Fraser Bliss

Start Growing! Part 5: The Best Employee For Your Farm or Food Hub

Imagine that your small farm or food hub just hired a new employee. Her name is Susan. But she’s not just any employee, she’s an electronic one. Susan’s the best you’ve ever hired. She does exactly as instructed. She works 24×7, 365 days a year. She’s never grumpy, never calls in sick and never gets tired. She never takes shortcuts and her wage is only pennies per hour.

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Start Growing! Part 4: Have You Considered SPIN Farming?

In previous parts of the Start Growing! series, we’ve talked about how to buy a farm debt-free, even without money, and how we should value our time if we’re going to be financially sustainable. Did you know that’s what SPIN Farming is about? When I first heard of it I falsely assumed it was something like square-foot gardening with a twist. Nope. Not even close.

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Finding Your Niche in the Strangest Places: The Story of Farmwell

This 3 minute video shows how it took a personal crises, a 5-year ultra-low budget trip around the world and a romance with permaculture to discover my niche in life. It tells the story of Farmwell — how any local farmer or food hub can now jumpstart their business online with easy access to the same technology that global corporations have used to take over the world.

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Start Growing! Part 3: Don’t Waste Another Minute Until You Know What Your Time is Worth!

Find previous episodes of this Start Growing! series. If you’re a farmer, you live with risks that range from weather to injury to financial ruin. But why should you bust your hump from dusk till dawn with stress and risk for less than you’d get pumping gas or working construction? The answer to that question is found in time. Let me explain. When you think of it, time is all […]

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Start Growing! Part 2: You Don’t Need Money to Buy a Farm

In Part 1 of the Start Growing! series, we explored how you might buy a farm debt-free with as little as $10,000 in savings. But what if you’re young and don’t have any savings at all? How can you become an independent, self-employed and profitable farmer when land is so expensive? It’s easier than you might think. Let’s take a look.

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Start Growing! Part 1: How to Buy a Farm Debt Free

Let’s say you have a bit of savings and you’re keen to buy land to farm. Even though permaculture has taught you how to see the hidden value in land and you have the skills to rehabilitate the most degraded landscapes, land is by no means cheap. The problem is not that you can’t borrow money to purchase that hidden gem you’ve found. The problem is that the real costs […]

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What’s Holding Our Local Farmers Back?

As much as I love fresh local food, why isn’t there more of it? Why aren’t there more small farmers selling their amazing produce to their own communities? What’s stopping them? For sure, the local food movement is growing, but why is it still at the fringe of society? Or am I just being impatient? In my last post, I looked at excuses consumers make to justify their supermarket addiction. […]

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Top 10 Excuses Why We’re Still Addicted to Supermarkets

We know that the best food is from local, small-scale farmers and out of our own gardens and food forests. But why do most of us still find ourselves regularly going to the supermarket? As a permaculture teacher, IT professional and someone who is passionate about high quality local food, I ask this question to friends, colleagues, farmers, students and people I meet every day. Here is what I’ve found […]

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The End of Email Privacy

A month ago, I wrote an article called Internet Privacy for Permaculturists that recommended switching to a secure email service called Lavabit as other email companies help the NSA spy on their own users. As it turns out, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden used Lavabit email as well. Why not anymore? Because the entire service just got turned off. Last week, Ladar Levison, owner of Lavabit, announced that he has completely […]

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Internet Privacy for Permaculturists

Us permies are more known for our ability to repair landscape and create eco-paradises of food abundance than computer wizardry. What can we do in this world of total government surveillance and rampant cyber-crime? As a permaculture professional and former IT consultant of global corporations, I thought I’d share with you some basic steps you can take to protect your online privacy.

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