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23.05.2014 admin
Marcin Jakubowski sits cross-legged on the dirt floor of a round hut in Missouri farm country, carefully making an open-faced mayo and cheddar sandwich. Jakubowski’s hut anchors a 30-acre compound near Maysville, Mo., full of wooden shacks, yurts, work sheds, flapping laundry, clucking chickens, and a collection of black and strange-looking machinery. In 2007, Jakubowski began working on a minimum set of machines necessary to sustain a modern civilization. Jakubowski expects to have all 50 tools finished by 2015 and publishes progress reports on the Open Source Ecology website.
Fifty tools aren’t a hedge against the apocalypse, although if most of civilization is wiped out, survivors with Factor e Farm plans may at least have something to work with. After Factor e Farm completes its “Global Village Construction Set,” Jakubowski expects communities around the globe to use these tools, spurring an explosion of innovation as people take his tractors and drills and build even better ones. In his TED Talk, Jakubowski took the stage in a khaki Mao suit and explained how he planted 100 trees in one day, pressed 500 bricks “from the dirt beneath my feet,” also in one day, and built a tractor in six. Since Jakubowski’s TED Talk was posted to YouTube (GOOG) in April 2011, it’s been viewed by more than 1 million people, around 500 of whom agreed to donate $10 or so a month to “subscribe” to the farm. Factor e Farm has 400 fruit trees, although none produce fruit in any meaningful quantity yet.
Bedrooms line one side of the building and a kitchen and bathrooms take up most of the other.
Miller has a 100-foot power cable stretching from an outlet in an old living area into his yurt, where a MacBook Air (AAPL) sits on a small, plastic table. The drinking water had been drawn from a well on the property, but the well and a filter couldn’t keep up with all the farm’s guests. As part of the ground rules for my visit to the farm in July, I agree to help a squad of farmworkers build a set of rooms on the side of the Hab Lab. The Hab Lab no-shows notwithstanding, there are some signs the farm may be getting its act together.
With his funding from the Shuttleworth Foundation and other organizations, Jakubowski says he plans to move from a volunteer workforce to an established team. By “build the materials,” Jakubowski means he would like to eventually extract the elemental natural resources for his tools as well.
The Factor e Farm may seem crude now but, Jakubowski emphasizes, it’s just one node in the network he envisions. Marlatt, the retired carpenter, agrees that Jakubowski can come across as eccentric, even delusional, but blames at least some of the farm’s disarray on this summer’s brutal drought.


Come December, Jakubowski plans to start selling the brick presses and prove that the farm can make a profit of $5,000 per day from one of its machines. Buy anything you like at Amazon and use our link to enter Amazon and we will get some commission.
Inside the hut there’s a bed, a small desk, a few plastic containers (including one for food), and, occasionally, mice and snakes. A dozen or so people in their twenties, none of whom appears to have bathed in a while, wander around or fiddle with the machines. It’s a black metal box about the size of an office copier, with a 27-horsepower engine that runs a hydraulic pump. What Jakubowski is trying to prove is that people can live without the help of corporations. Eventually, this virtuous circle will yield equipment rivaling that made by market-leading corporations—a tractor that is 90 percent as good as a John Deere (DE) at a fraction of the price. To get there, you turn off a two-lane road onto a gravelly stretch that runs for about a mile before hitting the commune’s dirt driveway, which after about 100 yards leads to the main living and work areas.
The foundation of Mark Shuttleworth, a billionaire South African technology entrepreneur, gave Jakubowski $360,000 to pursue the work. Between them is a common area with a table, couches, and open buckets of rotting waste that, in the historic Midwestern heat wave of 2012, produce a sweet, gag-inducing stench that sticks to the lining of the nostrils. He says his area of expertise—software coding practices that speed up project development—should up the tempo of Factor e Farm’s tool-building.
He also wants to shift from a handful of haphazard projects taking place to doing a dozen at one time. In the meantime, he’ll keep enduring the curious people who drive by the farm to peek at the strange folks building the strange contraptions.
Jakubowski has named the place Factor e Farm, though the goal isn’t just the cultivation of crops. Factor e Farm has already built 15 of these devices, including a computer-controlled torch table that can cut intricate patterns on metal with a jet of superheated ionized gas. The Power Cube’s engine can drive the bulldozers; the pumps can power the table saws and other smaller, stationary machines. A few years ago, his attempts at utopia kept being undermined by the costs of repairing his farm equipment. Showing up established corporations is critical to Jakubowski, because, he says, they spend too much time obsessing over patents, spending millions on commercials, and generally getting in the way of progress.


He graduated with honors from Princeton and later earned a doctorate in nuclear fusion physics from the University of Wisconsin.
As a result, almost all of the farm’s food and supplies come from Wal-Mart (WMT) and other stores in nearby towns.
An old toilet bowl is used for growing herbs; chickens and rabbits sit in cages awaiting food. She’s a 22-year-old from suburban Los Angeles who wears a tie-dye dress and has a “hemp history week” sticker on her laptop. He acknowledges it may seem odd to have food and building materials shuttled into a “self-sustaining” community from nearby supermarket chains and Home Depot. Other people will improve the designs, and, in time, a “distributed enterprise” will arise—a society in which the people have taken back control of their technology and lowered the basic cost for existence by several orders of magnitude. Rather, it’s to create a completely self-sufficient community that produces not only its own food, but also energy, tools, and raw materials for making those tools. Nearby is a large, open-air workshop and a pair of his larger contraptions, a bulldozer and tractor that look like Mad Max’s take on a John Deere.
About 200 yards past the yurts is a larger structure called the Hab Lab, which was built by a local carpenter as a barracks during the post-TED Talk overflow. Jakubowski, who’s of average height and extremely fit, wears khakis and a long-sleeve oxford shirt.
Now and again, a couple people would show up during the summer to help out, and they made huts alongside Jakubowski’s. A couple days before my arrival, she had the farm pay $1,000 for a dairy cow (plus $30 for delivery), which she has named Good Cow and now keeps on the farm in a paddock enclosed by an electric fence. He carefully places cheddar shreds on top of the mayo, squirts the works with Sriracha hot sauce in a precise cross-hatch pattern, bites, chews.
That changed in early 2011, when he was invited to give a lecture at a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference.
LeBlanc plans to get the greenhouse back in order before next planting season and to plant some crops and dig a pond.




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Comments

  1. 1361 writes:
    Result in poor growth of the crops.
  2. POSSAJIR57 writes:
    Cucumbers, i had numerous cucumbers LOL most likely contains that self-motivated students begin.
  3. melek writes:
    Varsity districts of Center Line, Fitzgerald, Van Dyke.