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Be The Change Permaculture Farm

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Permaculture: "It's a wardrobe within which all of human knowledge can be hung. It is an all encompassing science of strategic, functional, and sustainable design that directly benefits the people, the earth, and its inhabitants." Bill Mollison

Permaculture has a very clear definition of sustainability. A sustainable system produces more energy than it consumes, enough in surplus to maintain and replace that system over its lifetime. At Be The Change Permaculture Farm, I plan to operate in such a way that fulfills these principles of permaculture.

The main reason that I am asking for help is to raise the money needed to purchase a piece of property to finally implement my dream of having a permaculture farm. It is very hard to get funding from conventional institutions for the purpose of starting a farm. Especially a young beginning farmer like myself. For instance, the USDA loan programs are set up as such that if you receive one of their loans than you have to farm in such a way that they see fit for a certain number of years before you can do what you want. I don't know about you but I don't like being told what to do. To make a finer point I don't believe farming in the conventional manner is the way of the future or in our best interest. Using chemicals for fertilizer and pesticides on monoculture crops on big-ag industrialized farms is the antithesis of the definition of sustainability.

By practicing permaculture you use the lands contour to collect and harvest water. You use nitrogen fixing plants to help support other plants in your system. You create a food forest system that supports itself over time. The farm sustains itself while never depleting resources and in the meantime provides you with an abundance of fresh healthy food for you, your animals, and all who come to the farm for fresh produce.

The funding goal that I have set, if reached, is enough to buy the property out right and to cover the percentage this crowd funding site collects. Even if I don't reach the ultimate fundraising goal I hope to collect enough to use for a down payment through a local lendor.

So let me tell you about the property: It is about 4 1/2 acres of rolling hills with a 7 stall barn. The barn has a kitchenette, bathroom, and an office. I plan to remodel the office into living quarters. The property use to be an alpaca farm so there is also adequate fencing that divides the property into seperate pastures. In southeastern Louisiana, we have a lot of flat land. This property is in an area where the flat land turns into slow rolling hills in which you are deep in the countryside with clean air and fresh water from the aquifer the parish sits on.

Although it is in the country, it is not too far from the city. It is my hope that not only will people come to the farm to purchase produce but I will be able to provide local business with fresh produce as well. In the greater New Orleans area there are so many spectacular restaurants and local grocery stores that are really trying to support local food producers especially ones trying to grow sustainably.

I would not say that Louisiana is known for growing organically. Conventional farming far outweighs what is being produced organically. That is why I want to take this on. More and more people are becoming aware of what is in their food and taking charge over what they put in their bodies. That is why the farm is called 'Be The Change' because I know that I can be the change that I want to see in this world. To provide healthy food for my friends and family. To teach others the principles of permaculture so we can all heal this planet one person at a time. However big or small your donation, I want to thank each and every one of you in advance for helping me fund this project. So I can be the change and fulfill the dream that I have been dreaming of for so long.


Ben Hurst

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