Factor e Farm (FeF) is a 30 acre parcel of land 1 hour away from the Kansas City International Airport in Missouri. In 2004, Open Source Ecology purchased this land – a blank slate that was a soybean field. Since then, we have been busy building infrastructure, using as much open source, libre processes and hardware as possible.
We are much more than a farm. At Factor e Farm, we grow ideas, and put them into practice. Factor e Farm is a socio-technical experiment. It aims to take what civilization has learned about what it means to thrive, and determine whether it is feasible to use abundant local resources to create industrial civilization, up to semiconductor and metal production – on the scale of a parcel of land – at 2 hours of work per day – using local resources – regeneratively – achieving a modern standard of living. This is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, but its achievement has huge implications on solving Wicked Problems.
A Test Bed for Systems-Level Innovation
Factor e Farm is an experiment on many levels: natural ecology, industrial production, experimental research and development, immersion education, and a transformative lifestyle. Factor e Farm combines a lifestyle immersion in the world of open source hardware, and a goal of creating the open source economy.
We are experimenting with what it would look like if a small group of people were able to achieve a full resilient lifestyle, by tapping solar power (direct and indirect) and appropriate industrial technology – to master infrastructure maintenance at no more than a few hours per year – to attain raw industrial productivity with appropriate, heirloom and modern technology – to ascertain production of food, housing, energy, and technology from local feedstocks. This implies significant technology, productivity and efficiency levels – essentially removing waste from the unstable model of centralized industrial production, and converting to a more congruent and ethical open source economy.
Data Point for a New Civilization
The Factor e Farm experiments can be observed from many perspectives. One perspective is that of material security – feasible on first-principle calculations of solar energy energy income – that transcends the artificial material scarcity of the mainstream economy. To this end, we are testing whether it is possible to attain individual mastery of a few tens of kilowatts of multipurpose industrial power to allow prosperity with modern comforts and cultural advancements without the necessity of warfare. The key to this is open source technology and open knowhow – a construction set of modular, multipurpose tools – a civilization-in-a-box that can be a model of regenerative, information-age, industrial power. The intended outcome is mastery of individual productive power towards evolving as humans – where absolute material security allows for uncompromised pursuit of personal autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
The e in Factor e Farm is Euler’s number, a transcendental number – implying the disruptive nature of Open Source Ecology’s work. We are not a factory farm. At Factor e Farm, we are growing ideas. We are creating technology for ecology.
e => The transcendental number.
Farm => Where we begin.