Jacob Springs Farm
We take nature as the best model for our ecosystem design. Informed by technology, science, traditional agricultural practices from around the globe, principles of permaculture and regenerative grazing as promoted by Allan Savory and the Savory Institute we attempt to create a wholistic, financially viable and ecologically sound human community around food production and land restoration.
Agriculture is the primary way humans interact with the ecosystem. As such, it is key to many of the global problems we face. We are currently challenged with problems of the poor quality of food, poor profitability for small-scale farmers, the need to increase production for a growing population, problems with pollution and waste, declining biodiversity and climate change.
We believe that the solutions for the problems in agriculture are fundamentally ecological and not technological. Technology can help! Innovative solutions, such as those developed in our farm maker-space initiative Agronimo can assist us in applying ecological solutions to local and global problems, and science informs and enables us to better understand and vet solutions to these problems. There is much, however, that we still don't know - gleaming aquaponic warehouses and synthetic meat growing in petri dishes are not viable solutions, indeed they are further steps in the wrong, reductionist and simplistic directions that we have been heading as a society. We, instead, look to solutions from nature, supported by technology. Natural systems are productive, complex, high-tech and balanced. As we observe the patterns in nature and seek to emulate them, we are taking a shortcut in the right direction, we believe that studying nature enables us to begin learning to think the thoughts of the creator. This is what we mean by farming God's way. This principle prompts us to seek out solutions in farming principles such as Permaculture, Holistic Range Management, and many others.
We have a complex definition for success but our shorthand version for ecological success is simple:
- Observe an increase in biodiversity over time, in soil microbes, in livestock genetic diversity, in plant life and in wildlife.
- Observe an increase in soil fertility over time, including an increase of soil organic matter (soil carbon) which means a decrease in atmospheric carbon.