Creating a Land Development Model for the Successful Replication of…
Self-Sustaining Micro-Farming Communities (S2MFC)
Design Assumptions Worksheet for Prototype Development
Objective: To effectively and significantly nurture the “self-sustaining” micro-farming life movement by designing and building dedicated self-sustaining communities – not quite communal, not quite 100% off the grid but micro-farming and bartering centric as well as human synergy centric with a self-sustaining focus.
1) Proof of the community’s vibrancy, potency, and quality of human synergy as quantified via productivity and sustainability as a human/nature eco-system.
2) Financial perspective – a specific percentage of the lots are sold at a minimum price and within a specific timeframe; the “human + nature” eco-system that evolves as a community is healthy, creative and productive wherein the S2MFC Vision proves a qualitative and quantitative success allowing for the birth of the next generation of S2MFC’s; and, finally, land and property value increases at a minimum rate/time.
First Macro Step-of-Steps: Design, build, test and learn from the first Prototype community.
First Micro Step-of-Steps: Develop the prototype design and feature and benefit variables. To this end the below document is a knowledge development and group/team discussion starting point for those team members involved at this early “Visioning” stage.
Assumptions-of-Design: Here is a list of variables for consideration within the S2MFC design model. This is simply a starting point for discussion and tuning.
- Basic land development and property and building feature variables
- Are there common yet fundamental self-sustaining community development parameters that will allow for a “development model template” design?
- Is the application of systems thinking applicable?
- Property natural resource parameter minimums, as a matrix?
- Building type, design of whole, basic “home” structural design + additions + options?
Assuming some form of template and replicate-able model can be created let’s us look at the basic parameters-as-design-assumptions and the associated questions that we would need to consider:
- Min/max rainfall?
- Watershed quantities and qualities?
- Min days of sunshine?
- Optimal or min/max temperatures
- Plant season lengths/duration?
- Quality of soil/fertility?
- Quality of ground water or existing well, or, optimally, healthy spring availability?
- Proximity to “the electric grid” if chosen-as-necessary;
- Proximity to towns, cities and other types of communities for farm goods and other market purchases, community sales of goods and bartering/exchange… and more.
Would we need to develop and share a core and aligning “Community Philosophy; and as self-sustaining community Brand for marketing and attracting he right folks to these communities…
We are assuming a prototype development here, and then, if proven successful as a vital and potent self-sustaining experience-as-community, more developments.
- Community vegetable, grain fields and livestock yards, or not?
- Is this an option in the S2MFC or not?
- Community gathering space, or not?
- “Buyer” filtering based on, for example, the seriousness of “buyer/member” interest in farming their property, etc.), or not?
- Optimal size of community 10 owners/families. 20? Less than 50?
- How does size affect community self-sustaining quality of life… and other variables?
- Optimal lot size: 1.0/2.0acres? 5 acres? Or multiple options of: 1, 2 and 5 acres per owner/family?
- We assume 1 residential home structure per lot so, what should these have as standard features:
- Wood burning stove(s)?
- Solar roofs, and electrical sys – per housing unit and per Community?
- Propane, electric and water
- Garage/Tools shed
- 2bds/1.5bth, 3bds/2bths and 4bds/3bth, other config’s
- Home features, e.g. interior/exterior, rooms, additions, building materials
- How much construction and out-building design-control is optimal? Why?
Additional property structures/buildings-as-features or multi-purpose outbuildings for processing and more, such as:
- Processing and storage building/shed(s) for:
- Meat production life-cycle (rendering rooms/outside structures)?
- Green house(s)/lot?
- Root cellar?
- Hay, grasses, anaimal feed & other dry storage?
- Tools & storage structures?
- Larger equipment storage structures? (large community use barn?)
- Separate workshop structure?
- Smoke house/shed?
What build types of building structures and food processing might naturally and conceivably be used and performed, respectively, as a team, group or whole community; or be simply added to the total development so it would be effectively used when needed for the community or groups of micro-farm owners, e.g.:
- Community central smoke-house?
- Community meeting space?
- Classrooms and training room(s)?
- Community kitchen and dining area?
- Non-denominational community spiritual space/building?
- Playground; nature walk; developed lake, pond, river, hills or forest, etc recreation area?
- Do we really need ANY of these added “community spaces?” (They do cost money to build and the “developer” is doing the building.)
Finally, it would be wise to consider the ecology of the land as a feature and as a valuable resources, e.g.:
Is there an abundance of mature trees (firewood, building materials, worm feed from organic wood scraps, natural shade, health-ier air, etc.)?
- Open, non-flowing, water, e.g. lakes, ocean, ponds, swampland, etc.)?
- Rivers and streams (energy, fishing, growing food)?
- Minerals that can be utilized by the community?
- Plant-life ecosystem that can be utilized?
- Geo-thermal resources?
Land Purchase and Development Assumptions and variables.
Some of the above assumptions, after they have to be fine-tuned, would affect the prototype and future land purchases. Other critical land-purchase assumptions are not indicated above, including:
- Land price-to-value ratio?
- Total terrain topology and type-feasibility, e.g. degree of farmable land versus non-farmable and/ or non-buildable; natural resources; distance to more concentrated populations?
- Natural resources assays’ and assessments of the land – local to regionally available?
- City, township, county, state building permit restrictions and permit process ease or difficulty?
- Unscrupulous tendencies of various permit agencies and personnel?
- Materials transport distances and material supply availability as a cost variable?
- Local construction supplier and talent resources per all aspects of land and structural and infrastructural development?
- Social issues of building a self-sustaining micro-farming community – local people antagonism or positive response?
- Social-political issues per municipal, county and state and federal government antagonism, neutrality or positive interest?