I had met with Marcin several times and Brittany once before and I consider them as friends. Knowing the effort they were putting forward and the common values we shared, I thought it was important to commit myself to visit their Factor E Farm and take a look at what they have been doing there for the last year and a half.
On Tuesday I drove up to Kansas City to Union Station to pick up Andrius – who was coming in from Chicago via AmTrak – and met him at a little after 10PM. It was too late to go to Factor E so we stayed in a Super 8 in a place called Kearny, MO just off I-29. On Wednesday morning, we then went an hour or so NE of KC to meet with Marcin, Brittany and Ronny at Factor E Farm.
It was a bit of a shock to go from living on the grid with power everything to living on the farm and having to deal with the systems that are not always so reliable. And yet despite the cold, sleeping on a sheet of plywood in a greenhouse with a fire constantly going out in the middle of the night, it was not all that bad. Indeed it reminds me how much I need to be around a place like this where I am faced with the challenges of finding practical solutions to make my life more sustainable.
What was great about the experience was meeting people of like mind who have a vision of a better world and who want to put into practice in their own lives first. It was great to be able to pop veggies into your mouth that were grown right there. You had a stronger sense of where things were going and where they were coming from.
It was great to see the animals and the people at the farm linked to the local environment and the culture. So I could see the human ecology of people helping each other and interacting with their environment on a much stronger level than is common practice in the mainstream. That is undervalued in our modern world I believe.
Finally what I valued was the idea of Factor E as something that could be part of a revolutionary movement to change how we humans live on this planet and interact with each other.
So my sense upon leaving is that there is much to collaborate with the Factor E team with, particularly the bladeless turbine and the Compress Earth Block building systems.
Considering the concrete steps for working together:
- I am hopeful that in a few weeks I can be up there again to help them to get the water well dug and operating as water supply is a major concern for them now.
- Then possibly in about a month from now we can consider getting the CEB system going and completing enough block to build a small building.
- Finally I look forward to us working together to make the Solar Turbine System a reality at Factor E. I agreed to help them raise some money to make this happen.
- On the virtual side of things I am looking forward to working with Factor E to develop a proposal to help fund the work there and to assist in the work of organizing the content for the various technologies and approaches on the wiki.
You can read more about my experiences by checking out my OVF blog post here.