Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tree Grafting and Factor E Farm
Wow, what a cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I mean, yes, it was cold, but oh so cool. Lisa and I drove up to Maysville, Missouri from Kansas City for a plant propagation workshop at The Factor E Farm. Here is the group of us, Marcin Jakubowski, the founder, took the picture. They are working on creating a self sustainable reproducible village, with all designs for equipment, techniques and knowledge gained being shared with the world in an open source way. That means no barriers or restrictions to access the information. First Marcin gave us a tour of the farm and showed us a cordwood building, an earthbag building, and a couple of other types of shelters they are experimenting with. Check out the videos . They have chickens and goats on their farm. The focus of the workshop was plant propagation using grafting. Splicing one kind of tree onto another type of tree rootstock. Marcin was a gracious host and a wonderful and knowledgeable instructor. Using a grafting tool, we learned how to join together two varieties of apple, peach, and plum trees. The purpose is to basically "clone" the tree that provides the fruit specimens that you desire. By taking cuttings of small one year old branches, you can duplicate the variety by grafting them onto inexpensive root stocks you can buy, or cut your own from the varieties already growing on your land. The workshop was documented and can be accessed here.
Participants came from Prairie Village (Kansas), Kansas City (Missouri), and Tom, who was on a business trip in St. Louis, made the detour to attend. He lives in West Virginia. People from all over the world are interested in the eco village model, and people from all over the world have expressed interest in coming to live and work on the farm. We were very excited about the Farm and plan on volunteering in the coming months.
Marcin designed and built a diesel tractor that runs on veggie oil. It's plans and design are readily availible. It's low cost and easy to build. They also have a truck they power with veggie oil as well. If you are interested in becoming sustainable, you have got to check out their website. Look for upcoming information on what's going on. We are going up the end of this month to help out for a couple of days. We'll tell you all about it.