The power of 'systems' is a foundational element to our farm. It is through constant focus to systems that we can deliver on our goals of sustainagility, self-reliance, and community. This video and blog shows one particular system. In essence here it is:
- Rain water lands on our property and moves across the slope and is captured into swales to redirect water and to hold water for plants (FREE - ZERO INPUT).
- Greywater from laundry is exited from our home and directed to the swales and a specific grow area (FREE - ZERO INPUT).
- Comfrey plants are grown around the greywater and swales to grow without any water from our well (ONE TIME COST - ENORMOUS OUTPUT).
While it is not raining we are always washing our clothes. We use all-natural organic soap nuts/soap berries (I will do a separate post on these in the coming future) and will also look into making our own soaps someday. While this water would normally be sent to the sewer or in our case our septic we can redirect it to be an input instead of a waste byproduct.
Comfrey is a one-time purchase, its a pretty plant and can even be used in an Agriscaping method of a elegant edible plant in normal landscaping. We can propagate it through root cuttings and create 1,000's of plants from the 8 plants we currently have. The comfrey could almost completely replace ALL feed for our rabbits, goats, pig, and chickens. The goats can also free-range to pick up any other needs they have in their diet. Chickens can still free range to get bugs and other plants, rabbits could also be fed random vegetation and scraps. We will still use our Fodder System, and with those two we can essentially feed all our animals. Without the Fodder System we can be 100% self-reliant. With the Fodder System we only need barley seed as an input. This means once we have enough Comfrey to fulfill the needs of our animals a $12 bag of barley per month and other on-property inputs creates enough feed for dozens of rabbits, a dozen or two chickens, 2-3 adult goats and their kids, and a pig or two. Their outputs is not only serviceable in way of compost, meat, eggs, milk, and fun for our family... it also adds another layer.
When you add the second layer of profit through selling and/or trading meat rabbits, eggs, chickens, goat milk, young goats, etc. this immediately moves into the profit portion of micro-farming/homesteading.