FarmLab Bounenkai and Plans for Next Year

The year is rapidly wrapping up and FarmLab has become the busiest project here at Hackerfarm. It’s spawned meetups and workshops in Tokyo, we’ve had to create a data analysis toolkit for it, and it’s pushing us to test out different methods of growing using both traditional methods and technology.

We recently had the FarmLab bounenkai which means “end of the year” gathering. It was a small affair with just Adrian, Jacinta, and I (Akiba) and we had the chance to reminisce on some of the amazing accomplishments we had. First of all, this was the first year FarmLab came into existence. The entire story is long and requires a few drinks, but the project essentially started by accident last December when we were offered a farm plot to manage for free.

Since then, we’ve expanded into two plots (Adrian is now managing his own plot and will start farming on it professionally, yay!), we’ve acquired four tractors, we’ve fed most of the families in our area from the initial harvest, and the locals keep bringing us presents and food when they see us working on the plot. Ha ha ha.

Next year will have even more interesting things happening. We’re planning to set up a seed bank and seed exchange for heirloom seeds and to try and manage traditional Japanese seeds that are bred for taste rather than durability and distribution. We’ll also be bringing another plot online attached to some property Jacinta and I started leasing. And we’ll be traveling to Mexico to meet with rural villages and sustainable agriculture communities to establish ties, trade knowledge and seeds, and hopefully set up an exchange program between these communities in Mexico and hackerfarm.

Stay tuned because 2018 is going to be another crazy year.

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