Opportunities to invest locally?

kevinoman0221
By kevinoman0221 on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 - 6:20pm

I just read Adam's fantastic article on the wisdom of looking like an idiot. This section got me wondering:

  • Scout out locally-based hard-asset investments for the future - Once this bubble pops, higher interest rates and lower prices will result. Look around your local area for assets (businesses, housing, farmland, livestock, etc.) that you would consider holding at least a percentage ownership in. Calculate what price would make you an interested investor. While that price may be years away, when the impact of a market correction hits, you'll be poised to move ahead of the other savvy investors to secure the opportunities you want (and play a role in stabilizing the community in which you live).

Has anyone in this group been engaged in the process of finding local businesses, housing, farmland, etc to invest in? Adam, I know you are busy, but as the writer of this suggestion I would imagine you've been looking - do you have anything you'd care to share? 

I am personally building up my cash reserves in the hopes of getting a fair price on a house and/or land in the event of a crash. But I don't have any special intell - I just use Zillow and my realtor to keep an eye out in case anything comes along. 

39 Comments

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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Some soft guidance

I do have *some* soft guidance to share, but I think just getting some interested potential local investors at the same table will create worthwhile value in and of itself.

I haven't had time yet to attend a Sat morning gathering at Taylor Made (for reasons I'll share in person), but would be game for this Sat.

Anyone else interested?

kevinoman0221's picture
kevinoman0221
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I'm game. What time works for

I'm game. What time works for you? I'd like to make it after 9AM preferably. 

LeanneBaker's picture
LeanneBaker
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Let's Do It!

Could we say 9 a.m.?  That will give us time to go to the farmers markets as well. 

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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works for me!

9am works for me. I'll try to grab an upstairs table at Taylor Made a few minutes beforehand...

kevinoman0221's picture
kevinoman0221
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Sounds good! See you guys at

Sounds good! See you guys at 9

svgreengoddess's picture
svgreengoddess
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very interested in this topic

hi, i'm really interested in this, but not sure i can make it tomorrow morning.  i'm hoping if i can't come that there will be a f/u either here online or another meeting.  i've talked to my financial consultant about this, and he hasn't been of much help, largely because he represents a firm so i guess it is against policy for him to recommend other types of investments.  i'm especially interested in farmland, but don't have enough to invest with the few that i've come across so far.

susan

Daniel Judy's picture
Daniel Judy
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My wife and I will be there

My wife and I will be there at 9:00, too!

FarmersWife's picture
FarmersWife
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F/U meetings

Susan,

we had a great intro meeting with some really good discussion.  It's good to have other people to bounce things off of, that view the 'future' in a similar fashion. We are all at different places in our 'trip' but have lots in common. Adam is going to f/u (follow up) with some suggested areas to cover.

Consensus seemed to be that we have an on-going "touch base" meeting every Sat @ 9am/Taylor Maid.  Of course, not everyone will be able to attend each meeting; I know in December we already have commitments for next weekend, 13 & 14, thus will be out of town.

I think Adam is going to do a poll on the "mechanics" i.e.1) meet once a month, 2) every Sat Am, 3) every other Sat AM even (2&4th) or 4) odd  (1 &3rd) But for now, will do every Sat AM!

 

Looking forward to when you can join us!

Amy

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svgreengoddess
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thanks for the recap Amy

Amy, thanks for the recap, i'll make a point of making it as soon as i can.

Susan

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suziegruber
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Gratitude

Thanks to everyone for initiating this.  I want to participate and I was away this weekend, so I look forward to some kind of regular meeting.

FarmersWife's picture
FarmersWife
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matchup

Awesome Suzie... looking forward to matching up!!!

We had some great brainstorming, I thought, at our first meeting.  Of course, more 'brains' the better!

Amy

 

 

 

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Holiday Party Dec 13, Sebastopol Grange

ALL are welcome to the community Holiday Party being held at the Sebastopol Grange Hall this coming Friday (yep, the 13th).  The Young Farmer's Guild (a great group that has just formed up) & is providing LIVE music. The first organic, sustainable Farm to Stage production! "Whiskey & Circumstance" is the name of their group band. Should be a real kick.

Anyway, it's free (bring a dish to share); kids welcome; time to get to know your neighbors in the community! Starts at 6:30pm... farm theme evening.

scroll down, please!
 
View this email in your browser
This holiday season, your local Grange Hall is gettin' down with some eggnog, mistletoe and a little good ol' fashioned cowboy disco. Join your fellow Grange members for an evening of holiday cheer, good local food and the musical stylings of Sonoma County's only USDA-certified organic, pasture-raised, farm-to-stage cowboy disco: Whiskey & Circumstance. Bring your friends, family and dancing shoes!
All Welcome. Free Admission

Doors open at 6:30pm, music & dancing 'til late

 

And don't forget: 'tis the season for giving. We'll be accepting donations for the Interfaith Food Pantry

 
BRACE YOURSELF FOR A NIGHT OF. . .
 
Horseshoe Toss for the kids
Rhinestone Spittoons (for the older kids)
Soul Train Robberies
Pin the Tail on the Donkey... on the dance floor
"Cowboy Disco" costume contest
Chilli Cook-off! Bring your best
Glitter Cornbread and other such culinary delights from
Chef Elias's West County Chuck Wagon & Saloon
BYOB
Grange_Emblem.1.1.jpg

6000 Sebastopol Ave  
Sebastopol, CA

See you on Friday, December 13th

 
 
cleardot.gif

 

LeanneBaker's picture
LeanneBaker
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Thanks, Amy

Yes, it was good to see so many at our first coffee.  I will plan on being at Taylor Maid this Saturday at 9 a.m.  The Grange party also sounds fun!

greendoc's picture
greendoc
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I hope to be there too.   And

I hope to be there too.   And perhaps the Grange party as well.

FarmersWife's picture
FarmersWife
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Hatchery Hub

The need for "hubs" for resources for quality fish fry was brought up at our last meeting.  I found this article that discussed this being developed in the backyard setting.  Of course, different fish/different challenges

Amy

Hatcheries Support Economic Growth

 

Back-Yard Hatcheries Bring Jobs, Growth to Bali

PhotoThe following article was published in the Community and Environment section of GAA's December 2002 Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine. It was written by Advocate Associate Editor Susan V. Heerin.
 
A string of six sun-drenched villages -- or desas -- dotted alongBali's pristine northwest coast have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past decade. New construction, vehicles, and electric power lines are among the tangible signs that life has taken a turn for many of the region's 28,000 residents, who once made their living from subsistence fishing and corn, coconut, and grape farming.
 
Signs of Growth
Desa Penybangean, an enterprising Gondol region community flanked by mountains and a turquoise sea, is representative of the villages along this 19-km circuit. Signs of commerce are everywhere. Concrete and brick houses in varying stages of renovation line the main road. Gravel paths leading to their beachfront back yards reveal rows of concrete hatchery tanks, which receive clear seawater through simple pumping systems that extend just 250 m to the sea. 
 
PhotoA cluster of women sit on low stools on a shaded platform and count milkfish fry using an abacus to track each 100 animals. Technicians pack them into water-filled plastic bags and add life-giving oxygen from a large inner tube that has been filled at a nearby oxygen canister. Young men arrive on motorcycles to pack the bloated bags into large sacks that obscure both driver and bike as they transport fry to the exporters. Workers await and pack the live cargo in sturdy cardboard boxes, which are placed in four-wheel-drive vehicles and whisked to points of embarkation.
 
Progressive Vision
The development of this area, once considered one of the poorest in Indonesia, is due in large part to the foresight and progressive efforts of the Gondol Research Institute for Mariculture (GRIM), with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. Through the introduction and subsequent support of their back yard hatchery initiative, an entirely new industry was born.
 
Simple Technology
GRIM was established in 1985 as a regional mariculture training center with the mandate to conduct research and develop projects to further the fisheries industry in Indonesia. Its particular focus was the seed production of marine fish.
 
One of its earliest successes was the development of technology that simplified and standardized the breeding and seed production technology of milkfish (Chanos chanos). The objective was to make the process simple, reliable, and economically feasible enough to be transferred to back-yard hatcheries.
 
The technology was piloted in small hatcheries where the standard production unit consisted of two, 10-m³ larval-rearing tanks plus phytoplankton and rotifer production tanks. These were initially built, owned, and run by GRIM technicians, some of whom formed joint ventures with local people. The model capitalized on the skills of GRIM staff and proved very effective in testing the efficiency of the technology while demonstrating its application for successful production.
 
Technology Transfer
With the active assistance of GRIM staff, the technology was transferred to local residents eager to become involved in this new industry. The transfer included comprehensive instruction on the construction of hatchery facilities, larval rearing, harvesting, packing, and distribution. It also involved GRIM's hallmark of ongoing support, a practice that continues to this day.
 
PhotoLeading by Example
Suko Ismi, a researcher in finfish seed production and plankton culture at GRIM, was one of the original staff involved in the milkfish pilot program. Eight years ago, she and three local residents started a standard, one-unit back-yard hatchery. The institute furnished the initial supply of eggs, and plankton and rotifer culture stocks.
 
"The hatcheries gave the researchers the opportunity to make modifications and demonstrate the new technologies in marine fish culture," Ismi said.
 
Her investment at the time was the equivalent of U.S. $1,600. One year later, everyone in her group had started their own hatcheries, all larger than the original one. Ismi is still associated as a technician with GRIM. But with the help of her husband, Sujud, she has expanded the hatchery and become a fry trader and exporter.
 
Job Pyramid
Since 1993, the back-yard hatcheries have functioned as successful production centers of milkfish fry. The fledgling industry received a substantial boost in 1998 due to profits from increased milkfish prices.
 
The subsequent hatchery investment boom resulted in a pyramid of job opportunities that expanded the horizons and incomes of the local people, and also attracted an estimated 5,000 workers from other areas. Among the new job titles were hatchery construction worker, technician, fry counter, fish packer, broker, marketer, trader, and product exporter. Compensation for workers is usually 20% of the sale price, and incomes vary with the price of the product.
 
About 40-50 new, larger hatcheries now produce and sell surplus fertilized eggs to smaller back-yard hatcheries. Presently, local people own approximately 10% of these larger hatcheries.
 
PhotoFry Production
The production period for milkfish fry is 16-20 days, which provides about 10 cycles/year. One back-yard hatchery of two, 10-m³ tanks can produce up to 150,000 milkfish fry/cycle.
 
While prices fluctuate with demand, the farm gate price is sufficient to generate a profit for a back-yard hatchery. Prices and demand increase from December through March as the Taiwan and Philippine hatcheries enter their low-production, winter season.
 
"Right now, about 4 million milkfish fry are available for sale daily," Ismi said. "They are sold on the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi, and also exported to the Philippines and Taiwan."
 
New Species Added

Three years ago, a collaboration between GRIM and JICA helped offset the fluctuating demand for milkfish by the introduction of two additional fish species. Under the Multispecies Hatchery Project, techniques were first standardized for the seed production of humpback grouper (Cromileptes altivelis), and a year later for tiger grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus).
 
GRIM staff ran a pilot during which modifications to accommodate the newcomer species were made. Hatcheries were fitted with sand filters to improve incoming water quality, and roofing and plastic curtains were added to control light intensity and temperature.
 
In addition, a proper grouper diet of rotifers, Artemia, mysis shrimp, and artificial feed was introduced. In 2001, the grouper technology was transferred to local hatchery owners. The new species were a welcome addition that provided the flexibility to rotate production of milkfish and grouper as dictated by the market.
 
Conclusion
This new industry has reinvigorated the area and its economy. Its future seems secure as the Gondol Research Institute for Mariculture and Japanese International Cooperation Agency continue their research into seed production technology for other species. It is a model that demonstrates the power of combining technology, local enterprise, and sustainable use of natural resources, in this case, the pristine waters of theBali Sea.

 

 

FarmersWife's picture
FarmersWife
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Reminder: Holiday Party

Reminder: Grange holiday party/Farmer's Guild party tonight,

Dec 13th 6:30 pm at the Sebastopol Grange. Come meet your neighbors!

 
The food theme is a chili cook-off but you can bring
whatever tasty dish you'd like to bring. 
 
Most of you have seen the flyer announcement so I won't repeat it all. 
 

There'll be music by some farmer/musicians "Whiskey & Circumstance" doing a CD release. 

There'll be lots of fun activities. Kids invited!

Bring your cowboy hat if you have one but spurs are optional.

Hope to see you there.

Amy

 

greendoc's picture
greendoc
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Anyone going to Taylor Maid Saturday 12/14?

Grange party looks like fun, but alas, I have a previous engagement. 

Is anyone meeting at Taylor made tomorrow? I plan on being there at 9 am or a little before and will try to get a table upstairs.

Claire

svgreengoddess's picture
svgreengoddess
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hoping to make it sat morning

i'm going to try my best to make it, and hopefully i will find whoever is there, since i haven't made it yet to any of these meetings!  i do know suzie gruber if she makes it, but don't know anyone else.

susan

LeanneBaker's picture
LeanneBaker
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Yes, I'll be there

I'll be at Taylor Maid Sat at 9 a.m.  Heading off to the Grange soon with our lamb chili -- should be fun!

Daniel Judy's picture
Daniel Judy
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I'll try my best to make it

I'll try my best to make it tomorrow, too.

FarmersWife's picture
FarmersWife
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Sat 9am

We meet upstairs.... look for some tables put together! We'll save you a spot.

Amy

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FarmersWife
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Investing Opportunity Meeting 12/14

Follow-up: Here is the Ted Talk about "How I Fell in LOVE with a Fish"...

I think you will find it very, very good (and funny)!  www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EUAMe2ixCI

Meeting 12/14:  Excellent meeting today; new faces, good discussion, lots of input. We did miss Adam, though!

Overview:

Least regulations/local:  Fodder Feeding  (lowest investment startup costs) 

Issues to deal with: temp, seed source, automation, transport, minimal labor, focuses on very local market

Other ideas:  Olive Oil, Commercial Kitchen, Local value-added products, Small Farm Implements, Aquaponics, Organic Grain production, Sunflowers, Chicken Compost/Egg Production System, Solar Systems, Seahorse Production, Hatchery Hubs

Concepts:  Create value added products, with local produce, for local use... "Sebastopol's Own" Label creating a "Name" for our local products

anything I missed???

 

Amy

 

 

 

 

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In the salt mines

Amy -

Many thanks for the write-up!

I'm sorry I wasn't there. I was working with Jason, producing more of what I showed you all briefly last week. Still at the computer working with him now, in fact. I'm really looking forward to getting my life back when this project is completed in a month or so...

Very excited to see the range of ideas and the enthusiasm folks are bringing. This was exactly my hope when we created this Groups platform.

I'm excited to see what we're able to make happen in 2014!

cheers,

A

kevinoman0221's picture
kevinoman0221
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Thanks!

Amy, thanks for the recap. And that fish video was great!

I wish I had somewhere around here to buy fish like that... wink

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Way to go Amy!

Thank you Amy for your being the "wheels on the bus" (our families' way of "you rock").  I might add a farm to table Paleo/Gluten free Restaurant  Probably the most complicated "Value-added" project. And the fish video very fun.

Claire

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FarmersWife
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Well Adam, SOMEBODY has to

Well Adam,

SOMEBODY has to slave away in the 'salt mines' getting the word out to those that are looking! It was a pleasure to finally meet you and to start tackling some of these issues.

If I can assist in anyway, let me know!

sincerely,

Amy

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FarmersWife
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Why thank you for such

Why thank you for such awesome feedback! Appreciate hearing it; made my day :)

 

YES, I did forget: "a farm to table Paleo/Gluten free Restaurant"  should be added to the list of items discussed.

As was pointed out, a rapidly growing segment of the population are developing problems. The biggest concern I have is that MORE CHILDREN are showing up with issues.  That tells me it is more than just the 'accumulated' exposure to chemicals applied to food products (color, stabilizers, preservatives), but something 'intrinsic' to the food, I suspect. 

The solution: get everything out of your diet that you can that has been manipulated.  Get back to the basics.  The "OLD" basics, not what has been line inbred over the last 50 years. But that is more challenging then it appears because it can be as subtle as the soil the food is grown in, that effects the nutrient value. i.e. if there are no micronutrients in the soil, the plant can't access them, and we don't get them.  For example, the west coast as a whole has soil deficient in selenium, a mineral need for livestock health & fertility.

Jim had problems with his calf cramping severely. What solved it? of all things, Sweet Potatoes (highest nutrient value root crop!) But not all sweet potatoes... organic were the only ones that worked consistently!

Different sub-groups have adapted over time to their food environments, so have different levels of sensitivity.  With the 'globalization' of our food, and the industrial methods to produce them, we are each exposed to a whole new range of variables.  What bothers me, may not bother you.

While challenging, a gluten-free Paleo Diet Restaurant, is probably a "high value' niche need that will be expanding in the near future as more people develop food intolerances.

Amy

 

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FarmersWife
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AP Nursery Yields Tasty Profits!
 

A Koi-Fueled Nursery in New Orleans Yields Tasty Profits

ut_veggi_f.jpg
  • BY CORY PERKINS
  • 6:30 AM

Some former fishermen in the Big Easy have turned to veggie farming—in fish tanks. photo_icon4.jpg Courtesy of David Nguyen

In New Orleans east, a collective of Vietnamese fishermen left jobless after the BP oil spill has found a new enterprise: growing upmarket produce in water laced with fish crud. The Village de l’Est Green Growers Initiative—Veggi — uses aquaponics (that’s aquaculture + hydroponics), adding bacteria to basins full of water and fish like minnows and koi to convert the ammonia in piscine poop to nitrates. Seedlings, their roots bathed in this funky nourishing brew, grow big and strong. The system leverages the fishermen’s know-how and yields more numerous, healthier crops with less land and water than traditional methods. So far Veggi has sold 10,000 pounds of produce, and the harvest usually heads to high-end eateries like Emeril Lagasse’s flagship, Emeril’s. It’s hyperlocal, hyperefficient, and hyperhelpful.

How Aquaponics Works

ut_veggi_2f.jpg

Growing trays are positioned directly above the tanks. And while they share the water supply, adult fish are kept separate so they don’t snack on developing roots.

 

svgreengoddess's picture
svgreengoddess
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amy, thanks for the recap and info on aquaponics

glad i made it yesterday and meeting those of you who were there.  i'm very interested in continuing to learn more about aquaponics. 

susan

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The Aquaponics Community
svgreengoddess wrote:

glad i made it yesterday and meeting those of you who were there.  i'm very interested in continuing to learn more about aquaponics. 

susan

There is a great site for anyone serious about Aquaponics. http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/ Most of the top AP growers post there. Aquaponics is a fascinating pursuit, but is not simple. Be prepared to learn about Ammonia levels; nitrites; nitrates and all kinds of plumbing designs to move water from the growbeds to the fish tanks, to the sumps and more. 

I've got a prototype 600 gallon system running and am building a large greenhouse for a 4000 gallon system.

Aquaponics lends itself to local marketing and works well with lettuce, basil and other greens in rafts. But in media beds you can grow just about anything. Murry Hallam has papaya trees in his AP system.

Study a lot before you dive in and be prepared to make some mistakes as you learn.

 

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Kman
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Good to meet everyone. 

Good to meet everyone.  Acquaponics is a new concept to me, but very interesting.  Makes a lot of sense given where we live.  Good youtube video as well.  Look forward to future discussions.  If anyone has solar questions, happy to help.

Keith

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Blossiming Caravan: A Farm to Table Local Food Truck

Hi everyone,

I am sorry I missed the rich conversation last Saturday.  I didn't find out about the meeting until after it was over.  Is anyone meeting on Dec. 21st?

On another note, I notice that one of the things that came out of the last meeting was a need for a farm to table paleo/gluten free restaurant.  Some dear friends of mine are starting a business that may somewhat fit what you talked about it.  It's called Blossoming Caravan and it's a catering business/food truck founded by Coby Liebman and Mary Zovich, two local folks dedicated to healthy eating.  Coby gathered traditional recipes during his travels around the world and while their business is not specifically gluten-free, they can certainly provide gluten-free meals whenever necessary.  They are committed to providing food from local farms, butchers and dairies.  I have experienced their food on many occasions and deeply enjoyed the experience each time.

Coby and Mary are in start-up mode, seeking initial funds through crowd funding.  To learn more, check out them out here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-blossoming-caravan-catering-go-mobile

I love the active discussion that has blossomed among our group.  Let's keep it going!

Cheers,

Suzie

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FarmersWife
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Yes to the 21st, so far

The tentative assessment was that people were planning on meeting on the 21st, TaylorMaid, upstairs @ 9am.  At this point Jim & I are still planning on making the meeting. Perhaps others can chime in by Friday so we have a head count.  No pressure though, this is a 'stressful' time of the year for lots of folks that we don't want to add to.

Amy

PS

1)  I'll bring some info on the "Cottage Law" &

2) also putting together some info on the legal requirements when creating a "Label".

Daniel Judy's picture
Daniel Judy
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Saturday at Taylor Maid

My wife and I will be able to make it Saturday. It'll be nice to take a break from all of the running around we've been doing for the holidays! Thanks everyone for all of the great posts! At one of the meetings Jim had brought up the point that aquaponic grown plants might not have all of the nutrients/minerals that plants grown in soil might have. I had came up with the same thought while running my aquaponics system and to help offset this had added a small amount of kelp that I had aged until it had begun to break down. Just an idea to get some minerals and micronutrients into an aquaponics system.

svgreengoddess's picture
svgreengoddess
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can't make it this sat

hi all, i have an appt in santa rosa sat morning, so won't be able to make it to the cafe gathering.  looking forward to hearing all about it!

susan

svgreengoddess's picture
svgreengoddess
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thanks for sharing this suzie!

thanks for sharing, i love hearing about local projects like this!

susan

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greendoc
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I plan on being at TM at 9

I plan on being at TM at 9 this Sat 12/21.

Claire

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LeanneBaker
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Saturday

I'll be there!

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kevinoman0221
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HAM radios and such

There was some interest in HAM radio and other means of coordinating with each other in case of a grid-down situation, such as a major earthquake or other natural disaster.

I remember Jack Spirko interviewed an expert in HAM and radios and seem to recall it was a good interview. I think this is the one: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ham-and-scanners-tim-glance

Claire mentioned that she knows a HAM expert who would probably love to talk to the group.

Adam suggested we maintain a list of addresses and phone numbers, and have a protocol in place so if there is a disaster we can check on one another and provide help if needed. This may be easier for those who live directly in Sebastopol; if there are any other Santa Rosans following this group, maybe we can get in touch and do something similar. Though I don't know how much longer I will be in Santa Rosa; me and my wife are looking for a place to rent. If anyone knows of any leads - someone looking to rent out a small house with a small yard to a very polite, financially stable young couple and a 15 Lb miniature dachsund, please don't hesitate to forward them my way :) Caretaking of some animals on the property might even be a workable part of the equation.

 

 

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