient. We teach farm skills, animal care, gardening, butchering, soap making, bee keeping, canning and more.
We want to teach people that a simple, self-sufficient and profitable lifestyle is possible by using horses to farm instead of oil dependent tractors.
Let's be honest. Our world isn't doing all that well. Whether you believe in global warming or not, there are enough environmental issues to make your head spin.
Ignoring the dangers of using up all our oil, fuel is one of the biggest costs on a farm and using horses significantly decreases the need to purchase hundreds, if not thousands of gallons of fuel.
"Modern" farming with huge machinery and enormous dependence on non-renewable fuel has only been around for a little over 50 years. It is horse-based farming that is historically the normal way to farm.
Advantages of farming with horses:
- Better for the environment: Less soil compaction, hydrocarbon air pollution, and nitrate groundwater pollution
- Less oil is used because you don't have to fuel up
- The horse "fertilizes" the soil :}
- You have a partner who is intelligent
- Horses build community-who doesn't want to be around horses? But tractors are loud, stinky and dangerous
- Earn extra profit by giving hay rides and such
- Horses make your life happy
For new farmers, horse-drawn farm equipment is also much easier to afford. A used piece of conventional equipment can easily go for $50,000 which would purchase nearly all the equipment a horse farmer needs. INCLUDING THE HORSES!
We have budgeted out the cash requirements that are necessary for switching our farm operations from tractors to horses and have determined that we need about $100,000 to allow us to purchase all the horses and equipment necessary.
However, as you may have noticed, we are asking for only $50,000. That's because 1) we believe we can start without purchasing all the equipment or putting the entire 100 acres into production and 2) we are going to put our own saved up money towards this project too! Yes, that's right. We are totally committed to making this project a reality!
What could be cooler than staying on a real farm and learning all about how to farm and be self-sufficient? Especially with the zombie apocalypse on the way! One of our best rewards is staying at our farmstay. It's like a dude ranch, but instead of silly things like tie-dying t-shirts and volleyball, we're teaching you REAL homesteading skills like milking goats, making cheese, canning, gardening, setting snares, farming with horses and more. These are all skills you're going to need when the world goes to heck in a handbag and zombies have taken over.
We prefer that you stay with us or at least visit! But if that's not possible, we have all sorts of cute, clever and useful rewards for you like yummy goat's milk caramel, a subscription to our grassfed meat CSA or naming one of the horses!
Plus, you've helped out a small family farm. Farmers are a dying breed in this country. A century ago 90% of the population were farmers and today it's less than 1%. Even if you can't prep for yourself, by supporting a farm (especially a teaching farm that tries to get others into farming), you've made food production in America just a little more secure and kept alive an endangered way of life. That is a big reward.
At the end of the day, money isn't everything. The importance of farming has kept us going, and your enthusiasm will keep us going. Follow Flip Flop Ranch on Facebook or Twitter for updates on the campaign and then share them on your own social media. Tell your friends. Talk about the importance of farming. Shout it from your rooftops. Tell a sympathetic billionaire. Be our bullhorns!
Risks and challenges
Farming is always risky. However, our experience with farming is a very big advantage and eliminates many of the costly mistakes newbies make. As well, we have already profitably grown hay, raised livestock and sold meat which makes the chances of this business becoming financially self-sustainable really really darn good.
As for our horse experience, we have had horses for years and years. Combining them with farming is relatively new to us, but we have attended horse farming workshops and are currently working with a farmer mentor who uses horses on his own farm. All of this provides a safety net to ensure the project succeeds.
Of course if zombies show up all bets are off...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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