Acreage Farms at 1 Million Cups Daytona Beach

An excellent presentation by Acreage Farms of Daytona Beach, at today’s 1 Million Cups Daytona Beach. (I attended online. Kudos to the 1MC organizers for continuing to offer Facebook Live.)

Various thoughts that it sparked in me, from a permaculture perspective:

  • Great example of how technology can be used to improve the human-built environment, and increase abundance.
  • Great example of how permaculture is about so much more than just the immediate operation of growing food! It’s about optimizing processes and maximizing resources.
  • Colin mentions that although they use low-energy LED lighting, the expense does add up. I think they could reduce their overhead significantly by using skylights for lighting. Also, there may be opportunities to use passive solar design elements to save money & fuel on cooling. At the very least, the sun’s free energy could greatly supplement the energy needs of an indoor growing facility and help shift the overhead equation in a sustainable direction.
  • In this group we tend to prefer 100% outdoor growing. And we turn to look askance at systems that require a lot of manufactured elements such as plastic containers etc. But the fact of the matter is, field agriculture is chewing up too much acreage, water, nutrients, and biodiversity; plus the climate is changing super fast. So we all kind of need to be a giant laboratory for various techniques. Vertical indoor growing is one option that can be just the right thing in some settings.
  • The topic of Terroir came up. It’s fascinating to me that growers have been able to replicate the Terroir to grow a Japanese strawberry in New York for example.
  • Also, if we can locally grow cacao and coffee and other high-demand crops, that would be a huge win. The industrialized world’s high demand for certain crops has caused a lot of hardship and ecological degradation in many parts of the world.
  • It struck me that the vertical growing industry might potentially be a good market for recycled single-use plastics (or better yet reused, upcycled plastics).
  • Our focus, within the permaculture movement, on mainly the food-growing aspect of permaculture has done our movement and the general public a grave disservice. Many of us simply are not cut out for growing food. However all of us are cut out to be involved in some aspect(s) of growing food, which can include space design, engineering, robotics, process optimization, plumbing, electrics, monitoring, transportation, processing, hospitality businesses, the cultivation of sales channels, not to mention the design and making of comfortable and functional work clothing, tool design and making, etc. etc. etc. and so much more. To examples of the huge range of skills that can help with the growing of food, just look at the profiles of the Acreage Farms team members.
  • I love that this company is in my local area, and I will be seeking to support them in cultivating beneficial relationships in our region.
  • 1 Million Cups, itself, is a prime example of Permaculture. We are literally creating the local business ecosystem; local economic resilience. This is an aspect of permaculture that merits much more attention.