So here's the latest update: Utah State reviewed my proposal for the farm project but just couldn't find any land for us to till. So, I had to table that plan. However, when I spoke with SRA, they said,"At least we tried. Oh, and by the way, can you go to Peru with us in August to set up that farm there?" Of course, I accepted, so everything is working out perfectly!
On another note, the chicken coop is up and running, and the chickens do a good job of babysitting our dog, Dixie. She stays in this position for hours at a time.
I'm planning to plot the yields of all of our crops at the SOF, along with our inputs, water usage, and man hours. I will use these figures to compare our individual crop yields with those of the national average of conventional agriculture. Then, I will conduct several studies to try our alternatives and improvements, which I will recommend to the farm. On a broader scope, I am hoping to develop a mathematical relationship between a certain plot of land and how many people it can support with the food grown thereon. This information can be used worldwide to assist people in planning their farms around sustainable practices that will increase their food security (supply and consistency of harvest) and hopefully allow them to earn some income as well. Locally, I am hoping that it will help burgeoning farmers get a leg up on making their small farms work.
In the mean time, check out my book shelf for some awesome reads and stay tuned for some serious updates and ideas like composting toilets, more farm design, farm photos, techniques, and more!