I have had an interest for years in alternative energy (solar, wind, water), earth shelters, emergency preparedness and hydroponics…as I say, I am a child of the 1970s…when we had the energy crisis and oil embargoes. I remember only being able to go to gas pumps on even or odd days to fill up and conserving energy was the name of the game. But these have been dormant as I focused on attaining my education and building a corporate career. As I have embraced a more holistic mindset for health reasons…and a new career…I find myself circling back around to explore these important interests.
Recently, I attended my first meeting of the local Texas Aquaponics and TransFarming group and enjoyed it tremendously. I am updating as I learn what is current and what people are involved in now. TransFarming is defined as “ordinary backyards that have been transformed into personal farms” which develop and use many different methods of producing clean, healthy food in a backyard setting. There is a focus on backup and redundancy to ensure there is sufficient food production in case of unexpected problems.
A possible backyard scenario may include plant cuttings (waste) from an organic garden being used to feed a rabbit. The rabbit’s slightly acidic and enriched litter goes to the berry bushes and gardens as highly fertilized mulch. What the bunny does not eat goes to the egg-laying chickens. The chickens do their business on hay, which produces “highly-fertilized hay” used for ground cover in the garden. What neither of them eats is destined for the composter, where mulch is created for the fruit trees and planting beds. Bottom line: nothing is wasted on a Transfarmed yard!
Some primary components may include Aquaponics, Wicking beds, HugelKultures, Tank gardens, Keyhole gardens, as well as, conventional Raised Bed gardens. Other supporting components may include composting, water capture, vermiculture (worms), and as mentioned, chickens and rabbits.
There is one factor that is paramount to all this…water.
At the core of all food production is water. Without it, nothing prospers. TransFarming is about “re-thinking” traditional gardening methods to address regional and environmental challenges such as droughts, water restrictions and disruptions, while keeping in mind viable techniques for food production and water conservation.
Note: I will create a series of posts, each one explaining in more detail a TransFarming component, and update the links as I go.