Thursday, February 6, 2014

Peace, Love, and Oikoculture

I like to prepare food.  I like to eat food.  However, I'm doggone bad at even attempting to produce food.

This should change with the new house.  Our intent is raised bed planters with appropriate vegetables, and the house offers a variety of shade-sun mixtures, so I think we can figure out good places for different plants.  We're not set up for graywater, which is sad to me, but that doesn't mean I can't still use dishwater on the compost, etc.  Stewardship of creation is important, and financially rewarding, too.

So I was excited to see these guys (whom I found from a MMM post comment thread - typically much better than most blog comment threads, which are often toxic sludge).

Their website seems to be drowning in hits right now, so I couldn't get to their blog, but the premise seems to be an automatically-manged hydroponically-fed permaculture station for your backyard.

Now, everybody out there who has read the Foundation trilogy knows that hydroponics aren't the answer when the galaxy's infrastructure is crumbling, but hey, it's morning in America, so let's see how we can swing this thing.  I'm eager to see if they can pull it off, and if they ever need a thermal guy...

(Also, I just made up Oikoculture as a term of art for household cultivation - seems to be a well-suited term to this sort of thing.  It exists on a Spanish-language website where I am not at all convinced they are talking about the same thing, and one English-language cultural-linguistic discussion.  Just to make sure I properly attribute.)


  1. Hi there, ProsaicPolymath! Thanks for the AutoMicroFarm shout-out. Small correction: the system is called aquaponics, not hydroponics. I don't remember what the Foundation trilogy wrote about hydroponics, since I read it a long time ago. Anyway, let me know how to best get in touch with you. I'd love to chat! My email is andrew at automicrofarm dot com.

  2. Hi Andrew! Glad you found the post! I will email you presently. This blog is my less-monitored one.

    And of course, the Second Foundation used traditional low-yield agricultural methods because they could not rely on the economies of scale necessary to keep a hydroponic chemical industry viable. I do understand that aquaponics replaces many or all of the external chemical feedstocks with bacteria and (tasty) fish.