A Farm in a Box
We're Motivated to Save the Planet by Decreasing Food Waste:
Globally, every day, we as human beings throw away 30% of all food—enough to feed an additional 2 billion people.
In that landfill it takes up to 25 years for a head of lettuce to decompose.
What if, instead of throwing it away, we could use it to feed... Chickens!!
Chicken Farms as a Solution:
Create small family farms nationwide who feed Happy Hens on food scraps from local businesses.
This Model can have Dramatic Ripple Effects:
- Better care of our farmland
- Use less grain for animals freeing up farmland for human use
- Save the fossil fuel energy used to grow, and transport grain
- Reduce our carbon footprint
- Keep food out of landfills
- Transform problematic manure into valuable compost
- Provide a humane life for animals
- Bring back family-sized local egg farms
- Create stronger, more resilient communities through supporting local economies, and shorter food chains
- AND, of course, eat better eggs.
Meet Lars and Anne:
Since their move to the Chelan Valley in_2005 they have grown in their passion for small farming. In 2015 they were exposed to the idea of raising chickens fed with food scraps -- a simple solution to one of the planet’s biggest issues.
Their small flock of 50 soon grew to 500. Currently their farm consists of...
100% fed by food scraps.
9 businesses (and growing) who donate food scraps that feed chickens instead of the trash.
As they’ve grown, the’ve wondered how they could save new farmers time, money and the multiple challenges they faced.
The ideas of the Farmer Training Program and Farm in a Box were born.
Farmer Training Program - A year long training program during which trainees will have the opportunity to learn the skills needed to run a food-scrap-fed chicken farm, and to decide the strength of their interest.
A Farm in a Box - Once trainees have “graduated” they will be provided with A Farm in a Box, which contains all they need to set up a functioning farm. If for any reason they decide this lifestyle is not for them, they agree to return their Farm in a Box for the next graduate.
3 Steps to Success:
1. Fund the expansion of the Happy Hens farm to a flock of 3,000 including the framework needed.
2. Find the initial trainees for the Farmer Training Program.
3. Fund the Farm in a Box for the first graduate so they can start a successful farm.
Cost of Expanding Happy Hens:
1. Baby Chicks: 1,200 new chicks to bring us to a flock of 3,000. (Approximate cost - $2,700)
2. Hen Housing: Portable housing for the expanded flock. (Approximate cost - $11,000)
3. 60 Laying Boxes: Each roll-away nest box accommodates 50 chickens. ($200 each, $12,000 total)
4. Tractor: For moving the portable hen houses, making compost, and running the farm. (Approximate cost - $30,000)
5. Updated Used Truck and Trailer: For hauling collected food scraps. (Approximate cost - $22,000)
Total Cost: $77,700**
**If we can expand the farm for less, we will, and will roll over additional funds to an account for Farm in the Box purchases.
Contents of the Farm in a Box and their Cost:
1. Baby Chicks: Trainees will raise their initial 3,000 baby chicks so they are ready to start laying when they complete their program. (Approximate cost - $9,000)
2. Hen Housing: Trainees will construct portable housing for their flock during their program. (Approximate cost - $11,000)
3. 60 Laying Boxes: Each roll-away nest box serve 50 chickens. ($200 each, $12,000 total)
4. Tractor: For moving the portable hen houses, for making compost, and for running the farm. (Approximate cost - $26,000)
5. Used Truck and Trailer: If the trainee needs equipment for hauling collected food. (Approximate cost $22,000)
6. Internship Stipend for the Year: Food, housing, and stipend, based on need. (up to $20,000)
Estimated total: $98,000
Benefits of Raising These Funds:
Without our help: It will take longer for Happy Hens to start their training program, while food continues to end up in landfills. Fledgling farmers will spend years working second jobs while trying to build their farm -- a precarious approach with significant risk of failure.
With our help: We can get this training program off the ground quickly. Trainees will start making a living from their farm immediately. The expected gross revenues for a 3,000 chicken farm is $150,000-$250,000; enough to support a family or partnership to run a sustainable farm. As they succeed, the community will enjoy better eggs, and the planet will immediately start reaping the benefits of food staying out of landfills.
Would you join us?
- If you are inspired by the Happy Hens story and by the idea of Farms in a Box, please join us. We welcome all gifts, of any size. Every gift moves us forward in healing our planet, and improving our food.
- Please have conversations with friends who care about these issues and invite them to donate.
- If you think this life might be for you and you’d like to go through our Farmer Training Program please reach out to us through our website www.ManySpokes.com
For those interested in seeing this process in action, please view the videos below.
Lars Collecting Eggs from our Happy Hens
Happy Hens Eggs
Anne and Lars 30 years ago - newly engaged! (Stehekin, Washington)
What a journey!
POET VIDEOGRAPHER JIM BODEEN VISITS MANY SPOKES FARM
Thank you Jim for capturing the Happy Hens story and helping us share it!
Breakfast - Double Yolk Eggs - On the Food Run - Collecting Food from Restaurants and Groceries -
Discussing Egg-Laying - "The Soil Bacteria Talk" - Feeding the Hens.
Part Two: Feeding Hens - What a Tractor is Needed for - Wood Chips and Compost -
The Daily Routine - Lars' History - Collecting Eggs - The Internship Plan.
(This video mentions Kickstarter - Oops! its a GoFundMe Fundraiser!)
Part Three: Lars' Healing Work - The ICE Method -Spiritual Journey -
Chicken Farm Genesis - Ruth and Happy Hens and Healing - Moral Injury and Food Waste - Nightfall
Brief - 30% of all food is wasted -
enough to feed more than 2 billion people each day.
Thanks for your support,
Let's go build those farms!
To GOOD EGGS and a GOOD PLANET!
With spring here the hens are laying more eggs than ever. But, we're struggling to raise our baby chicks. With the late cold winter we ran into crowding issues, and then the chicks started crushing each other. We're learning - and once we learn to raise these chicks, we'll be able to help future interns be more successful.
Again - thank you!
Lars and Anne