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farm hack ithaca: success

Posted: October 29 2012

This past weekend, Farm Hackers gathered at beautiful Ecovillage in Ithaca, New York for the biggest (and possibly baddest) Farm Hack yet.

Saturday featured live demos of various farm innovations operated, and in some cases developed by, local farmers, including a custom-built electric tractor, Japanese paper pot transplanter, and Cool Bot cooling system.  The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming’s brand new Incubator Farm served as a perfect demo space.
The first of Sunday’s workshops focused on grain and bean production and processing, hosted by Cayuga Pure Organics.  Anne Riordan, farm and milling operations manager  at CPO, gave a tour of the production and processing equipment that allows CPO to grow a variety of heirloom grain and beans, and clean and sort them on site.  Robert Perry of NOFA-NY also gave a demonstration of his mobile grain processing unit.  
The second Sunday workshop focused on farm shop basics, led by veteran farm hackers and fabricators Rob Rock of Pitchfork Farm and Ben Shute of Hearty Roots Community Farm.  Ben and Rob introduced the group to the basic tools most useful to in a farm shop, and the techniques with which these tools could be put to use for farm hack projects.
And of course, a Farm Hack is never complete without the Design Charrette.  The crowd broke out into six small groups, working on topics from automated control irrigation system for greenhouses to production of larvae for fish food.  Notes and continuing conversation can be found in the Ithaca event forum.  Several of the designs have already been posted to the Tools wiki page.
More event photos on the Greenhorns Flickr page!

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