Phase 2: Genesis Farm
In phase 2 of the project we are working toward our goal of establishing a fully functioning Buddhist Geeks Genesis Farm & Retreat Center that can host 10-20 people at a time.
The purpose of the Genesis Farm is to be a training ground for those that want to deepen their contemplative practice, while learning more about this model of mindful living. The Genesis Farm is meant to be a type of "parallel temporary utopia," wherein we can explore healthier, more heartfelt, and effective ways of living together, outside the typical constraints of the capitalist-world-system.
In order to do this we employ an agile development process, much as is used in modern software development. The vision above lights our way forward, and serves as an attractor, even as we break our strategic steps into the most simple, bite sized, and achievable milestones.
There are a couple important reasons for doing it this way. One being that there is a huge benefit to setting more achievable goals and then actually achieving them! All of these little small wins power our sails and give us the opportunity to share them with the world. This makes the whole project increasingly real & worthy of supporting.
The second reason is that by breaking down the process into smaller milestones we open up the possibility of being able to dynamically steer our strategy. Instead of trying to figure out the entire strategy up-front, and raising a boat load of funds to make it happen all at once, the so-called waterfall model of development, instead we continue learning about what we're trying to do even as we're doing it. This approach generates less waste, by minimizing costly mistakes, and puts the focus on continual learning & adaption in real-time.
It is clear to us that our first milestone must be the purchase of suitable land in Western North Carolina. As such, this is what we're working on now! We have a goal of raising $150,000 so that we can begin seriously looking at local farmland. We're currently 20% of the way toward this goal!
We're searching for several acres, within ~30 minutes of the Asheville City Center, that can become the home of the Genesis Farm. We will be doing all of the necessary research, to ensure that we pick a spot which has the right conditions for delicious food and robust community.
After purchasing land, and achieving our 1st big milestone, there are a number of other important milestones that will follow. Given our agile approach, we won't necessarily do these in order, but each will serve as an important likely step along the way:
- Constructing a Retreat Dormitory & Kitchen - Equipped with several small rooms & a large kitchen / dining space that can serve ~30 people. (est. $100-150k)
- Digging a Well - If we purchase land that doesn't already have water access, we will need to dig a good well. (est $20-30k)
- Constructing a Collective Practice Space - A Yurt or Refurbished Barn that can hold ~30 people and serve as a primary gathering space for group practice. (est. $20-30k)
- Building a Solar Powered Workshop - A stand-alone work space that can be used to help build the other structures. (est. $15k)
- Building the 1st Meditation Hut - Using the meditation hut (kuti) model of Thailand, combined with open source modular building design, we seek to build several compressed earth brick microhuts that can each host someone in long-term practice or residency. (est. $20-30k)
- Farm.Bot Greenhouse - One source of food will come from the farm.bot, an automated self-gardening robot. We would like to create a greenhouse full of farm.bot's that can grow throughout the growing year, in a low-maintenance programmable & automated fashion. (est. $20-30k)