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Brainhack, developing approaches to farming

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Idea

Congratulations! The concept for this site is long over do. I've worked on the development of the new approaches to grass fed since it's start. Before one thinks about tools they must be sure their overall approach to what their trying to do is sound. No matter how many tools inorganic/chemical based agriculture have created it was the mere approach from the start that have brought on so many shortcomings. Before one thinks about a new plow design they must first realize the impact of a plow in general. The most important tool to farming is the life in the soil. I would highly recommend that this site needs to work on both fronts at the same time.

brshute's picture

Hi Ed, glad to have you here. I think your comment resonates with a lot of us who have been active in getting the Farm Hack project together. Our definition of "tool" has been pretty broad and there has been discussion that to solve a certain task (say, deep tillage) one might use a mechanical tool (yeoman plow) or a biological/management tool (tillage radish).

Don't hesitate to contribute "tools" and discussion that fit into the latter category!

R.J. Steinert's picture

Before one thinks about a new plow design they must first realize the impact of a plow in general.

I take from that suggestion that one should first ask, "What is the impact that I would like to improve and in what ways would I like to see that impact improve? This point carries a lot of weight to me because I have first hand experience with the fall out in situations where folks define the software before they've fully defined the problem.

As the current Farm Hack website stands, we're trying to tackle a knowledge vs. wisdom issue. The Internet is a very effective place to make knowledge available but there is no internal mechanism on the Internet itself that takes all that knowledge and turns it into wisdom. I'm hoping that the functionality of this website will help people aggregate knowledge in each Tool's Forum and then refine that knowledge into wisdom on each Tool's Wiki. But alas, the labels this method uses suggests that we start with a tool before we have the problem defined. Perhaps we should start with Problem Wikis that have associated Problem Forums...

The most important tool to farming is the life in the soil.

Talking with Dorn Cox in the past few months and after a presentation by Ben Falk on Resilient Food Systems at the NOFAVT Winter conference, my eyes have been opened to the importance of healthy soil. Falk quoted someone in his presentation to the effect of, "Society has always been a struggle to keep its nutrients on the land and out of the sea."

R.J. Steinert's picture

A now related discussion is the topic on Tool Wiki Template. I just suggested we have a "Problem" header.