40 Technical Components

of ROA Training & Research Farms

In Santa Clara County, there are 40 technical components of ROA training and research farms.

This method of urban farming simultaneously reduces CO2 emissions by 30% while holding carbon in the soil and rebuilding soil organic content.

These components include:

1)  ROA farms are designed and constructed on 1-10 acres in urban environments.
2)  Tatura trellis systems are used for fruit and nut trees.
3)  Dwarf and genetic dwarf mixed fruit and nut orchards are selected according to soils and climate factors.
4)  Native wildflower seeds that were eaten by indigenous people are planted with native grassland understory in mixed fruit and nut orchards. This variety of harvested seeds can be used in new food products like native California nutrition bars.
5)  Restored local valley, foothill and riparian grasslands are used as hedgerows with maximum historical species biodiversity.
6)  Insectary plants like regionally native milkweed, buckwheat, phacelia and regional native sunflowers are integrated in food rows.
7)  Composting and vermicomposting production is ongoing. The only thing that leaves the farm is food.
8)  Polyculture plantings with up to 225 species of food plants are utilized. 
9)  No-till methods are used exclusively.
10)  Heirloom seed saving is standard for all ROA farms.
11)  Drip and subterranean irrigation is connected to stormwater reserves and greywater harvesting.
12)  Native edibles are one of six plant categories.
13)  Perennial edibles is the second one.
14)  Drought tolerant food plants is the third one.
15)  Nitrogen fixing food plants is the fourth one.
16)  Superfoods is number five.
17)  Comfort foods is the last category of food plants.
18)  Companion planting is in wide rows at least four feet across, accommodating seven species of food plants. Plants are arranged according to harvest dates and complimentary groupings.
19)  Greenhouse and propagating facilities are able to support a constant planting and harvesting schedule with fully automated systems as the goal.
20)  Aquaponics farm design will typically utilize stormwater capture, with fish effluent connected to an onsite biogas system.
21)  Stormwater capture systems, including filters, storage and pumping supply most of the water for all systems to function optimally.
22)  An equipment/tool shed of all sustainable construction will also collect, clean and divert stormwater.
23)  A biogas system in an integral part of this model, supplying the renewable energy to produce food that is 10 times more than Big Ag or organic farms.
24)  Chicken and rabbit hutches are important, possibly pigmy goats production for biodynamic farming if your model includes animal waste.
25)  Nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs are planted in hedgerows and adjacent to farm for organic fertilizer sources.
26)  Outdoor/indoor kitchen and CSA prep area, walk-in refrigeration, and storage are key components in the ROA model utilizing renewable energy systems.
27)  Covered gathering and teaching area that is is attached to stormwater capture and dispersal.
28)  Habitat garden for educational purposes.
29)  Riparian habitat and grassland hedgerows.
30)  Solar and/or wind power, geothermal. 
31)  Research lab and office with WiFi for Sustainable Urban Land use Research Institute (SULRI).
32)  Well on site.
33)  Greywater system connected to subterranean irrigation.
34)  Storage tanks for stormwater.
35)  Educational signage for Regenerative Agriculture Farm Training (RAFT).
36)  Biofuel system integrated with water, waste, and food systems.
37)  No chemical pest control or phosphate fertilizers are used.
38)  All soils are covered with mulch, farm waste or other carbon source at all times, at least two layers.
39)  Beds are never left fallow, but are continually harvested and planted daily and weekly year round.
40)  A minimum of 225 food plants are grown and harvested on a daily/weekly basis year-round. When you harvest a plant, you plant another seedling in its place. On a typical day, the consumer will eat 30 different food plants selected from 6 categories of foods.

Alrie Middlebrook 
Sept 1, 2018
San Jose, CA
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