August 1, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
Not much time to contemplate the significance of a project today. I’ve been busy trying to prepare for my move – for leaving my home and embracing a new one, in a new place, with new people and a new set of responsibilities. It’s not as easy this time around; it’s not the same as moving to college or away to D.C. for a summer job – there at least I knew that I’d be coming home someday. Now, “home” is where I’ll make it. At any rate, before I get entirely sidetracked, all this packing and prepping hasn’t left me with much time to search and ruminate on a Kickstarter project of major significance today. Luckily, I’ve had my eye on one with such obvious meaning that it really requires no further introduction from me. Today’s project might just pave the way to a new way of farming, fishing, eating and going on that way forever.
Jason Garvey is constructing an integrated food, water and energy community-supported agriculture (CSA) initiative built on the premise of versatility, reliability, replicability and sustainability. Orchestrating stable and supportive relationships between food, water and energy, the ambition of this CSA is to serve as the prototype for a means of feeding ourselves better for longer and with less waste. That’s something worth growing.
A prototype of the IFEWS has been built in Germany and currently produces fish and vegetables with zero energy inputs. An amazing piece of riverfront property has been secured in the St. John’s region of North Portland. It’s time to scale the prototype up, to put together the all of the technological elements, and to run the system in a real world scenario. It’s time to remove thirty Portland residents from the modern industrial farming and food production machine. Maybe thirty people doesn’t sound like much. But it’s a huge step in the right direction. A step that has not yet been taken. Our goal: all nutritional needs for thirty people, a small community, produced within the community- fresh food twelve months a year AND all power needed to operate the system produced by the system itself. This is a distinct evolution in food production with an enormous reduction of negative impacts for the environment. When we build the system, when we set it in motion and it starts to hum, then the next IFEWS can come to your community.
The future is bright, green, delicious and waste-free. At least, it can be made more so if we’re willing to support initiatives like this one. August 6 is the deadline for this project, and I hope only there’s enough time to make this little step towards that better world.