Quit Your Job and Farm – PART 1 – 10 Small Farm Ideas, from Organic Farming to Chickens & Goats.



he's worse each day you wanna hear some good news get yourself to church and pray what is your income and he chooses what the share it is maybe you burn your nuts Phoebe hi I'm Tarrin P Lupo and I'm a gardener well sort of I live in Savannah Georgia and currently we're getting close to October you can even hear the cicadas still if you listen we're in cicada season I've had my successes just look at this time as a plant that I cloned these were actually pretty tough to find here in Savannah we finally located them in an Asian market once I got the roots growing well in water I transplanted them and put them into my wood chip garden I've also had my failures to this poor avocado tree was only one day from retirement this poor avocado tree and never even learned to read an unexpected phenomenon has been occurring in this country over the last 50 years people of all kinds of unrelated professions have dropped out of their jobs and decided to become farmers most of these adventurous folks have no prior experience in farming they just got to a point where they said screw this job I'm gonna become a farmer over the last 50 years many small independent family farms have either been bought up bankrupted or been legislated out of business most the food today is produced and owned by massive corporations so with all the cards stacked against the little guys how are some of these micro farms surviving and even thriving in this hostile environment I say we go find a couple and find out what their secret is many new farmers start with just chickens so I decided to talk to my own local chicken lady Suzanna Bailey breeds chickens and sells them to other farmers who want to bulk up or start their own flocks her husband Mike and her have a reputation in the community for producing some of Savannah's finest fowl people make long drives from multiple states just to get their hands on her rare breeds most folks are surprised to find out she's not a full-time farmer well I'm actually a chemist but I do this because I love the animals so much and I don't like to be bored so when I get home I work with animals I asked her to give me a tour of her most popular breed these are the miron's this variety is called a splash Mehran the hems are the rooster is what's called a blue copper Mehran and the reason I have a rooster in here is I have order for hatching eggs and a bloomer on rooster over splash hens will produce 50 50 % splash – blew morons these eggs are so prized that they go for about $35 a dozen in the right season are these are morons they originated in France and they lay egg just about every single day and their eggs are very very dark round so I have a lot of customers that prefer the dark brown layers through trial-and-error she's become quite good at hatching all kinds of poultry this is the brooder house it's just a little handy house that I used to put my incubators and hatches in the chicks once they hatch and leave the Hatcher I keep them in the little tubs with heat lamps until they're about three weeks old I do that until they're old enough to go outside and the outside pens and those also have heat lamps you have to keep chicks at 95 degrees the first week and 5 degrees less each week until they're fully feathered once they get to within four days of hatching they go in the hatch and tray here and these are actual turkey eggs have hatched the last ones that hatched they hatch in this tray in the bottom of the hatch are there and once they're all out and dry and walking around and everybody's done and the hatch or tray comes out and the chicks get to go in the little tubs well the heat lamps on them with water and food one of the hardest parts of breeding chickens is just keeping them safe susana has found a way to keep a peaceful truce with a local den of foxes like sacrificing a virgin to appease a dragon she calls her sick Birds once a week and offers them up as tribute instead of burning the carcasses she throws them in front of the fox's den in the woods this is reduced attrition dramatically but she still has a second line of defense for other predators this is Holmes he's a miniature mule he's four years old he's not nice he's just his whole purpose in life is to keep Fox and coyotes out of this pen and he does a very good job we pit him in his little Corral in the afternoons whenever I have to feed the chickens because you don't want to be out here with him because he's he's not a really nice mule I mean it's kind of a jerk he's pretty much an ass so what would you do over if you could start from the beginning again I would not have as many chickens I went way overboard and had way too many had to build more pens there built the house so that's good but in the future I will only be hatching a limited amount of birds that's that people are warning instead of so many so what kind of advice would you give to someone who's just starting out that doesn't know anything about chickens I would suggest finding someone who has chickens that can help you because books and the internet are great but first-hand experience is wonderful and if you can get a mentor to help you that's the best way to go of course most people starting out don't want to invest the money setting up a chicken farm this size before they even know if they like it a good place to start is your own backyard a shell pageant in Scott Morgan live in Midtown Savannah they invited me over to check out their coop they built in their own backyard they keep it small and simple to handle but living in the city has a very different set of complications well I know in some places in the country there are legal problems that people have to legal hurdles people have to jump over to be able to have chickens but here it's their pets it's perfectly legal for us to have up to five Birds we can't have a rooster though because we're too close to the neighbors and I guess that's our biggest problem with raising chickens in the city is space I mean we just have a little yard and chickens require a lot of grazing space so if we're out in the country they'd be able to roam more and we'd be able to have a rooster to protect them but as it is we've just got our little setup here so what advice would you give to someone who just wants to set up chickens for the first time in their backyard I would not underestimate the existence and tenacity of the Predators that exist in your area learn about what eats chickens and what's around because we had no idea how many possums racoons hawks etc we're gonna come around even cats we're pawing underneath the coop and unloosed one of the wooden planks and ate one of the chicks before we had time to stop it so you just never know what is hungry for a chick or chicken so learn about how you can keep them safe so Michelle tell me how do you keep your chickens safe well that's probably the most important thing that we've had to deal with because it turns out everything heats chickens we keep them enclosed in the pen at night we close them up in a coop so raccoons and opossums don't get them during the day Hawks are a problem and we've strung fishing line in sort of a web over ahead to keep the Hawks from coming down into the pen to get them but that's help yes it did we haven't had any hawk attack since we strung up the fishing line so that's good news but we'll see it's like an arms race every time you fix a problem the Predators find a way through it or the chickens find a way out of it so it's um it's like a game Scott share some advice on how to make a low-cost pen for the first time well there are a lot of potential designs there's no need to reinvent the wheel unless you want to I mean you can get online and and there's all kinds of designs from having no money to wanting to spend $500 on a fence and a coop but we bought our coop for 200 and we originally just have this chicken wire here and some of these wooden planks but then they were getting under the wire and so then we did the pallets now they're getting over the wire we've got one or two that are actually still able to fly even though we've clipped their wings so we're gonna actually raise it up with more chicken wire just a little bit higher and hopefully that'll quell them the show goes on to tell us what breed she recommends for beginners there is a website I think it's um my backyard chicken calm or backyard chickens calm or something they'll go through the whole breeds and they'll tell you which breeds are aggressive and which breeds are friendly and which breeds lay eggs better this is Goldie and she is a Wheaton Americana which is a breed of chicken that lays blue eggs so we're very excited about her and this breed it tends to be very calm very docile there are others that are a little more aggressive some of ours are just not friendly at all but as you can see Goldie's a sweet girl so I would say do your research if you want a friendly chicken you can get them that you can pet and dress up and paint their nails raising chickens inside a city sometimes has some unintended side effects failed farmers tend to dump their chickens in the government parks here in Savannah people have been dumping their birds for about three years now here in death and park it didn't take long for these feral fowl to take full advantage of their new environment what I found fascinating was just how fast these chickens went from domesticated birds back to their wild ways just a few generations these chickens could protect themselves and even flourished the wild chickens have done well fitting in with the community they contribute by keeping the bug population down eating the scrub and even fertilizing part of the yard but mostly it's entertainment value people just really enjoy seeing chickens when they go out for their walk and they become much loved in the community I'm even told that some reasons need very little care and take care of themselves chickens like jungle fowl and bantams will actually fly up to trees at night and protect themselves seeing these wild chickens survive here shows you just how tough they really are but don't be fooled most breeze will do very poorly if you leave them on their own so you feel you got chickens down and you're feeling more adventurous well the next step for most people are goats Wendy and Richard Cowart run a small goat farm called boot Lake farm they mainly focus on goat milk and cheeses well we decided to go with goats initially because we wanted pets just to have goats around the house and then we decided that if they were going to stay with us that they had to be able to provide something back to us and we didn't really want meat goats so we decided to do dairy goats and enjoy the milk the true that goes through a lot of damage around your farm they will eat all the bushes and shrubs that you have because they're more browsers like deer they're not really grazers although they will graze they prefer the trees and the bushes and so if you need land clearing they're awesome for that what kind of advice would you give to someone who's thinking about raising goats has never done it before you have to have plenty of plenty of space for them they don't they don't like to be very confined although they do okay and confinement they're more prone to diseases and and other problems in a smaller area and if you're not set up or ready to have small baby goats you do not need to get a buck so what are some of the problems with having Bucks bucks typically we'll go through a rut season which is their mating season or their breeding season and it lasts anywhere from August to say March and they stink very very badly they will pee on themselves and the girls think it smells wonderful but it really really really stinks one last piece of advice from Wendy was make sure that you get more than one goat goats are hurting animals and if you only get one they'll make your life miserable as well as they'll be sad now that you know a little more about goats perhaps you'd like to try your hand at cattle welcome to Hunter Cattle Company the farm is located in Brooklyn Oranje about 40 minutes outside of Savannah it sits on over 300 acres of reclaimed Georgia swamp land that was once an Indian village hunter cattle is a fully functional and self-contained small farm they raise pigs chickens turkeys and of course cattle they mainly focus on raising two breeds Black Angus and black baldies the owners have rapidly grown over the last 10 years with no signs of slowing down they have four full-time employees and a very large part-time staff the Ferguson's recently have become large enough to even construct their own on-site processing facility now the family can keep that money that they were outsourcing to a slaughterhouse this is especially impressive since their former profession was not farming well we've always had a family business I worked with my dad and then my son and daughter started working with men my wife and you know we did some construction work and when we when they became you know families of their own with children we all wanted to get out on a farm and raise our own food don't explain to me why he decided to start with cattle well I love cows hanging out with them in the pastures and just a you know on a quiet afternoon to hear them chewing the cud and just be out there in the middle level it's wonderful and people might say well how can you end up having a cow on the plate but that's all part of the you know how it goes one of the things the family does really well is community outreach most people in Savannah and the surrounding areas know exactly who they are and what they do they even put on a farm Heritage Day and invite everyone to come instead of competing with their neighbors they instead invite them to show off their farms to I think probably the best way is to open up the farm for people to come see and once twice a year we have a day that we just tell all our neighbors and friends and customers had come out and see what we got going on just want to promote our hunter cattle company we want to promote all the farmers that that are doing their best to survive and at the same time provide food for the plates and we invite all our farmer neighbors out here also and just give people an education of what it takes to to eat the family also does community outreach by helping out some of the local humane societies well they'll call us up and they'll say they've got a cat or two that needs a home and they're always happy to bring it out because they that this is a wonderful place of course the cats are also functional you know if a cat can chase down a rat that's the best pest control we got some of the some of the cats here end up having kittens and you know you can have people come out through the farm and see dozens of animals and still will sit there and pet the cat you know so people love the kittens Cattle Company is a working family farm every family member has a job and they're expected to pull their own weight they also cut loose and have lots of fun as a family too but having young children present some unique problems at harvest time you know I just think it's a part of our life it's just a way of life um I had somebody the other day asked how do you teach her seven-year-old to axe down and cut down a tree and I thought to myself it's nothing we taught him that's just what he's been doing his whole life and I think so as far as farming this is all they know and they know that we raise our own meats to eat and for us we would rather raise them and know what we're putting in our bodies and they're they're treated right and eat them then just eat something that we had no clue about Kristen goes on to share about some of her experiences with having children working with her on the farm it is an adventure and I think they think it's such an adventure every morning they want to get through their home school works superfast just so they can get down to the barn and start working which i think is really amazing now when they're teenagers I'm not quite sure if they're gonna think all this farm work is as amazing so you know what some of them might want to stay on the farm and keep farming and some might want to do something different and that's totally fun Deborah Ferguson was quickly hit with reality about owning a farm well I didn't realize that when we bought the farm we really bought the farm and that it was a whole new lifestyle it was no more vacations no more trips to town which because you're you've got a thousand mouths to feed and no more good night sleeps because you're worried something might get out or something might be sick so this whole new ball game never found out that simple things like taking a vacation were a huge ordeal well before we bought the farm we we would go to missions a couple of times a year and vacation now is pretty much impossible for the whole family to go anywhere together we have to leave somebody here to look after things we do have good health but it's still not the same as having your family member here to take care of business there's son Anthony share the warning about cattle well one of the biggest things is you're really gonna need to love it in order to be able to do it because if you don't love it you're gonna be giving up a good steady paycheck for a bunch of nothing for a while so so if you plan on doing cattle you better love it he also shares some advice on how some new farmers can avoid making expensive mistakes starting out well one of the bigger is a ledger fence along the highway you you know during the middle of a storm if power goes out you always have to worry about the cows running out into the road another thing is you really got to watch and manage your money very well and then make sure also that when you're breeding cows have a low birth weight bull a low birth weight bull means a lot you want to make sure you throw a lower birth weight on your calf when we first got into it we bought some bread cows that were bred to a high birth weight bull and the calves came out anywhere between 100 and 140 pounds and we ended up having to pull a lot of calves that year but you want to try to stick between somewhere between 60 and 80 for most of your cows especially for when when you have a heifer that's never had a calf so that that really will help out their son Hunter spent most of his life on this farm and now is struggling if he wants to leave well it's a blessing to grow up on a farm it's something that not of a lot of people get to experience since I was 11 I've been here you know the Lord is truly blessed it I have been praying whether it's his will to leave or to stay and waiting for an answer and as soon as I know we'll go from there but for right now this is where I met hunter cattle also monetizes its company by offering overnight stays at the farm perhaps you're not ready for a livestock a lot of new farmers start out just growing vegetables Kevin and Melissa brown run Kachina farms located in Rankin Georgia they mainly focus on growing high quality organic vegetables for high-end restaurants in Savannah Melissa so give me an idea of what you did before as a career and why decide to go in Department I was in the medical field I was working at st. Joseph's Chandler and my husband due to health issues was laid off and we did this on a small scale just to give him something to do just to kind of you know passed the time and we did not realize that there was no organic Burke farm in the area certified organic so we ventured out to a couple of people to see if it would benefit or profit and kind of find out word of mouth we started getting customers and restaurants calling every day melissa explains what hoops and regulations you have to jump through to become certified organic it's not a whole lot of Hoops I'm just call the Georgia Department of Ag and they can get you it set up with an inspector they can give you the rules and regulations that they require if your farms never been tilled or never been farmed then it's not hard if it has then you have to wait three years to be certified even in Georgia if you want to grow year-round you're gonna need a greenhouse Kevin gives some tips on how to build one clean commercially bought greenhouses are extremely expensive for small scale and even medium scale farms you can probably build your own greenhouse using treated wood driven into the ground and fits railing which is I did here in this greenhouse we did it for a fraction of the cost the large greenhouses come four to five thousand dollars this one had we not used if we bought it all new wood maybe twelve hundred at the most the only thing to do not skimp on ever is the plastic the plastic is a is a greenhouse grade the stuff you buy at Lowe's will however will degrade in one year and break this'll last four to seven years one of the more interesting things the farm does is actually grow their own worms all of our cuttings and waste paper waste called peppers and plants that we can't sell or use are put in our worm bins and the worms will break down all of this material it takes about three weeks to go from what's first applied to usable worm castings this is about a week out for two weeks out excuse me they've already broken down the newspaper and a lot of the material there's thousands of worms in this bed but this black material you see on top that's the worm castings already developing but again it started from this down here alright the the sandy loam we have down here and the southeast is difficult to grow in because it's mostly sand and won't hold nutrients so one castings are one of the best ways to add organic matter to that sand once you combine it it becomes a great medium for raised beds or to even apply to you know a growing medium and we use a shaker that we made out of wood and screen wire and we use it to separate the the worms from the castings and once we shake it out all the castings drop to the bottom and then we have a product we can use in the nursery if you want to make maximum profits you have to get good at growing seedlings Kevin share some advice though worm castings are combined with peat moss and with the peat moss and the castings together it creates our growing medium and we take the growing medium and put it in these Dixie Cups of which we drill a small hole in the bottom for drainage and we'll fill hundreds of these up and put our seeds in it and like for this cilantro it was about two weeks and we've got plants two of the main products that we can use is organic growers especially for bugs and fungus fungicide is a neem oil it's used by most of the organic growers it's a neem oil comes from the neem tree and it's a it's applied using water as its carrier and the great thing about it is that it once coated on a plant it produces a covering that is very bad tasting to most insects and it's a fungicide to prevent tapping off or any other fungus disease on the plan the other one is a distill estranges bTW and that is a warm killer which we get cut worms and web worms and that's probably our second biggest problem and this is it one of the only available products we have that we use melissa shares some marketing advice we're new farmers starting out I would first go and meet farmers that are in your area find out what they are selling what they are not selling I would also go to chefs that are in your area look at food co-ops look at what their need is see look at what they've got too much of and what they're really in need of in that way maybe you can have a niche in the market that nobody else has to find out more about growing herbs and exotic vegetables I went to see my friend at Ogeechee River Gardens my name is Michelle poke rant my farm is ODT river gardens and it's located in Richmond Hill Georgia Michele is actually a professional gambler she uses the money she earns from farming to bankroll her buy-ins she mainly sells her vegetables at the local farmers market she focuses on some unique vegetables and flowers to supplement her income the bitter melons been a really good niche market it sells mostly to the Asian community Hawaiian Polynesian Indian there's lots of different names for it it's a very bitter fruit beautiful fruit it's in the gourd family and it is so easy to grow you just gotta knock the stink bugs stink bugs off occasionally Michelle also gives some advice on how to self pollinate your vegetables that grow in a greenhouse take the electric toothbrush you put it on the stand these vibrate little flowers to get them to pollen to not back in there tomatoes are self pollinating they do not need a flower of another tomato so you just can do it yourself when the bees are less active and you're growing in a high tunnel to get them and to create a tomato Michelle shares some advice on using high beds and grow bags to make your life easier and save some money may these beds because I'm getting older and I don't feel like bending down in the dirt so I can be at this height harvest plant and also I can fit more in a bed than I can in rows in the garden because I don't have to have walking rows in my raised beds and plus I have better drainage I have better control it seems like I have better control of the insects and it's just 100 percent easier for me than being in the ground on the bottom the first bottom two boards of the boxes I've got just top soil in there and the top say 1012 inches is an engineered soil then I get from a soil scientists that it's just wonderful supercharge soil and there I am able to ensure that my plants are going to grow wonderfully because the soil is so well drained and so well put together so what are you used to fertilize I use anything that has to do with the sea such as fish emulsion seaweed kelp crushed up lobster and crab shells I just think that the minerals from the sea does a really great job on the fertilization the bags are grow bags they're very inexpensive fill them up with the good soil plan out whatever plants I want to grow in the spring I do tomatoes here I'm doing a bunch of fresh herbs parsley sorrel dandelion tatsoi Mizuno's and I have a drip system going on in here there's a drip tape we call it if you can see this drip tape and every 18 inches it has a hole and it automatically waters every morning so I don't have to the ground cover we're using as a polypropylene fabric that just helps control weeds in the agricultural industry and it's a lifesaver for me because I don't make money pulling weeds it's much more profitable to start your plants out from seeds Michele shows us how she does hers I start out with seeds in plug trays and then from the plug trays I move them up into a four inch pot and once they're rooted into a four inch pot I take him out into the garden beds and plant them out for the season and grow them out that way Michele shares one last piece of advice for new farmers a way to make good money by keeping it simple go cut flowers is very highly profitable and so easy to grow there's so many beautiful zinnia seeds now that are geared for farmer market farmers people growing sunflowers and zinnias beautiful cut flowers long lasting and they sell out first thing at the market buy if you start at 9:00 by 10:30 11:00 you'll be sold out perhaps you don't want to really grow anything maybe you just want to tap existing trees check out this maple sugar farm in upstate New York my name is Gary Walsh leghul I grew up on a grape farm dairy farm I went to work at a large company for 30-some years and then I lost my job and I started looking into the maple business all right in the springtime early spring we tapped the trees we've put a spot on the line put it in the tree and this when the SAP starts dripping then we turn on the vacuum the vacuum sucks it out of the tree and then it runs by gravity down to the pump house pump house sends it back up to the evaporator and in the sugar house when the when we start getting sat down to the pump house we go and pump it up here to the sugar house the sugar house we collect it in a large tank then we run it through the reverse osmosis which takes away eighty percent of the water and then we concentrate that down to about twelve percent sugar we plugged it in a concentrate tank and then when the concentrate tank gets full then we turn on the evaporator and we start concentrating it even farther until we get up to about sixty six bricks and then we filter it and put it in barrels I asked Gary just how much final product do you get per tree the answer was surprising a third to a half a gallon depending on the season could be even a quarter of a gallon of syrup finished syrup so on a good year maybe a half gallon gary explains what are the favorable conditions that make a tree flow better cold nights and warm days so if we could get into the mid 20s at night and then go up into the high or mid or low 40s would be great how long does that season last six six weeks on average about 30 days they figure of actual running though this maple plaque shows what tap whole maple is or what when you tap holes in a maple tree how it configures the wood and kind of stains it you can see all where the tap holes are you can see the streams of coloration that it runs through the wood and stuff yes my advice for getting into any sort of work is to do your background we went to a lot of seminars got educated on the whole maple process and then also on the maple end well building your sugar house getting all your setups done get a person with a lot of advice a lot of knowledge and go from there Ernest and Donna Hancock run a radio show together in Phoenix Arizona they also have a new service called freedom's Phoenix comm in their yard they have chickens and they're growing their own vegetables their main focus right now is their aquaponics system they made a completely self sustainable aquaponic system which runs on solar generators their idea was that they could pack up their system at any time and be able to put it anywhere and get their own food power and clean water the fish that we chose that tilapia was because they're a Nile fish they have you know low oxygen it's a lot of heat it's just like Phoenix so Egypt Cairo is Phoenix so these fish come from the same kind of environment that they'll be in here you know the main thing that we had this water features here when we first moved here and we wanted to make use of it and so what we did is we just have a sump pump that pumps it into that top pipe that feeds the aqua dome and then it returns here well we also have the waterfall area that we can use we're going to be doing plants up here now it's just a sump pump but there's another method called an air lift that we're using over there through you create a pocket of air bubble like just a little area ters for fish aquariums and that air bubble lifts the water up and it uses only about 15 to 20 percent of the energy so we're probably going to go to that but we needed to condition the water over months to do our bacterial experiment because what happens it's the ammonia created by the fish that goes into the beds and the bacteria breaks down one I think it's nitrites first then another bacteria breaks it down into nitrates that feed the plants and then it cleans the water and then it comes back into the fish creating a loop that sustains everybody when the water comes in from the pond it goes into a tank at the bottom here that another pump goes up and supplies each one of these three main grow beds now these plants we had for months the water had been doing its thing with the ammonia from the fish and from the bacteria in here so when we planted these plants a week ago they were half this size they went stupid right away so what happened is we learned that we can do a lot more plants were afraid that we don't have enough plants to clean the water for the fish so word you know keep adding on more plant we have like 200 and something plant places that you know holder's for the plants so we're just getting we're about a third there now the water pumps up into these beds and then they have what's called a bell siphon a bell siphon when the water you want it to circulate it goes up into the tank then it siphons and drains all the way down fills up down about every 15 minutes and you'll have to look up bell siphon you had to see how it works it's hard to explain without me showing you but bell siphon on u-tube you see that is cool they the Egyptian that thought that up gets a gold star because that one was I can see where that could be a benefit for a lot of things I wish I'd been taught that in school when I was a kid you know I gotta use it a bunch of times now this main one here when it fills up and drains it goes into the floating beds then when the floating beds are you know over full they go back into this and this tank when it gets too high it goes back to the pond now there's another tank over here we'll show later but this is the main system the water comes in from the pond it's distributed throughout the grow beds and the float tanks then it goes back to the pond for recharge that's it when we first planned on doing this we went to a prepper fest event that we had our money dome up and we were there and I got to meet a lot of people and one of the guys there had a thing called the hope system and it's h2o PE and it stands for water purification and energy so he had a a water store in Las Vegas and he created this himself and he has all kinds of different sizes hope systems you just go look that up online man it is awesome they've got little suitcase ones big ones little ones this you can put up to three large marine lead-acid batteries in there you can get lithium ion you can do all kinds of stuff whatever battery you want but what it does is it has quick connects on here you just connect to connect it you just go BAM and it's done you know it is amazing how fast and easy this works and I'll show you the to come think that we're doing and how we're going to be using that to have powered water I need pressurized water because I want to do everything out here I'll rinse my plants off I'll get prepare them heat them got a table everything but I needed pressurized water now this purifies water also I can throw that hose into a swamp and it goes through as reverse osmosis it has an ultraviolet it has a carbon filter and does alkaline I mean it's amazing what it does but it also pumps water we could do irrigation we could do filtration front we do showers with it we go up to you know the Jackalope Freedom Festival we use this for power nerve based phones and everything and power the showers okay well what happens is this is mobile it just has a handle that pulls out and it's got wheels and you just go so what we used it for four months in the summer this powered the entire dome the problem was is that they roll out solar panels that we had as the Sun went down in the winter time I didn't have a place to put them you know that it was getting enough Sun so we may hang them off the dome itself so that's what we're probably going to do so we unplugged it because we need to hook up the plumbing into the sink system and do it but I ran this for months when there was no Sun and there was a weather system and for like three or four days the power of the batteries was able to run this entire system the entire time so the reason for the hope system is if I take the domes down put it on a trailer this entire system can fit on my little trailer along with this power system and I show up somewhere I got food I got purified water I got pressurized water I got power I'm freaking who wants me in there bug out you know that's why the whole purpose of this was to be able to be self-sustaining now that was kind of the point I wanted my grandchildren to eat well to have you don't know how frugal they help me every Monday they come over and we spend at least an hour working on the dome you know the Aqua dome we're gonna go work on the dome so they understand see they think this is normal so they're just my one of my sons just bought a home in the backyard they have an area they're putting in the aqua dome so I mean I'm sorry that the grow beds is one day aquaponics now the table here this is just a 4×8 sheet of plywood that we put in and it's supported by the same condo EMT that we're using for the dome that supports this and this thing is strong well we put the hope system in to power I rinse out all my vegetables I get them all prepped heck I'm gonna I got the power I'm gonna do my juicing right freakin here but the reason we did it this way is a camera goes right there and it hooks into my radio television show so we can come out here during the four minute breaks and the eight minute breaks between the hours and we can do all the formative by the end of the show of the three hour show that we do I'm done with my farming for the day and I don't have to do additional video work it's part of the show I have a wireless mic they video feeds into my switcher and I'm done and we got these verticals because these hard points on the the dome are so strong you can hang from these you know you should get a picture of me hanging from so and we have these strawberries we got this from the idea so me on YouTube that had made these out of strawberries and all this is is PVC drainpipe that you cut every eight inches on both sides and a heat gun and you just press it and form it and then we painted it to make it look oh because gotta be cold so these are part of the 200 plant areas that we have the sink the camera the mic that's all inspiration for everybody to grow food now this whole area thats is on two summers ago was where we had a garden and i spent most of my time weeding it was amazing it grew really fast but there was a lot of maintenance this I hope is not going to be any maintenance and because it's in a circle it's ergonomic it's easy and I don't have to move that much to do a bunch of work but one of the things that we wanted to do the hope system work great but that some pumps use a lot of electricity so we found another way it's called an airlift system it's just air like you use for you know aerating the water for fish and what it does is that pump makes an air bubble at the bottom of this and then we have you know some of these pipes and you know ten foot high pipes that lift the air bubble lifts the water up and it goes into the top tanks and that's how we're going to have the water distributed through the vertical growing and into the tanks and so on is from this airlift pump the reason is it only uses like 15-20 percent of the energy so if we're trying to go off grid or use a solar or something like that you know this was a really cool idea plus it came with another growing system and we put this bird netting on because the birds we started planting I just know they're gonna come so I just wanted to make sure you know but this the water comes in to the top here and it just flows back and forth and we can do a lot of plants here and also start our seedlings and different things and then of course the water drains back into the tank so the airlift that's another thing to look up along with the bell siphon is to look for airlift pump and you'll see how that works and how much less energy it uses and just a another way to grow and operate this without using a whole bunch energy now one of the ways that you can filter just get the big chunks out coming from the fish pond is called a swirl filter now the way we did this one is the water comes in and then it'll fill up and it has a pipe that goes in like this and the drain will come out you know the water will fill up here and then it'll go into this and come into the system and that way we've eliminated a lot of the solids the solids go to the bottom we have fresh water from the top that goes in goes into here it's a really easy way to do it and one of the benefits of this is the solids go into the tank at the bottom and we have a drain off to the side of the tank here that we just open that every now and then flush out all the that real heavy solids and so on and we put that on our favorite plants and trees and such and they get extra I wanted to find out a lot more about aquaponics these systems fascinated me so I tracked down endless food systems in Arizona to find out maybe about getting a home unit hi I'm Chad Hudspeth with endless food systems and I actually grew up on a dairy farm grew a lot of crops there but upon graduating college went to the roofing business and was involved with that heavily for 10 or 12 years and wanted to do something that would you know really change the world I saw these fish power gardens and I thought man this is the solution to world hunger and so started looking into it started growing a couple different kind of ways and discovered that this is so much better than the conventional way that I I grew up gardening you know leaning over and weeding and all that and how much do you water and how much food do you give the plants and this thing is completely automatic so I just thought this has got to be the best so this is our fish tank it's about 300 gallons in a fish powered garden we're really relying on the fish to provide the nutrition or the waste for the plants so it really doesn't matter what kind of fish you use we have to La Pia in here because they handle hot water and in Phoenix gets pretty hot but if you're in a northern climate where it gets cold trout would be good so we have a water pump that pulls the water from the fish tank over into the grow beds and you can plant just about anything you want there's really only a very few plants that don't do well in aquaponics potatoes and carrots are about the only thing this is Swiss chard right here and this will grow for a couple of years you just cut off a stalk as close as you can to the base and it's really good just raw and your salad or you can stir fry it with an onion or something but just about any kind of leafy green or vegetable will grow in these beds so you don't have a lot of room no problem Chad offers these smaller units so the fishtank is where the fish live and their waist is pulled up by water pump into the top these pebbles filter that water and take the waste and convert actually there's red worms in here that convert that over into a nitrate that the plants can absorb for food this is our small tabletop version it's good for maybe one betta fish and for herbs and things like that but it's a decorative model and once again it's completely self-cleaning so you never have to clean your water or the pebbles the tricks to making these work really well is called an auto siphon it's a fairly complex thing but basically there's a up stand here where the water overflows this is called the bell that goes around it and there's a air pocket created at the top when the water begins to overflow it creates a suction called a siphon and then this is just a media guard that goes around the whole thing and keeps the pebbles and anything from getting in there and stopping it up we had several customers asking for an off-grid package a way to power these things without electricity and so this lid is adjustable depending on the angle of the Sun we just mount the solar panel right to the lid there's a charge controller on the side over here and a battery on the ground the battery can also be used as a backup system if you didn't have a solar panel but you were concerned that maybe your power goes off then your pumps would quit it automatically kicks on a 12-volt pump so this is our raft bed it's just a piece of styrofoam the roots of the plants hang down straight into the water these are best for lettuces leafy greens anything that's fast-growing and small so you'd want to grow maybe like tomatoes and Swiss chard things that have a long life in your gravel beds but anything small and fast growing in your raft beds once I discovered these fish powder gardens and how powerful they were that they could feed the world really wanted to manufacture a kit so that people could be self-sustained right at their house because that was the really the powerful thing to me is that a person could take you know a small area maybe by 20 feet right in their backyard or in their garage and grow pretty much all their own food and to me that's just amazing with our large systems people usually grow outside in a greenhouse or something like that you can grow indoors using any kind of lights like a t5 light but it's gonna take quite a bit of electricity so you could use either a solar tube which is like a thing you mount on the roof and it directs the light now or you know grow us out in a greenhouse so what if you don't have a lot of room maybe you live in suburbia well no problem you can plant a surprising amount of fruit trees that will feed you a year-round check out the urban farm my name is Greg Petersen and I live at a place in Phoenix Arizona called the urban farm the urban farm is a third of an acre in north central Phoenix it's 80 feet wide by a hundred and 60 feet deep and one of my favorite things to do on them is grow fruit trees this is an apple tree hedge and this is one of the ways that I plant fruit trees is in hedges rather than individual trees and so these are this is an apple tree hedgerow right here there's eight apple trees in 30 feet I've got them about three feet apart and the interesting thing about this part of it this is my front yard but it's actually the neighbor's front yard too so this is our fence between the two yards right here and I'm standing in his yard right now don't tell him so it's February in Phoenix Arizona and the trees a lot of the trees are still dormant and this is your grapevines love grapes grapes do great I use them you can see I use them as a hedge and this is again a fence between the neighbor's house in my house and come back in four months and what you'll see is this nice dense green hedge full of grapes so this is the front yard at the urban farm and one of the distinguishing features all the way around the front of the urban farm are the fruit trees I've got apple trees and a hedge I've got citrus trees all the way across the front and down the north side of the property and then sprinkled throughout our different kinds of peaches and apples and this my favorite thing about fruit trees and urban farming is that you plant them once and it makes food for decades so this is the north side of the property at the urban farm and you can see a nice hedgerow of citrus this is great for keeping the privacy in and the neighbors out when you want to keep them out and I've got several different kinds of citrus growing here I've got something called a mandarin quat this is the kind you eat the skin and the inside the skin sweet the insides really tart got our navel oranges plus there we go lemons growing fruit trees in an urban area is significantly different than growing fruit trees in a rural area the big thing with urban fruit trees you want to keep them small this peach tree and behind me it's getting a little bit tall because the fruit trees the fruit at the top of this tree is gonna be more mostly bird food so we actually want to keep the trees about this size and during the year I give classes on urban orchard ink that's what we call it and a big part of what I teach is how to keep your trees small the perfect side fruit tree is about 6 7 feet tall and about 6 feet wide that way you can walk up to it harvest the fruit right off of the tree the other great thing about keeping the trees small is you can plant different kinds of peaches say and so here on the urban farm I have peaches that ripen a variety of peaches that ripens in May to that ripen in June and to that ripen in July so essentially what I've done is I've created this schedule of peach tree ripening so that I have peaches from May until August I hope you learned something from this fun ride just remember to get out and try any kind of farming there's no excuse to stay in a job that you really don't want to be in when there's so many options on how to grow your own food just get out there and farm this terror loop oh and thanks for joining me I want to thank all the great people who donated to help make this documentary a reality thanks so much you can find out more information at loophole ink.com that's w WL u pol i NK calm thank you you

23 thoughts on “Quit Your Job and Farm – PART 1 – 10 Small Farm Ideas, from Organic Farming to Chickens & Goats.

  1. Shame!
    Sell your Wife rather than killing innocent creatures!
    Beware of Karma, You will be born as whom you do kill for thousands of life time,REAP WHAT YOU SOW?

  2. I kept chickens for the first time last year in my garage and 9 of them survived out of 12, 3 died in the first week due to health problems, and we sold them and people said that they were the best chicken they ever had. So you do not need a lot of space, just take them outside everyday

  3. I live in Tanzania and wish to export coffee, piga, fish, cow feed. Can you find a contact for potential buyers there.

  4. 29:43 "michelle is actually a professional gambler…" I had to back up and make sure I heard right.
    ?I didnt know someone could be that!?

  5. I want to have my own farm,so sad the food,water,our products and medicine.. mostly poison unless you buy organic and grow your own..this is what they want,dumb us down,keep us sick..?need to move to community that has organic farms

  6. When I was a child there was a small plot of land in the suburbs that someone would have some cows every now and then. We would drive by going to the store.

  7. I was working for a nursery school many years ago, we went to visit a lady who had a few chickens and a lot of goats. This was in the 80s.

  8. awesome, hats off. and Thankyou.
    u make me thinking.

    just think where we are going. there is a big change in our lifestyle and opinion on entrepreneurs because the entrepreneurs are initiators to our bright future. encourage entrepreneurs and giving hope to the upcoming generation.

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