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It appears we’ll need a small industrial base to get our farm started. This will be done in an industrial unit which we can live over during the transition from big house to farm. As our main business grows, it’ll take over the unit entirely and we move into the farm. Neat eh?

The irony of moving into an industrial unit in order to run an environmentally friendly farm is not entirely lost on us, however we are developing bioplastic from non-fossil sources and promoting shareable technology so it’s not a bad thing – as long as I can stand living away from greenery for a little while.

I’m keen on trying beer, ale, cider and mead crossmixes. So as a prelude to becoming a fleshy cocktail shaker I have had to stoop low enough to buy an extract beer kit.

Why would I do such a thing as opposed to making real beer? Well, because you get the same bland beer each time so it’ll be easier to tell what basic changes are wrought by the addition of, say, honey. Daughter Kate is a microbiology student, so she can aid the experiment. Students are good at drinking.

Actual work remains completely frantic. The first items for our upcoming Geekotech store have arrived, so more frantic web site dickering is needed while simultaneously handling a new batch of PLA and catching up on the Easter holiday backlog.

Vik :v)

While we’re expecting to settle in the Masterton area it would be foolish of us not to check out all that New Zealand has to offer. So for the last two weeks we’ve been touring the South Island and generally having a bit of a break. If anyone else does this, allow 4 weeks!

We’ve learned a bit about strip grazing, chicken breeding, polled Wiltshire sheep, growing cider apples and making schnaps with honey. Still not real farmers but working on it. The only things we seem to produce in any quantity in our home hydroponics are watercress and capsicums, oh and red basil. That has a much longer outdoor season than traditional green basil.

Vik :v)

Ok, I’ve bought our first bit of real machinery already: a 3,000psi pressure cleaner, powered by an infernal combustion engine. Yes, it’ll need fuel, but it can run on ethanol. I can do ethanol; pretty well as a matter of fact. Being 4 stroke it’s also capable of running on producer gas , which I think I can do at a pinch. It should be adequate for cleaning equipment and buildings once we’ve finished using it on our expansive deck.

Storing it is a problem, so we’ll lock it inside for now and sort out a more permanent solution later. This will probably involve a secure shed, as I don’t fancy keeping the fuel inside much. So, a very sturdy fuel can seems the next step. And some bloody engine oil ‘cos it’s empty. Hmm, natural engine oils…

Things are looking up: We may have a buyer for farm produce before we even get the farm! While we want to be capable of self-sufficiency in the event of collapse, we do actually need to be able to survive normal times 🙂 Having a customer interested in ethical and organic produce is a darn fine start, and it is also giving us an idea of what type of farm we’re looking for as well as allowing us to plan what machinery and processing infrastructure we’re going to need.

The Diamond Age side of things is starting to demonstrate year-on-year doubling of sales, which should please the bank manager. We’ve also got some new secret, killer products in the pipeline for 3D printers to ensure we retain the top position as a supplier of a huge range of filament and other consumables.

All in all, it’s a good position to be in.

So, new situation. In order to get as good a farm as possible, we need to convince the bank that we’re a good bet – this isn’t a big commercial farm we’re planning so the banks won’t lend money for it as a going concern. So basically we need to pay off a boring mortgage, and to do this we need to demonstrate some from of revenue. Our company, Diamond Age Solutions Ltd., has been doing fairly well and I’m now joining Suz in working on it full-time. There are a few cross-overs between the geeky things we do for Diamond Age and the farm, and some of these are actually profitable 🙂

So, if things go awesomely there might be a farm at the end of 2012. Slightly past the original concept date, but things may well go better because of the additional planning and integration.

Well, here we are, sitting in a lush, floating breadbasket in the Pacific Ocean. We reckon that this is one of the better places to watch civilization collapse from, and we”ll do it in comfort if not style. We’ve met the “store your bullets and beans” types, and the hippy commune types. The high-tech biosystems designers, and the grow-your-own-denim vegans. Now it’s our turn. Being geeks, step one is the website.  Next, some coherent content…

Vik :v)