Any good village should not go without the above.
The heavy duty, 12″ chuck, 20 hp, open source lathe design is complete. Yes, 20 hp from LifeTrac. It’s $360 in parts – which is awesome because because these things sell for thousands. We’re using the PTO motor from LifeTrac as the power unit shown, so the motor cost is externalized as part of our infrastructure ecology. The lathe has a concrete bed of about 1000 lb weight:
We’re offering a workshop on April 11, 2009, in about a month – where you will learn how to build this very lathe. It’s not a toy. It’s radical – you can call it our first advanced technology workshop, in the style of tool development for local production. Effectiveness is the essence of any global village – where you change the world by seizing the power of production. You pay dear for the workshop – it’s $100 admission, but free to True Fans, so sign up to be a True Fan. The good thing is, you’ll help our budding village with the fee, and the knowledge gained is dear. You will see how we start with the concrete bed, and we’ll assemble the entire thing from parts, most of which are cut out from stock metal. Email us for more info.
So you don’t have a power unit for this lathe? No worries. We’re offering a workshop on fabricating your own walk-behind tractor, on Saturday, April 18, a 4 hour intensive workshop. Email us for more information. We will start with prepared stock metal and components, and show you how to assemble one from off-the-shelf parts and hydraulics, at a cost between $550-1000 for a super heavy duty, lifetime device. This is MicroTrac. It’s a walk-behind tractor, which can give you the hydraulic power for the lathe, among a hundred other applications. MicroTrac will be the power source for our new CEB press, and it will cover small farm work with its tiller, and mower, plus many other attachments up to a baler. It will also have its engine unit interchangeable with LifeTrac. MicroTrac design is so simple that I jump with joy. It’s a power unicycle, so to speak.
The pulverizer is an addition in front of the LifeTrac loader bucket. We’ve also begun discussion on a LifeTrac microcombine, the holy grail of agricultural implements. As you see, we’re well on our way to becoming a veritable developer of open farm tech. Imagine CSAs now producing grains as part of their offering, as cost and maintenance of industrial combines is removed from the equation.
Next, we move on to low-tech agriculture. We’ve built 3 heavy hoes already.
These are Made in the USA – as Factor e Productions – blade of which I torched from flat scrap. They are the next best farm tool outside of LifeTrac or MicroTrac. We love them around here because we’ve already used our heavy-duty versions for brush clearing, stump ousting, tilling, weeding, digging, trenching, and floor leveling. That’s the most important hand tool you can have on a farm – and given the choice between this and a shovel, I’d grab the heavy hoe immediately. Greg Baka from easydigging.com, of Columbia, Missouri, also imports these from Brazil, but he may be getting into actual fabrication, as he is friendly to developing local productive enterprise. Greg gave us a heavy hoe when we met him at our Columbia lecture one year ago – and we immediately found the tool to be extremely useful. We broke the handle quickly, per heavy duty use and operator malfunction at Factor e Farm, and that’s why we’re making ours all out of metal, with a lifetime warranty.
We’re offering a workshop where you can learn to fabricate the heavy hoe. The workshop is free to True Fans, and $55 for others, and you can take the tool home with you. This workshop is in a little less than 2 weeks from now – Saturday, March 21, from Noon to 3 PM, so sign up now and pass this on to others. Email us for more information. A heavy hoe is for every food producer.
And a chicken is for every pot. We’re announcing our Open Chicken CSA invitation. Join the CSA for $175, and you will gain the capacity to produce your own chickens. There’s no free lunch here – you have to engage actively in the work – as you are the producer. We are offering the facilities and equipment for this. We offer 3 workshops in this fee, the fee covers all other materials, and we do the rest. This means:
- We offer a workshop on building a 50-egg chicken incubator, where you actually build the incubator.
- You fill it with eggs from our chickens, and you can also take the incubator home with you so you can experience the process.
- When you come back in one month with the hatchlings, you will participate in building your own chicken tractor for growing out the hatchlings.
- When the hatchlings are sufficiently big, you come back for the third workshop, on building a small, modular chicken coop to house the chickens at night.
- After this point, we take care of the chickens, and you can come back in 6 months to harvest eggs or meat
You can go through as many hatching cycles as you like , so you can produce as many chickens as you like. The constaints are availability of incubator, chicken tractor, and chicken coop space, your labor, and timing in the season. The fall and winter are not times to be hatching chickens. You can do as many as 3 or so hatching cycles – where the optimal hatching time is between now and June. If you are interested, email us, and the first of the 3 workshops will be held on Staturday, April 4, 2009. You’ll be supporting our work and providing for yourself at the same time. Email us for more information.
Plus, I’ll be flying over the big pond to Oekonux 4 in Manchester, UK, later this month. I’ll be speaking about the same-old, same-old: Building the World’s First, Replicable, Open Source Global Village. During this same time, I’ll also be visiting with Chris of HydraRaptor, which to me is the most inspiring integrated technology development program next to Factor e Farm. You have to study the blog for some time to appreciate its depth. To me, it’s a school on the entire process and tools of open source product development – which provides many hints into the development of an effective, open engineering process. Such a process is one of the core contributions to humanity that we’d like to develop at Factor e Farm.
All in all, these are exciting times. Publicity efforts are paying off, as we’ve got 8 people lined up to come here by summer time, and we’re in discussion with others. If you want to join Dream Team 30 or participate in other ways, the time is now. Or, subscribe to be a True Fan, as we have only 33 subscibers to this important work as of now. This is nowhere near our goals. We have 646 days left to build a working village. The prospects are good, however, as we found someone to produce a professional PR plan. Plus, the economy is crashing, and many skilled people are becoming available – so to say, by relaxing their work schedules. Factor e Farm could be a great opportunity, and perhaps a solution.