台灣人在美國的養耕農場

Sea Lavender Farm薰衣草海漾農場

We're just two guys who want to farm for a living.  We both have day jobs -- Louie works for his family's seafood market, and John works for a real estate company.  But our dream is to be able to live in the country, grow healthy food for our family and our customers, and to do it in a way that is natural and sustainable.
Creating sustainable and diverse food circles and using natural inputs is our goal in both our aquaponics operations and our planned outdoor farming systems.  We have agreements to get coffee grounds from Starbucks, blemished fruit from a local grocery store, horse manure from a nearby stable, and even soybean meal from a tofu maker.  We will use all this to make compost and to raise earthworms.  The worms will feed our tilapia and freshwater prawn, while the worm castings will fertilize our vegetables.  Waste water from tilapia and prawn will provide nutrients to vegetables raised in hydroponic grow beds as well as our outdoor gardens, with most of the water being cleaned by filters and plants and re-circulated back to the fish tanks.
We have started breeding Hawaiian Gold tilapia and have over 300 baby fish ready to go into our grow tank within the next month, with hundreds more hatching each week.  Our breeding stock of tilapia is still young, and once they reach full size each female can produce 1,000 to 1,500 eggs a month!
Our first breeding tilapia

Our hatchery

Unused parts of tilapia will be made into fish emulsion for fertilizer.  Sheep will be rotated on pasture, while heritage breed chickens raised in movable  "chicken tractors" behind the grazing sheep will clean up after the sheep and also eat the earthworms we breed. Trimmings from on-farm chicken processing will be cleaned up by dermestid or "flesh-eating" beetle larvae.  The larvae will provide still more food for tilapia and prawn, while the cleaned bones left by the beetles will be ground into bonemeal fertilizer for outdoor vegetable production.
Heritage breed Wyandotte chicken

We have also started growing duckweed and comfrey
-- plants noted for their high protein content and rapid rate of growth -- as feed for both fish and livestock.  By feeding these plants instead of grain to our animals, we hope to produce a better product than factory raised chickens and eggs and pond produced, imported tilapia.
Our ultimate goal is to see how much and how diverse a range of food we can raise on a small farm using natural methods.  We believe this model of farming is better than the single crop, chemical pesticide and fertilizer, genetically modified seeds model practiced by the mega farms.  After all, our model is how farmers used to do things before all the ammunition manufacturers switched to making pesticides and chemical fertilizers after the world wars of the last century. 
If we are successful in raising the funds we need, we will be able to get portable electric fencing, sheep, movable chicken cages, a used tractor, everything we need to get things started in one growing season.  If we are not successful, it would take us two or three years to get all we need to have everything growing together. 
We are a "local" farm, with no plans to ship our products.  But that doesn't mean you can't support us if you don't live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.  We have made some cool-looking stuff with our logo on it through Cafe Press that we will send you for all our reward levels.  If you are local to us, we hope you will donate at a level that lets you sample our of our food baskets.  But regardless of how much you donate, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did something that will have a lasting, positive, rippling effect on the environment and for a couple of appreciative guys and our families.
Thanks, and please check back here and on our website to see our progress.  We will also post videos on our Youtube Channel as we work on different projects on the farm.
With warm regards,
Louie and John, Sea Lavender Farms

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