hydro/aquaponics - great idea,
we will be starting this year. we are going to start small and clone and breed berry bushes. i want to do aquaponics in about a thousand square feet. i have costed out most of the plan, as soon as I can find someone who has experience in plant genetics/ cuttings/ cloneing (marijuana industry, im looking at you.) then this will get underway.
drones for monitoring and spraying
while we are not yet certified organic, we have not done any spraying. because we don't generally like the idea of spraying poison on the food we sell we are planning on keeping it that way. we got one drone, only 200$, manual thing no programmed controls. it was hella fun. zipping around and scaring family members (all in good fun), in terms of real economic value it does not look like the technology is matched with our investment ceiling yet. because we have no herbicides we have to do a LOT of weeding and that tends to cover crop monitoring responsibilities at the current scale.
soon. The cost of us getting set up on solar is going to be $17,000 and will take more than 10 years to pay for it self. I was really hoping the numbers were going to be more attractive but we won't be able to start looking at solar for at least another 3 years. That is 2016 solar technology & prices and a farm with no hydroponic/aquaponic lights. I am confident that this will change over the next few years but not yet.
future proofed meat production
this year. I have lined up a buyer and we will aquaponicly be raising rainbow trout. As it turns out we are not far from a company that is creating fly larva to be fed to fish in exactly this way ted talk on this. It's healthy, it will be sustainable. I am looking forward to it.
talk to scientists
I had no luck with this. I tried a few different things but in the end, it just seems like we are talking cross purposes. We need to become profitable soon, and they are just not trained to think like entrepreneurs. we are leaping forward ... largely without looking ... its really really stressful. every time I have spoken to a PHD they just say "that won't work". we are too far north for solar (we are south of germany) "aquaponics is an untested gimmick" (its not )
learn to code & buy robots
I'm learning c++, I don't really see how it's going to be helpful to the farm yet but it can't hurt. as for robots, as soon as farmbot is released we will get one. It is very small obviously but if it works on a small scale why not a larger one? particularly when we combine this with something like the aquaponics.
What we are doing: In addition to barley, hay, squash and zucchini; our largest crop will be Aronia.
You have probably never heard of Aronia, other than its noticeable draw back of tasting very bitter its quite possibly the most healthy thing there is. its anti viral1 anti cancer2 lowers blood pressure3 antiinflamatory4 gut microbe health5 and the list goes on and on and on.
some other changes, we are not raising chickens at the moment as they keep getting stolen. stuff is looking up. we are being generally good for the environment and we are making more and more food every year.