We have a lot of projects underway, mostly in the planning stages, but a few are in the resource-gathering phase. We’re building a farm unlike any other agro-business I’ve ever experienced, but still, at its core, a farm. With the weather being what it is, all or nothing for the past little bit, crop farming has been a precarious endeavor. Yes, I am working on gardens, and we will be doing quite a lot of crops, but I’ve decided to not depend on it as the initial endeavor for Project Local’s food production aims.
The first two major items we’ll be focusing on are eggs and goat dairy. I recently raised up over twenty Ameraucana pullets that were just moved to the outdoor coop last week, and about two months ago, we added seven new goats to the herd, five of which are high quality Nubian breed milkers, which have (as far as I can tell) been bred successfully. Meaning in a matter of months, we’ll be basically covered up in milk and eggs and bleating little baby goats that sound exactly like the wrong answer on a game-show.
I’m looking for people who are interested in participating in these processes in whatever capacity they can manage.
We need milkers, bottle feeders, egg collector and cleaners, and general help repairing barn structures, and building a brand spanking new chicken coop from the ground up. I’ve been doing farm and labor work for a good while now, and I can assure you, no one who helps will walk away empty handed. Each work opportunity will be handled on an individual basis, consistent with the needs and offerings of whomsoever is doing the helping.
I’ve done the paperwork, we’re a certified public charity, so monetary and asset contributions will receive a receipt, and will be counted as a donation to a certified 501(c)(3), and qualify for tax deduction. Money is always helpful, but items and equipment are just as good, here’s a list of what we need ASAP:
Building materials: Nails, screws, hinges, etc.
Bags of concrete
Electric Fencing Materials: wire, insulators, grounding rods, etc
Tractor attachments (if you can find or have them) mostly for an IH Farmall Cub tractor, primarily a Box/Scrape Blade
Wood Splitting Tools: Wedges, Axes, Mauls.
Also, time and labor is always needed, and will be paid in produce, eggs, milk, as well as wages.
I’m happy to teach anyone interested how to milk dairy goats, how to take care of laying hens, how to build simple lean to shelters, run farm equipment, and till and plant gardens.
For the past decade, I’ve been doing about a thousand things at once that all seem separate and unrelated, and I can guarantee you, they are not. If you’re an artist, an office worker, retailer, factory worker, landscaper, teacher, student, the ways are almost infinite and innumerable how the skills and talents and patience and strength developed on a farm will overlap with the rest of your life.
The purpose of Project Local is not contained purely within food production, but in the experience of working with the land, growing a vocational base of experience and skills, to proliferate back out into the, for lack of a better word, secular world. We start where we are, and project outward, like a vine, always knowing at any time we can return to that radical, that base, of what all it takes to wrest a life nourishing resource from the land.
I guess you could say Project Local is an insurance provider of sorts. The parachute of food production is worthless if you don’t know how, and when, and where to pull the cord. That’s why I started Project Local, that’s why I am building my farm as a non profit. The aim is education, and there is only pass, no fail.
The greatest mistake you make on a farm will still end up feeding the chickens.
Let me know if you’re interested, we’ll work out a time for you to tour the farm, and we’ll go ahead and start building a team so that when the milk and eggs all hit in a few months, we’re ready.
Could be old, or broken, or brand new and ready to use. I’m putting together backpacking kits that could essentially keep someone alive for a week in the woods to give away. Someone who receives one could store it in the trunk of their car, or garage, or put it to use right away and try out hiking and camping without having to fully commit financially. I really believe true charity is universal, poor, rich, taking it one day at a time, no matter who you are or what you do, having this sort of equipment packed conveniently and expeditiously is equally valuable.
I always say the difference between a hike and just being lost in the woods is what you take with you.
I’ve already received several external frame backpacks, Boy Scouts cookware and canteens, sleeping bags and sleep pads, Sterno stoves, etc. Reusable water bottles and backpacks in all shapes and sizes are super important. Thanks to everyone who has given already, and if you have some gear lying around, or a question about how else you can help with this project, just drop me a line! firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Local Inc, or PLI, is a non-profit I started a couple years ago to help create opportunities for people to spend time in nature as productively as possible, gain vocational skills and knowledge, and learn about farming and food production.
I’ve started with a large property in western piedmont North Carolina, and am working every day to increase harvest while sustainably managing the land, as well as creating an outdoor wedding and event venue from the ground up, literally. We keep dairy goats and hens for eggs, and are currently expanding the pasture to accommodate more animals.
The near hope is to have volunteer and even paid work opportunities to offer in the community, and eventually housing and steady employment for those coming in from out of town.
I fervently believe that labor, farming, working with your hands and working with the land offsets the frustrations and typical high anxiety experienced by creative individuals, certainly not limited to these, but artists, educators, academics and office workers, church leaders, administrators, etc. Project Local seeks to supplement, or provide outright, a vocational and pastoral form of secondary education.
We rebuild farms, repair worn houses, apprentice to small businesses, establish sustainable islands of agriculture and housing, while providing a steady stream of bright eyed, cognizant, eager students ready to learn and ply their artistic and intellectual talent in the new old environment. The penultimate goal is balance.
Food, water and shelter are too essential to be products. No matter where you work, or how far you go in life, or how much money you earn, you’ll never be so rich that you won’t eventually grow hungry or thirsty again, or need a dry place to sleep safe at night.
Project Local is about building a food system in our yards, across our neighborhoods and in public spaces, one that is also tied to housing, and the arts, and performance opportunities and just plain old job opportunities and resume building. Farming and labor and nature are incredible connecting agents. I don’t know what it is exactly, maybe the mutual suffering inherent in them. They have connected me to many people I may have otherwise had no hope of relating with.
But wouldn’t you know, we had chickens in common.