By now, you should have a basic understanding of how WTF works so, following the example that I provided in the section titled “HaveMore Demonstration Micro-Farm” – build yourself something similar – but reflective of your own location and circumstances.
At this point, I can hear the faint rumblings of objections:
- I don’t have enough money.
- I don’t have any organic waste.
- I don’t have any land.
- I don’t know how to farm.
Fear not…help is at hand.
You weren’t listening when I said “no cash outlay.” The only thing that stands between you and your own WT farm is the conscious decision to get started…and a waste stream or two.
WTF starts with an organic waste stream and, whether you realise it or not, you already have several of them.
Each type of waste represents a problem for you, and you have two choices. You either dispose of it – or you think of it as an opportunity – and find a productive use for it.
Still not getting it?
If you’re like most other people, you eat and, in so doing, you have kitchen scraps, plate scrapings or peelings. What was once food for you, is food for other animals…like chickens, ducks or quail. If you don’t have enough for other animals, you can feed the kitchen wastes to worms. Your food wastes now provide you with more worms and the residue of what you fed them…worm castings. Castings are a superb soil amendment. Soaking the castings to make worm tea will yield the plant food equivalent of mother’s milk.
If you find the thought of kitchen scraps/worms thing a bit overwhelming, you should know that you have another waste ‘stream’ right under your nose. Actually, it’s less than three feet below your nose.
That’s right…we’re talking about urine…or, in cell phone-speak…ur urine.
Human urine is very useful stuff…and you’re already carting some of it around with you. All it requires is a conscious choice on your part.
If all of this talk of farming has you thinking ‘acres’ or ‘hectares’ it might be a good time to remind you that most of the world food comes from tiny farms that are measured in square feet/metres.
Do you have a backyard? Do you have a patio or a flat roof top?
So, you live in an apartment? Do your parents (or other relatives) have some space they could let you use? What about friends or workmates?
The point is that, you need very little land to get started, and what you do need is often readily available for the asking. By the way, when I refer to land, I actually mean space. The space does not need to be arable. It just needs to be someplace upon which you can place things…far enough away from the noses of your neighbours that you won’t attract their invidious attention.
WTF Knowledge and Skills
Humans are arguably among the most helpless of all organism at the time of their birth. We’re all born knowing nothing – particularly how to farm.
The good news is that, while it’s taken me a lifetime to learn what I know about integrated food production, you can learn what you need as you go.
In the same way that you eat an elephant – one mouthful at a time – you can also learn what you need to farm…by breaking it down into manageable chunks.
Fortunately, there are literally millions of places to acquire that knowledge at no cost – including YouTube videos, Facebook groups, discussion forums and websites like this one. You can also buy books and attend courses – or do them online. The important thing to understand, at this stage, is that you don’t need to acquire all of that knowledge up front.
OK…it’s time to get started.
- Identify some organic waste streams and categorise them (Type 1 to Type 4).
- Add value to them (if necessary) and apply them to their highest use.
- Expand your operation to include new organisms.
- Collect their waste – and add value to it.
- Repeat steps #1 – # 4…until you outgrow your existing space.
- Find more space…and new waste sources…add more value…and more organisms.
- Rinse and repeat…until you have what you need or want.
While it may seem simplistic, this brief prescription will see you grow from a few kitchen scraps to a waste transformation farm that produces fruit and vegetables, fish, chickens, pigs, cattle and everything in between.
If waste transformation farming interests you, and you’d like to talk about it with other like-minded people, feel free to take up membership of my Have More For Less forum.