What do we want to create?
A bio-intensive, integrated, demonstration farm designed according to permaculture principles that produces a wide range of foods that can be grown or raised in Alberta and eventually can feed 20 families living in the nearby village.
Demonstrating the farming elements of the Principles of Sustainable Foods
- Bio-intensive farming means maximizing production of food from a unit of land, a unit of energy and a unit of water
- Meeting effectively all these criteria requires high level of synergies on the farm between different crops and livestock, and utilizing best unique characteristics of the land, its soils, terrain, farm structures, climate and biodiversity of the whole system of which the farm is a part
- Direct and indirect (machinery, industrial inputs) external energy inputs must be minimized;Nature needs to do most of the work.
- Growing and raising a large variety of foods to demonstrate local food options available in Alberta
- Demonstrating the possibility of meeting full nutritional requirements for people eating food from the farm year around (One-Mile Diet)
- The farm can be organized as a CSA operations in which dwellers of the neighbouring village are the main customers
Connections with other ARSAN projects
- Is directly linked to the conservation village that is “fed” by the farm; sustainable foods produced on the farm are seen as the main advantage of living in the proposed village
- Produces raw foods that are later processed by sustainable food processing methods, for or by the village dwellers or for other users
What is unique about this project?
- Offering education about alternative sustainable farming through demonstration and possible participation in producing a wide variety of foods
- Instead of focusing on producing the highest potential farm income, the farm is designed to produce the highest food volume and maximize its nutritional potential; this may have very important long term implications for our society and its food security
- The farm will provide a variety of foods that will demonstrate that it is possible to live well, year around, on locally produced foods only (the One-Mile Diet concept)
- The farm is synergistically tied with the neighbouring village as a source of food when the villagers participate in food production, and by becoming a market for the farm's foods
- Society at large benefits by:
- introduction and demonstration of alternative sustainable concepts of farming
- contributions to the long term food security by demonstrating advantages of eating locally and introducing more variety of locally grown foods
- introduction and promotion of nutritious and tasty foods and a local diet adjusted to different seasons
- Town of Viking by boosting its own image as a Rural Sustainability Demonstration Town and gaining a tourist destination place
- Rural communities that may be interested in increasing their local food supply
- Farmers and acreage owners who may learn how to produce variety of foods using alternative concepts for direct sales and/or their own use
- Farmers and rural entrepreneurs who may want to replicate the concept in other locations
- Young people looking for building their livelihoods in agriculture and searching for alternative ways to farm
- Consumers demanding sustainable local foods
- Youth learning about sustainable farming practices, land environmental stewardship and production of wide range of nutritious and tasty foods
How far has the project progressed?
- The initial concepts of the farm have been developed
- Identification of the land for the farm: it is located at the north end of the Town of Viking, the farm belongs to the Rozmahel family; parts of the land that needs to be developed according to the new uses and principles were identified. It is estimated that approximately a quarter of land can feed the village
- Initial identification of foods to be produced on the farm
- A three-day permaculture farm design session was held in June 2011, laying foundation for the farm design
- Barb Hazenveld from Gorgeous and Edible Landscapes, Olds, AB has been leading the permaculture design of the farm. The design was completed and the report is available by download here
- Amanda Chedzoy from Tree Sense, Bon Accord, AB was contracted to prepare fruit tree and berry nursery design available by download here
- Work with Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) was started to create shelterbelts and eco-buffers, the first step in implementation of the farm project
- Nursery design for the farm and the village fruit trees and berries
- The nursary was planted in 2012
- Preparing the land for planting trees and shrubs in spring 2012. The shelterbelt was planted in 2012.
- This project reached the end of the stage of developing an ideas of the farm and laying out the conceptual foundation for its further development. ARSAN doesn't have resources to move the project further. To advance, the project, as any other projects developed by ARSAN in its initial stages needs to find its own drivers who have vested interest in growth of the project. For the Viking Farm the project will be further driven by the Rozmahels family and all the contacts should be made with Brian Rozmahel. ARSAN will continue to help development of the bio-intensive farm model in any capacity it can.
What support and resources are we looking for?
Anyone who is interested in supporting the project contributing to its further development but also as a consumer should contact Brian Rozmahel, become their Facebook friend or visit the farm that already produces a variety of sustainable foods, foods that you can trust and sold at reasonable prices