Africa: Fly Farm Built in Cape Town as Maggot Meal Replaces Soy (this is an interesting concept that can be used in home food production...do a search for black soldier fly)
Australia: Ten Steps to an Organic Permaculture No Dig Garden (great tips from down under for any aspiring BFPC operator)
Useful Information for Micro Farmers
Micro Livestock: Little known livestock with a promising future...just click on the book to read the FREE ebook
Welcome to my backyard food production complex page. Sketches and drawings coming soon. Visit often because this page will be changing on an almost daily basis. My simple greenhouse aquaponics system is set up, fruit and nut trees are planted, the tomatoes are growing, The system is producing food. I picked green beans from my aquaponics system, shiitake mushrooms from my mushroom logs, combined those with Vidalia onion from my Dad's garden, some beef and a potato...great one pan dish when the lady of the house is away.
I hope you enjoy visiting Red Bay Farm. Please remember all of the ideas provided are free for your use...just make sure you share the ones you like with your friends and neighbors.
So what is a backyard food production complex (BFPC)? A BFPC...is a style of semi closed circuit intensive gardening I have been developing for years which integrates several different components into a complex of complimentary food growing activities. My BFPC is in the beginning stages (year 2) and is continuously developed with the goal of minimizing external inputs while maximizing year round food and fibre output. I envision a BFPC is more than a kitchen garden, more than a greenhouse, more than aquaponics and more than raising animals. This is a long term project...hopefully decades long (ok, at least one or two) so drop by every once in a while to see what is happening. If you have an idea you would like me to explore please send an email.
I have designed my BFPC with a sub-acre footprint that could fit in many suburban backyards or vacant city lots. My BFPC project area is 2500 square feet in size....50' x 50'. Please note that this is a design that fits my lot and my circumstances...and may not work for other people but many of the components of this BFPC could be applied in an apartment, on a roof, or in other unique circumstances.
19 Jun 2010
You might have read on my Pest page about how the deer decimated my garden and fruit trees this spring. The deer attack, coupled with a full time job and caring for a sick relative really put my garden on the back burner. But since we gardeners are optimist, I am planning for the fall garden.
Since I am building a BFPC I want to grow as much produce as possible during the growing season. I found a North Carolina State University Vegetable Garden Planning Guide which gives planting times for a variety of popular vegetables. Each state has an agricultural college which produces similar lists...very useful for all of us folks who want to grow our own food year round and need local guides rather than regional guides.
13 Jun 2010
The components are slowly but surely taking place...each component filling multiple roles in creating a nearly closed loop system. For example, the worm bin is now inhabited by black soldier fly larvae as well as red wriggler worms. Today I added wet balled up newspaper for a bed and scraped most of the composted bedding to one side. I found a section rich in black soldier fly larvae. I filled up a flower pot with some of the compost larvae mix and dumped it into my chicken pen. The worms and the fly larvae create compost and provide my fish and chickens with a high protein food.
The water hyacinth is a great tool for my aquaponics system. I put them at the end of the aquaponics table just befor the water flows back into the tank. This helps give the water a final filtering. Since the water hyacinths grow rapidly they are also useful as a chicken food supplement. My chickens love these plants...they are tender and crispy...sort of a salad for chickens.
BFPC Component Requirements
Why should a person build a BFPC?
First of all BFPC is something like a giant science experiment which produces food, beauty and entertainment but unlike other "hobbies" a BFPC can put food on the table...more so than just a garden, or greenhouse or hen house. If your children are small involve them, let them participate in planning. (If they are teenagers...good luck) A BFPC can be a wonderful means to demonstrate to a child how long things really take to grow...A BFPC will beat Zynga's Facebook Farmville to bits in terms of really learning how food and fibre is produced...but games lke this do have a real potential role to play iin planning. The bottom line is that the BFPC should be fun and exciting for both kids and adults!
Next, just as social networking tools like Facebook have revolutionized communications. posting information about your BFPC may help people throughout the world. As the population grows the amount of land available for farming decreases. Who knows, you may be the one who perfects a techniques for growing food which will make someones life just a little better. There are lots of great sites out there...visit them...if you like what I am doing, visit my site. Most importantly put aside your computer and pick up your other tools and start your own BFPC adventure!
Links to useful BFPC related web pages
19 Jun 2010
Plan the Perfect Homestead: Turn your dreams of country living into reality A Grabbag of Information I have Gathered over the years
Is Starting a Micro Farm in Your Future?