Companion Farming

Companion Farming

Companion Farming

Biodynamic permaculture farming involves restoring the soil to a balanced living condition through the use of a completely digested form of crude organic matter known as stabilized humus.

Crop rotation, correct composting and proper intercropping can all contribute to a healthier biodynamic yield.

You'll be startled at the difference in taste between the sweet flavor of bio-dynamically grown spinach leaves, and the ones that organic gardening produces.

The aim of peppering is to inhibit the reproductive potential of any plant, insect, or animal one applies the method to. Peppering is a method of pest control that involves weeds, insects, possums, rabbits, and rats.

With companion farming certain vegetables, flowers, fruits, herbs, and fish mutually benefit each other by eliminating each others' pests and influencing the quality of each others' taste.

Aquaponics is a form of agriculture that combines raising fish in tanks (recirculating aquaculture) with soilless plant culture (hydroponics). In aquaponics, the nutrient-rich water from raising fish provides a natural fertilizer for the plants and the plants help to purify the water for the fish. This fresh local food is free of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers.

Aquaponics can be used to sustainably raise fresh fish and vegetables for a family, to feed a village or to generate profit in a commercial farming venture, year ‘round, in any climate.

Greenhouse farming + a Blockchain Dome as a Heat House

Greenhouse farming of produce, floriculture, cannabis, or nursery products can be much more productive than open air (urban) farming, as pests, bacteria, and fungi have their optimal humidity levels for maximum crop damage. This enables better (IoT) control over:

  • larger quantity of product in the same amount of space,
  • humidity: reduction of pesticide and fungicide usage,
  • the light sources and their specific wavelengths,
  • electrical power costs by adding a heat house,
  • free plant nutrients from aquaponic tanks,
  • digitalization of financial management,
  • crop damage from bad weather,
  • temperature all year around,
  • clean water harvesting,
  • denser crop placement,
  • liveliness of water,
  • higher quality,
  • faster growth.

IoT involves affordable sensors that track soil moisture, air temperature, inputs, crop stages, yields, humidity, etc. They push data upfront, which enable instant analysis and action by software and a few people. This data can help growers react in real-time or pinpoint areas for improvement of the next crop cycle. The ensuing efficiency and yield improvements can reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, heavy machinery and GMOs.


Long distance produce transportation leads to more preservatives and less vine-ripened foods, thus less taste and nutritional content. IoT controlled local greenhouse and vertical farming operations with 24/7 cultivation in computer-controlled environments, using drip-irrigation technologies save 90% of the water otherwise being wasted on subsoil and roofs that reduce evaporation.

Blockchain, the end of the wealthy middleman?

The actual blockchain component, meaning a permanent and temper-proof distributed ledger to build trust between parties is only a part of the use of the technology. More interesting is what this technology allows us to do. Especially, the way it incentivises work to get done.

Assets and transactions get stored and secured cryptographically on the blockchain, mostly through computing power. Real world blockchain applications are uniquely suited to solve particular problems, and thus create value to us.

This value gets represented in the form of a token which miners earn and convert back into real world value, crypto currency, whose value, however, depends on a globally agreed upon value among buyers & sellers, rather than a specific function that it serves. These tokens maintain or grow in value as the real world utility for the blockchain applications grows.

Potential uses for Blockchain in Farming:

  • Food Safety: Bringing transparency to the supply chain will allow you to identify and remove bad actors and poor processes. This ensures ideal conditions from farm to market, and we can pinpoint the source quickly in the event of a food safety outbreak. This could save time, money, and lives.
  • Traceability: Wherever you bought your food, you know where it came from, harvested and processed, and even who produced it. This could prevent food fraud, false labeling, and redundant middlemen.
  • Transaction Costs: Now companies are making headway in creating more transparent and efficient supply chains through the use of blockchain technology.
  • Opening New Markets: Market players that could not establish trust before for any reason (no close proximity to each other, no protocol for problems occurring, the time to develop a new relationship did not justify the value, etc.) now can do business without someone needing to broker trust (and take a margin) in the middle. Now, disadvantaged market participants can have a sort of “seat at the table” as well.
  • Logistics: Dealing with products that have a super short shelf life, in uncertain weather or other conditions, in high quantities, and with a lot of $ on the line can be a nightmare. Blockchain can simplify this aspect.

In an impoverished part of Africa, a particular blockchain App allows farmers perform various transactions such as hiring custom seeders and harvesters, cooperating with other farmers for bargaining power, taking their crop to market and monitoring it through the production process, and more.

This ability to build trust with other farmers, vendors, and processors is life-changing for these farmers. They were able to triple their farm income, by:

  • Making collaboration possible. Many farmers were not keeping records. Thus, produce becomes impossible to track if everyone is contributing and collecting their fair share. However, using the blockchain, the farmers can pool resources without worrying about if they are getting what they are owed.
  • Insuring payment. By using the App, farmers can pool their small plots together to make it worth the time of a custom seeder, and they can insure payment to that custom seeder so that he or she is paid directly from the cooperative.
  • Capturing more value at the farm level. When they need to collect an income from their harvest, many farmers can only deal with those thst provide them immediate cash on the spot. This significantly limits the number of potential buyers. In many cases, brokers take advantage of this by offering quick cash in exchange for cheap prices. Now the App becomes a tool to collaborate, and pool resources to create channels for storage, processing, etc. 
  • Automating the record-keeping. Efforts to get subsistence farmers to adopt record-keeping as a habit are largely unsuccessful. Using the App for transactions such as inputs, labor, and selling the harvest, the basic records are kept for the farmer, who will eventually understand the value of these records for their farm's long term profitability.
  • Reducing waste. In some cases, the harvest starts to rot before reaching the market, because the farmer is waiting for a buyer who can pay cash on the spot. By collaborating with other farmers, they can immediately track their crop through the entire process with the trust that they will get paid at the end.

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